Subheaded: And You Should Come Join Us!
In just a few weeks the Democratic National Convention will be held in Denver, Colorado, where I live. For the past few months leading up to it I have been organizing with Alliance for Real Democracy (ARD), one of the local formations that is building towards a week of protests, teach-ins, and concerts at this event.
I’m at work, so this will be short, but this article is a very good read as to why some of us feel the need to oppose the Dems (as well as the Repugs).
Here’s a bit of the article…
In every election, we are told to vote Democrat because the Republicans are worse. It’s as basic and ingrained as the colors of a stoplight. Whether it’s done with bright eyes and high hopes, or with gritted teeth and muttered cynicism, almost the entire American left accepts the logic to some extent: If we want to end the war in Iraq and Afghanistan, if we want environmental justice, if we want to challenge the racist criminal justice system, if we want to support immigrant rights, if we want equality for the LGBT community, if we want to truly support a woman’s right to choose, and if we want to build real progressive social movements in the United States, then, we’re told, the first step is to get Democratic politicians into office.
The problem today with this argument is that Democrats have had a majority in congress since the 2006 elections. Since then, they have taken an overwhelmingly antiwar, anti-Bush mandate, and used it to:
* Pass “non-binding” resolutions expressing “disagreement” with the Iraq war, while simultaneously voting for hundreds of billions more in funding for it.
* Declare that “Impeachment is off the table”.
* Join Republicans to gut civil liberties and allow the government to spy on anyone, at any time, without a warrant.
On broader social justice issues the record is just as lukewarm.
* Abortion remains unavailable in most counties in the United States and access to it continues to be restricted.
* Education today is more racially segregated and unequally funded than it was decades ago, and college itself is increasingly unaffordable.
* While productive industries crumble into recession and outsourcing, there is a “bipartisan” consensus on the need to expand both prison construction as well as military recruitment in schools.
Voting Democratic hasn’t brought the rosy results that were promised. A lot of hopes were raised as the returns came in two Novembers ago, and what has (or more importantly, what hasn’t) happened sense then has significantly changed the political landscape.
There is no more post-2004 “awe” of mythical “red state” domination. Farmers in Kansas aren’t keeping the war going. Democratic votes in Congress are. The period of “wait and see” has come puttering to its inevitable end, and the leadership of the Democratic party has failed to live up to the mandate of its voters. Barack Obama, whose early opposition to the war and community organizing background inspired many liberals to support him in the primaries, is bunkered down in right-wing positions on a wide range of issues (much to the concern of those to whom he owes his victory).