You can’t subdue the reactionary right without a robust alternative vision
You can’t subdue the reactionary right without a robust alternative political vision.
For a distillation of the Democrat Party’s self-conception today, one could do worse than consult Nancy Pelosi’s recent pronouncement: “We don’t have a party orthodoxy — they [the Republicans] are ideological.”
For some time now, this view of the political divide — Democrats are consummate pragmatists, Republicans are rigid slaves to dogma — has predominated in elite liberal circles. Hillary Clinton, after all, centered her campaign on competence and experience far more than any actual conception of politics.
And despite the resulting disaster, this desire to have a politics without politics — this strategy to build a coalition bereft of any clear values or principles — has continued to animate liberals’ opposition to Trump. Democrats really believe, it seems, that they can subdue the reactionary right without articulating any alternative political vision beyond prudent governance.
The irony here is twofold. First, in clinging to an obviously failing strategy, elite liberalism reveals itself to be an ideology every bit as impervious to contradictory evidence as the reactionary Republicans it defines itself against. And second, for all of the Democrats’ paeans to pragmatism, they are just as committed to their own version of neoliberal capitalism as the Republicans, and just as unwilling to brook dissent with it. In fact, only a few days before declaring the Democrats free of orthodoxy, Pelosi responded to a student’s question about socialism by effusing, “We’re capitalists. That’s just the way it is.”
When attacking the Right, the Democrats are non-ideological and pragmatic. As soon as a challenge from the Left is sighted, however, the party suddenly stops being coy, and declares itself forthrightly in favor of capitalism. The result is an ever-rightward-moving political landscape that ends up abetting the very forces and figures that Democrats oppose — including Trump.
Democratic Party establishment “would rather go down with the Titanic so long as they have first-class seats” — Bernie Sandershistorylovr, mmonk, Enthusiast and 1 otherPADemD like this
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