Amen, Quetzal. Originally, that's all I was going to say. But, as often happens, Quetzal Cáceres's post got my analytical juices flowing, and those juices took the form of words.
The goal of wresting the Democratic Party from the clutches of its corporate masters and turning into a true party of peace and justice is a noble one. The goal of returning it to the days of FDR, LBJ, or even JFK is a misguided one.
From what I've read, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is sincere in her socialist leanings. She has some knowledge of the implications of advancing a socialist policy agenda, and why people (voters or not) will embrace socialism if they feel that capitalism has failed them. Does she know everything about it? No, but then who really does? I also perceive that her message gets muddled by the people who feel that they have a right to use or co-opt her voice.
From what I've seen and experienced, the Democratic Socialists of America has plenty of members who are sincere in their socialism as well, but its agenda appears to consist of boosting socialist candidates and policies within the Democratic Party. They don't seem all that interested in exploring or creating independent, progressive partisan movements. That puts DSA, as an organization, in the Fauxgressive column of my own political ledger—i.e., they're Fauxcialists.
My perceptions may be incorrect. If anyone has arguments to the contrary, you know where the Comment button is.
DSA's support of AOC, and AOC's work in promoting insurgent progressive candidates, are steps in a positive direction. If the Democratic Party can be bent to the left, it will occur only with constant pressure from people who either support these insurgents in primary elections, challenging establishment Dems, or threaten to abandon the party entirely.
But are those steps positive enough? Are they effective enough? Might DSA get better mileage toward accomplishing their goals if they (a) hitch their wagon to the Green Party or (b) create a new socialist bloc and reach out to the Greens to merge with it (now that the Green Movement is officially and overtly eco-socialist)?
Like Quetzal Cáceres, I'm just putting those questions out there. I don't pretend to have the answers. I do know that I would be fine with either (a) or (b) above, because I am still convinced that the Democratic Party cannot and will not be reformed from within—that, as David Cobb has said, it is where progressive ideas and campaigns go to die.
I am also firmly convinced, based on its actions in recent years, that the Democratic Party as currently constituted is less interested in winning and actually governing than in carrying out a lethal neoliberal agenda on behalf of the aforementioned corporate masters.
AOC, Ilhan Omar, and other new-school socialist reformers cannot really criticize the Democratic establishment. As a practical matter, they shouldn't: Even while not taking PAC money, and thus not dependent on the establishment, spending time and ink talking negative detracts from their willingness to STAND FOR a set of policies rather than just against whomever. It distinguishes them from the whole "Vote for me, I'm not Donald Trump!" messaging that establishment Democrats have made their bread and butter.
Blogging Sporadically since 2014
Here you will find political campaign-related entries, as well as some about my literature, Houston underground arts, peace & justice, urban cycling, soccer, alt-religion, and other topics.