The Democratic Party needs to change — and quickly.

Mr. Petterson, you are a seemingly endless font of counter-intuition and the very embodiment of that old wag about how the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.

Granted, that is a cliché, but again, you seem to be a giant amalgamation of clichés. Your elevation of Robby Mook, for example, is based on the fact that he is a “gay man.” That showcasing minorities showed “strength in diversity.” Phooey. Mook was a complete incompetent, and it has been well documented that his over-reliance on data and failure to listen to the wisdom of his elders (such as Donna Brazile and Bill Clinton himself) is what led to the campaign’s failure in the Rust Belt. Strength? Please.

I cannot believe that I need to point this out, but you can be gay and incompetent at the same time. And simply being gay or a person of color does not mean that you are progressive. Look at Clarence Thomas, Ben Carson, or any of the Log Cabin Republicans.

The idea to change the Democratic Party was not quixotic, and it was not born in the brain of Bernie Sanders. It is based on the fact that the Democrats have been wiped out electorally at every level of government.

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You may seek to blame this on Republican gerrymandering, voter suppression, and so on — but then you would have to explain how the Republicans came to be in positions of power in order to effect those changes. Well???

You are clinging to a neoliberal charade that says Democrats can win by carving out different constituent groups and then “pandering” to those multiple and diverse constituencies by (1) reinforcing their feelings of otherness, uniqueness and separation from the body politic as a whole and then (2) proposing specific, incremental and micro-targeted policies that will appease and/or galvanise these groups into voting for you based on cultural and societal issues rather than economic ones. This is called Identity Politics, and it has run its course. As Bill Clinton would say, “that dog won’t hunt anymore”.

Hillary Clinton Herself encapsulated the losing strategy of this type of DLC-driven Identity Politics when she proclaimed:

“Not everything is about an economic theory, right? If we broke up the big banks tomorrow … would that end racism? Would that end sexism? Would that end discrimination against the LGBT community? Would that make people feel more welcoming to immigrants overnight?”

If you cannot see the falsity in that riff, then you really must seek help. You have fallen under a spell that has kept the Left sleepwalking for 3 decades. We thought Change was coming when we elected Obama. And all we got was what Obama himself described as “moderate Republican” policies.

I hope you have noticed that I have not yet mentioned Bernie Sanders, however I will mention him in this context: in every speech Bernie gave on the campaign trail, he would at one point say that “we cannot allow them to divide us up”. What people don’t realise, however, was that when he talked about “them” he was also describing the neoliberal, DLC-backed Democratic Establishment, which had been dividing up the electorate since the 1990's.

That needs to change. We need to stand together. MLK realised that the road to social justice leads through economic justice. I wrote a piece here on this very topic:

I suggest you read it.

Joe is a US Ex-Pat with dual US-EU citizenship, who travels Europe extensively, commenting on trends, attitudes, politics and more.

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