Polls Show Being Anti-Trump Isn’t Enough to Beat GOP

Instead of addressing demands for social progress, such as single-payer insurance, Democratic leaders find it much easier and more comfortable to denounce Trump. But it’s not working, as Norman Solomon explains.

By Norman Solomon

With six months to go before the midterm election, recent national polls are showing that the Democratic Party’s much-touted momentum to gain control of the House has stalled. The latest numbers tell us a lot about the limits of denouncing Donald Trump without offering much more than a return to the old status quo.

Under the headline “Democrats’ 2018 Advantage Is Nearly Gone,” CNN on May 9 reported that nationwide polling found “the generic congressional ballot has continued to tighten” — “with the Democrats’ edge over Republicans within the poll’s margin of sampling error for the first time this cycle.”

With so many gerrymandered districts as well as widespread voter-ID laws and other GOP-engineered voter suppression, Democrats will need a substantial margin in vote totals to prevent Republicans from retaining a majority in the House of Representatives. (The prospects are worse in the Senate, where Democrats are defending a lopsided number of seats this year.)

While “47 percent of registered voters say they back the Democratic candidate in their district, 44 percent back the Republican,” according to CNN. “Voters also are divided almost evenly over whether the country would be better off with the Democrats in control of Congress (31 percent) or with the GOP in charge (30 percent). A sizable 34 percent — including nearly half of independent voters (48 percent) — say it doesn’t matter which party controls Congress.”

The CNN survey comes on the heels of other grim national polling. A recently released Reuters poll concluded that “enthusiasm for the Democratic Party is waning among millennials.”

The online survey of more than 16,000 registered voters ages 18 to 34 shows their support for Democrats over Republicans for Congress slipped by about 9 percentage points over the past two years, to 46 percent overall,” Reuters reported. “And they increasingly say the Republican Party is a better steward of the economy.”

Sanders: Had the youth. (Photo credit: Sanders campaign)

Young people overwhelmingly supported Bernie Sanders during his 2016 campaign for president. With their votes in Democratic Party primaries and caucuses two years ago, the young showed that they want truth about the destructive effects of corporate power — and forceful action against its manifestations, whether economic injustice or climate change.

No Clear Alternative

Overall, the latest generation of adults is negative about the demagogue in the White House. But most Democratic leaders aren’t offering a clear and compelling alternative. As Reuters put it, “Although nearly two of three young voters polled said they do not like Republican President Donald Trump, their distaste for him does not necessarily extend to all Republicans or translate directly into votes for Democratic congressional candidates.”

Six months ago, the independent report Autopsy: The Democratic Party in Crisis pointed out that young people “increasingly want politics to be for something profoundly positive rather than just against Republicans.” As a member of the task force that worked on the report, I was struck by how the top echelon of the Democratic Party keeps trying to insulate itself from — and fend off — the tremendous energy that mobilized behind Sanders during the primaries.

In short, the Democratic Party is still dominated by elected officials and power brokers who appear to be deeply worried that a future progressive upsurge of political engagement could loosen — or even end — their corporate-funded grip on the party. As the Autopsy report saidEmerging sectors of the electorate are compelling the Democratic Party to come to terms with adamant grassroots rejection of economic injustice, institutionalized racism, gender inequality, environmental destruction and corporate domination. Siding with the people who constitute the base isn’t truly possible when party leaders seem to be afraid of them.”

The Sanders campaign was “mostly propelled by millennials,” the report noted, and the campaign “turned what conventional wisdom had pegged as an obscure, 2-percent campaign into a photo finish with the establishment’s preferred candidate. Once the nomination was settled, much of this grassroots energy dissipated as the Clinton campaign declined to adopt positions like single-payer health care and free public college that resonated with young voters.” 

Chomsky: Most dangerous organization. (Photo credit: Duncan Rawlinson)

Those kinds of positions have gained some traction in the aftermath of 2016, but they still have a steep climb in the hidebound upper reaches of Democratic Party power. For the people atop the party, it’s so much easier and more comfortable to selectively denounce Trump — while opposing genuinely progressive agendas that would really challenge income inequality or take aim at the warfare state’s bloated budget or cross up the big donors who funnel vast quantities of money into the party.

With the world facing the dual threats of climate change and nuclear holocaust, it’s no exaggeration when Noam Chomsky describes the present-day Republican Party as “the most dangerous organization in human history.” The latest national polling reflects the reality that Democrats’ feeble partisan maneuvers are ill-suited to ousting the Republicans from power. Methodical grassroots organizing will be necessary — to bring down the GOP’s deranged leadership, and to defeat the forces of corporate power and militarism that continue to hold sway at the top of the Democratic Party.

This article first appeared on Common Dreams.

Norman Solomon is the coordinator of the online activist group RootsAction.org and the executive director of the Institute for Public Accuracy. He is the author of a dozen books including “War Made Easy: How Presidents and Pundits Keep Spinning Us to Death.”

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51 comments for “Polls Show Being Anti-Trump Isn’t Enough to Beat GOP

  1. RickD
    May 22, 2018 at 10:37 am

    The imminent danger of a president like Trump, who knows little to nothing about almost everything and is proud of his ignorance, all the while spewing bigotry, misogyny , nativism and has sundered our relationships with our longest term allies makes him an obvious and necessary part of any election campaign, especially when the GOP is going along with their fatuous leader.

    That there are inherent weaknesses within the leadership of the Democratic Party thus within the strategies adopted by that party would seem to account for the downward trending of that party’s popularity during periods in the overlong election cycle. I believe the author presents a lucid case indeed for a less than expected success for democratic candidates this election cycle.

    The young voters noted in the article may seem mercurial but they are participating at long last. There is yet ample time for the foot in mouth penchant of Donald Trump to effect this trending by our youngest voters, and, hopefully, by the entire electorate. While the ascendancy of the democrats in our legislature will not signal that our political world is getting better for the majority of our citizens, it may have two good outcomes.

    One, stopping Trump’s insanity and inanities is job #1 and a less than stellar performance by democrats might signal the need for a change in leadership there. Now, if there was a way to bring these new voters to the realization that third party politics is the only way to stem the creeping ( galloping) fascism we see in our governance.

  2. Nop
    May 21, 2018 at 1:53 pm

    “I was struck by how the top echelon of the Democratic Party keeps trying to insulate itself from — and fend off — the tremendous energy that mobilized behind Sanders during the primaries.”

    You’re not alone on that one! Everyone who pauses to reflect on the Democratic Party realizes it has been captured by establishment mooks and merely serves as a vehicle for the ambitions of a handful of fake progressive elitists.

  3. robert e williamson jr
    May 21, 2018 at 1:28 pm

    You folks sure know how to make a guy feel better.

    The repugniklans and dimocraps are one in the same. Two party elections have become a cruel charade and should not be taken seriously. (I like the NO CONFIDENCE LINE BTW ) At 69 I’ve seen enough. The dims need to be put on notice RIGHT NOW. They have let the likes of Steny Hoyer (republican mole) lead their party for far too long. It’s all about the money. The hand writing on the wall says “the same ole same ole”. Congress is a paid for prostitute of the DEEP STATE. The lobbyist have their way with them constantly.

    The new scandal the the WH is more proof. Stefan Halper is proof the CIA is out of control. And proof that CIA has been fixing elections since JFK. Guys like Bob Bear go on the tube and spout that there is no such thing as the deep-state. What do you expect him to say. David Sanchez Morales was asked why he needed such vigorous security at his new home 30 miles form the Mexican border and with out hesitation he replied, ” I’m not fearful of those people I’m fearful of my own people. I know too much!”

    Google The Association of Retired Cia officers SIGNA or CRIA. They never really go away, unless of course they die! When David Atlee Phillips retired CIA he soon become the President of one such group. How convenient! If you follow developments in the JFK saga you so see these retired “cockroaches” crawled out of every where to help Allen Dullus and Richard Helms cover the JFK murder story up.

    With CIA the “FIX” is always “in”. The super wealthy elitists ( the SWETS) have taken control and if CIA will do nothing to stop this, and they will not, then they must be stopped just as the SWETS must be stopped! Scary stuff not doubt but it is what it is.

    Everyone who agrees with ANYTHING I’ve said here need to write their congress person if they are a dimo and their local party honchos and let them know exactly how they feel. Dick Durbin is weary of my e-mails by now I’m sure. Get on their asses.

  4. Jeff
    May 21, 2018 at 1:16 pm

    This should come as no real surprise. The Democrats aren’t really the Democrats. They’re all really Republican Lites. They’re all the “reasonable Republicans” who fled their party after St. Ronnie hijacked it and drove it decisively to the right. It used to be, back in the ’50s and ’60s when I was young, that our government and, by extension, our political parties sought to solve problems that our country had. Nowadays, they try to apply ideology to problems. Unfortunately, the ideology was cooked up in a hot house “think tank” and has only a tenuous connection to reality. Furthermore, when the ideology doesn’t work, they proclaim that success is “just around the corner”. And the rubes believe them. Which is probably a good thing since the rubes are really given much of a choice. All that happens is … we get anther day older and deeper in debt, St. Peter don’tcha call me ’cause I can’t go, I owe my soul to the company store…..

    • Realist
      May 22, 2018 at 11:42 pm

      I think you gave a concise spot-on account of political evolution in this country over the past forty years. The extreme rightwing John Birchers essentially co-opted the old guard Republican Party as characterised by Kevin Phillips. These moderate paleoconservatives as Pat Buchanan would call them have in turn slowly and methodically insinuated themselves into the hierarchy of the Democratic Party. The old-line New Deal liberals have essentially been kicked out of the Democratic Party. Calling themselves Progressives has not attracted voters or accrued power to their dying breed. In fact, either term is a red flag for the Wall Street corporatists who run the party to target them for ridicule and well-financed competition in the primaries.

      To succeed as a Democrat these days one must be a right of center neocon, neoliberal. To get elected as a Republican one must be even further right plus a nationalist and populist, the route that Trump took. I’m talking about the ploys used to get elected, not the way these duplicitous two-faced hypocrites govern once elected. They all govern as neocon neoliberal tools of Wall Street and the other insider elites.

      I think it’s unfortunate, but the campaign propaganda of both the prevalent party philosophies more closely resembles what this country will inevitably get at the helm with these two right-wing parties as the only viable alternatives than if a self-described Social Democrat were ever allowed on the final ballot. Both Slick Willy and Obomber (as well as Al Gore, John Kerry and Willy’s frau) ran as hopey-changey liberal progressives and turned out to be Chamber of Commerce GOPers on the domestic front and scary cold warriors in the international arena. Even “Smilin’ “Joe Biden showed his true hard liner warmongering colors and nepotistic opportunism once in office after decades of peddling liberal bovine manure on the campaign hustings. FDR’s New Deal “left” was long ago jumped, shived in the belly, and left for dead in the back alleys of the American political landscape by Democrats themselves, and everyone presently in power has been striving mightily to keep even J.C. himself from laying hands to the movement and resurrecting it.

  5. Abe
    May 21, 2018 at 12:39 pm

    Bernie Sanders was and still is diverting energy and enthusiasm away from the creation of a majority, progressive, effective challenge to the Democratic and Republican parties.

    Look at Bernie’s effort to keep the fires burning under the New Cold War. He performs a vital function in the US war propaganda machine:

    “Bernie Sanders is a highly valued Democrat, the party’s Outreach Director and therefore, as Paul Street writes, ‘the imperialist and sheep-dogging fake-socialist Democratic Party company man that some of us on the ‘hard radical’ Left said he was.’ Sanders is a warmonger, not merely by association, but by virtue of his own positions. He favors more sanctions against Russia, in addition to the sanctions levied against Moscow in 2014 and 2016 for its measured response to the U.S-backed fascist coup against a democratically elected government in Ukraine. Rather than surrender to U.S. bullying, Russia came to the military aid of the sovereign and internationally recognized government of Syria in 2015, upsetting the U.S. game plan for an Islamic jihadist victory.

    “Back in April of this year, on NBC’s Meet The Press, Sanders purposely mimicked The Godfather when asked what he would do to force the Russians ‘to the table’ in Syria:

    “’I think you may want to make them an offer they can’t refuse. And that means tightening the screws on them, dealing with sanctions, telling them that we need their help, they have got to come to the table and not maintain this horrific dictator.’

    “Of course, it is the United States that has sabotaged every international agreement to rein in its jihadist mercenaries in Syria.

    “‘We need a strong military, it is a dangerous world,’ Sanders told voters in Iowa.

    “Sanders is a regime-changer, which means he thinks the U.S., in combination with self-selected allies, is above international law, i.e., ‘exceptional.’

    “‘We’ve got to work with countries around the world for a political solution to get rid of this guy [Syrian President Bashar al-Assad] and to finally bring peace and stability to this country, which has been so decimated.’

    “During the 2016 campaign, Sanders urged the U.S. to stop acting unilaterally in the region, but instead to collaborate with Syria’s Arab neighbors — as if the funding and training of jihadist fighters had not been a joint effort with Saudi Arabia and the other Gulf monarchies, all along.”

    Why Bernie Sanders is an Imperialist Pig
    By Glen Ford
    https://www.blackagendareport.com/bernie_sanders_imperial_pig

    • robjira
      May 21, 2018 at 2:39 pm

      Good post, Abe.

    • RnM
      May 22, 2018 at 4:34 pm

      What about Sanders’ (to? whom I, pensioner, forked over a few of those $27.00 contributions -Live and learn, I suppose) support for …”the sanctions levied against Moscow in 2014 and 2016 for its measured response to the U.S-backed fascist coup against a democratically elected government in….”
      The United States of America.”
      Stay tuned, Constitution lovers.

    • May 23, 2018 at 4:52 pm

      The sad truth of the matter is Sanders is the best we got for a failing empire.

    • May 24, 2018 at 10:03 pm

      Regarding the 2016 sanctions: “…there were 5 US lawmakers who voted against the bill: 4 libertarians and 1 progressive independent.

      Those lawmakers were US Reps. Justin Amash (R-Mich.), Thomas Massie (R-Ky.), John Duncan Jr. (R-Tenn.), and US Sens. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) and Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.)”

      https://ivn.us/2017/08/03/meet-5-lawmakers-voted-against-russia-sanctions-bill/

      Although if you read further he was actually voting against the sanctions against Iran that were lumped in there. He also says “I think the United States must play a more even-handed role in the Middle East, and find ways to address not only Iran’s activities, but also Saudi Arabia’s decades-long support for radical extremism.”

      Don’t get me wrong, I don’t support Sanders (anymore), just felt it important to correct his record on Russia. Bernie was never going to get a fair shot and he should’ve taken Jill Stein up on her invitation to run for the Green Party.

      I hope the Democrats go down after what they did in 2016, then hopefully a progressive party will rise in their place.

  6. Nancy
    May 21, 2018 at 12:17 pm

    Norman seems to think it would be a great tragedy if the Democrats are not the victors in November. Anyone paying attention, and I think a lot of millenials are, knows that the two parties are both corrupt and bankrupt and we will all lose with either of them in power.
    Enough pablum from Norman Solomon and Commondreams. I read that Jesse Ventura is thinking of running on the Green ticket. Now he might just shake things up.

    • KB Gloria
      May 22, 2018 at 2:48 pm

      I was in MN when he became governor–he choked….badly, I’m sorry to say.

    • May 23, 2018 at 4:52 pm

      agreed!

  7. anastasia
    May 21, 2018 at 11:54 am

    As long as the Republicans keep bombing in the mid-east, they’re all safe.

  8. May 21, 2018 at 10:54 am

    The Democratic Party has nothing to offer because it is nothing more that a vehicle for the interests of finance capitalism, and the last thing finance capital wants is policies that promote the interests and concerns of ordinary people.

  9. Princess Cassimassimassimassima
    May 21, 2018 at 10:51 am

    Polls show everybody knows the Democratic Party has degenerated into a CIA proprietary. The Dem party doesn’t exist to offer voters anything. CIA has given it a new prime directive: shoehorn spooks into Congress so unauthorized presidential figurehead Trump can be threatened with impeachment. CIA’s first attempt to ratfeck Trump has publicly crashed and burned on a Bay of Pigs scale. CIA’s latest cascading failure is public acknowledgement that CIA spook Stefan Halper did this to Carter too, and that destroying unauthorized presidents is longstanding CIA procedure.

    https://niqnaq.wordpress.com/2018/05/20/spies/

    Having failed in humiliating Technicolor, CIA is applying their characteristic flamboyant ineptitude to mobilizing Dem party dupes to infiltrate Congress – not, as usual, in staff posts, but as Congressmoles.

    So please stop insulting our intelligence with the ridiculous pretense that Democrats give a shit what you think. They have their orders. CIA runs the Dems like they run all their other illegal domestic agents. If you actually want to get anything done you’re going to have to sack up and storm Langley like the Germans stormed the Stasi.

  10. Mark Thomason
    May 21, 2018 at 9:20 am

    I think it is more co-dependent than that. They are using each other, as cover for their own problems, to avoid facing them, mucl less overcoming them.

  11. Mark Thomason
    May 21, 2018 at 9:17 am

    This story does not quite pick up my own reactions, and I think my reactions are quite common among independents. I was a Bernie voter.

    I am disgusted by Trump. I was and remain disgusted by corporate Democrats too. I see both as extremely bad. I won’t vote for either one.

    I voted strategically, meaning to defeat both parties. I figured that Hillary would cement the corporate Dems into power for another decade, while Trump’s insanity would blow up the Republican Party and defeat by even him would help reform the Democrats. It was a high price to pay, but only for four years, and not worse than the awful alternative for a decade or more.

    Now I feel it did not work. The Republicans and the corporate Democrats are rallying. Still, we don’t have Hillary, and that is a major plus. Republicans survive because Democrats are so very bad too, and they don’t seem to realize that, just won’t see it.

    • Mike From Jersey
      May 21, 2018 at 10:11 am

      I think that the Democrats understand that they could easily beat the Republicans if the adopted a truly reformist platform. The Democrats are not doing that since, just like the Republicans, they strongly oppose reform. The Democrats are willing to cede elections – and even majorities – as long as reform does not take place. As George Carlin pointed out the two parties are nothing more than exclusive, privileged clubs. For both parties the perquisites of their respective clubs is more important than winning “per se.”

    • mike k
      May 21, 2018 at 10:50 am

      I wish your vote was as powerful as you seem to think it is, but it’s not. Our crooked voting system is a major propaganda mythology that keeps us powerless against the aristocratic oligarchs who rule over us.

  12. May 21, 2018 at 8:10 am

    “With the world facing the dual threats of climate change and nuclear holocaust, it’s no exaggeration when Noam Chomsky describes the present-day Republican Party as “the most dangerous organization in human history.”

    Needless and unsubstantiated hyperbole of the kind that turns people off.

    If there was a truly progressive foreign policy, not the PEP, progressive except for Palestine, a real cut in military and security spending,a tone downing of identity politics, really progressive taxation and universal health insurance, I think people would buy in. Sanders has a lot of good things to say but he is disqualified because he is a hawk. He might deny it but he’s not going to take on the Middle East in an honest way but that’s hard to believe and he has a history of stumping for defense dollars for his state. To say he is the best we have to offer is not good enough for many people, I don’t think.

  13. mike k
    May 21, 2018 at 7:41 am

    The article seems to hold onto the doomed idea that the democratic party (reformed) can save us from – the republicans! We need to be saved from both of these totally inauthentic parties. Above all, we need to be saved from our selves, from our false and destructive beliefs. The American Dream has morphed into a Nightmare. The corruption of all the institutions of our society should tell us one thing: it is we who have become corrupt. We have met the enemy, and it is us – but we do not realize that, and so we are pinning our hopes on some miraculous outside force (the democratic party?!) to save us from ourselves. “Stop me before I kill again”.

    • RickD
      May 21, 2018 at 8:14 am

      I am in full agreement that our two party system is corrupted and only truly represents corporate America.
      But , while I work to bring third party politics into our system, I also think it a matter of degrees.

      I agree with Noam Chomsky that the GOP represents a clear and present danger that must be reined in forthwith, any honest perusal of their actions, positions and direction makes this evident. That they do not rise up against Trump’s obvious demagoguery , the greatest danger to our democracy extant, makes this point evident.

      I work for the Green Party but I know many folks who work to reform the Democratic Party, to install new leadership therein. I encourage them to continue to do so.

      • Skip Scott
        May 21, 2018 at 2:11 pm

        I think the people who work for change within the democratic party are deluding themselves. When Bernie caved to the Clinton machine and expected us to follow him like he was the f’ing pied piper , I lost all faith in any possibility for reform within the party.
        I wouldn’t encourage anybody to work for reform within that utterly corrupted institution, we need for them to flee en masse and unite under the Green banner.

      • Nop
        May 21, 2018 at 2:42 pm

        Trump cannot be a threat to something that was gone well before he came along.

      • May 23, 2018 at 4:54 pm

        The Democratic party is dead it died during the Vietnam War.

  14. Realist
    May 21, 2018 at 12:49 am

    If the Democratic strategy to win either house of Congress is the promise to bring back the “happy days” of the Obama years, they are in for another shocker this November. The only thing they’ve got going for them is the chaos and pessimism within the Republican party.

    Someone should tell Trump that if he really cares about the fate of his fellow Republican pols running for office, the best thing he can do to actually help them is to avoid getting into any sort of war. Though he gets cynical faux applause from the media for firing missiles at Syria under false pretenses, the country is not ready to “rally round the flag” on yet another massive military adventure, be it in Korea, Syria, Iran, Ukraine or Alpha Centauri. It certainly does not want a war with Russia to prove that Russiagate is entirely specious.

    Me? I’m writing in “none of the above” on my Democratic primary ballot and voting for the best independent or third party candidates in November.

    • Joe Tedesky
      May 21, 2018 at 1:17 am

      Maybe Realist, we the voter should quit voting, and hard nose petition the ‘Donor Class Billionaire Corporate Crazies’ and attempt to see how that plays for change… cut out the middle person, so too speak. I’m flummoxed just thinking it through too how up hill our system is to properly fix. Voting isn’t doing it, that’s for sure. Campaign Finance is never a political race issue… why is that? I mean what’s so perfect about our voting methods in America? Oh I forgot, it’s the easiest to tanker with.

      Sorry I just had to say that. I’ll be looking for that independent as well Realist. Let us know who you find. Joe

      • Realist
        May 21, 2018 at 2:09 am

        I think the more significant act will be to write in “none of the above” on the primary ballot. I will also include other comments so the insiders who handle the ballots realise that the natives are restless out here.

        • zendeviant
          May 21, 2018 at 5:34 am

          If a candidate is either a Republican or Democrat, I write in “NO CONFIDENCE.”

          I’ll vote for nearly any independent, sometimes Green. Howsabout we bring back the Wobblies?

          OR a new third party, something that snaps the kids out of their cell phones.

          We have to escape the thought chains of either reform or revolution–what about creation?

          Two hundred years of experimental governance, surely we can DESIGN a system that has a different metric than the merely economic. We’ll have to be honest with ourselves.

          “You may say/ I’m a dreamer/ but I’m not the only one…”

          • May 21, 2018 at 3:58 pm

            Zendeviant, here’s an idea to “snap(s) the kids out of their cell phones”.
            Re-institute the draft and declare a ground war on Iran.
            Another Kent State maybe, and I’m not hopeful, will get their faces out of their 3-inch screens.

          • Professor
            May 22, 2018 at 9:12 pm

            Unfortunately your ballot would be tossed out You are only allowed to vote for the listed candidates or an approved write in candidate and if you don’t vote on the issues , initiatives, bonds, etc. and or candidates for the various offices your ballot will be called a Provisional Ballot , thrown into a pile and will only be counted in case of a tie or a lawsuit

          • May 23, 2018 at 5:34 pm

            The reality is only a draft would ignite the flames of revolution. Ironic as it is America doesn’t need a draft. The loss of blue collar jobs with outsourcing and technological replacement has left many behind. The military is a never ending option for those with out any other employment options.
            We are an Empire is rapid decline.
            We are the terrorist of the world.
            All our news is propaganda.
            The insidious arms of corruption have a stranglehold on our constitution. The average american working hard to make ends meet doesn’t have time to think let alone look for viable news to expose it.
            If rising health care costs,mass school shootings and rising real estate taxes haven’t rattled the masses with the Evangelical Sharia I don’t know what will.

      • RickD
        May 21, 2018 at 8:18 am

        There are several reasons why you should vote. One of which is that the ballot contains propositions important to your neighborhood, city and state.
        Another is that you can cast a ballot for third party candidates, something we desperately need in our corrupted system.
        You noted Campaign Finance Reform and I would note that this issue is in the forefront of the Green Party platform
        Democracy is, and always has been, a participatory entity. If we do not participate we face its extinction.

        • Skip Scott
          May 21, 2018 at 2:05 pm

          RickD-

          I’m with you. The propositions on the ballot are an exercise is REAL democracy, and worth the effort of going to the polls. I refuse to ever again vote for “the lesser of evils”. In the primaries, I always vote for whichever candidate campaigns as a peace candidate, and have switched parties numerous times to do so. In the General Election, I vote Green party. They are the only ones with a vision for positive change. I am hopeful that the Greens can cross the 15% threshold for 2020, and enter the TV debates. I believe that would be the real tipping point.

          • May 21, 2018 at 5:48 pm

            Skip,…good strategy!

        • May 22, 2018 at 11:15 pm

          @ RickD: “You noted Campaign Finance Reform and I would note that this issue is in the forefront of the Green Party platform …”

          The Green Party Platform on this point is beyond salvage:

          “d. Prohibit corporations from spending to influence elections, preferably by constitutional amendment abolishing granting corporations constitutional rights guaranteed to natural persons, or as a condition of receipt of a corporate charter by federal chartering of corporations.”

          http://www.gp.org/democracy_2016#DemPoliticalReform

          What is needed is commitment to supporting specific language for a constitutional amendment. I strongly favor the We the People Amendment, now endorsed by a half-dozen states and approaching 600 units of local government. https://movetoamend.org/wethepeopleamendment (;) for supporting resolutions see https://movetoamend.org/resolutions-map

          There are several different related amendments pending in Congress. All others bestow *discretion* on Congress (and in some cases also on states) to regulate campaign finances. The We the People Amendment is the only one that *requires* all branches of U.S. government to regulate using a standard that is enforceable in a court of law.

          Of course we all know how well discretion to reform worked during the time prior to the Citizens United decision by the Supreme Court. That is the primary reason I support the We the People Amendment.

          • Skip Scott
            May 23, 2018 at 6:34 am

            Thanks Paul. That’s the first I’ve heard of that proposal. I would add that part of the solution would be to require our network TV stations to carry speeches and debates of the candidates for FREE as part of their public service responsibilities. They could do so on a rotating basis. And I would limit the length of the campaign season to give our elected officials time to actually govern.

  15. JOHN DURHAM
    May 21, 2018 at 12:40 am

    Chomsky can never seem to come to the right conclusions about anything even though he mentions everything.

  16. Strngr - Tgthr
    May 20, 2018 at 11:10 pm

    /deranged leadership/ I think we can all agree on that. And also who the most deranged leader is. All Democrats are asking is that we get rid of the deranged leadership first, before Trump can do more damage. After that challenge, then we will have the time and power to do stuff the millennials want. You half to remember that the youth have all ideas – that is not bad just that some are unrealistic is all. So, once we get the country back the Democratic leadership I am sure Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer will be open to discussion about the way forward and not be exclusive. Also, remember the road map is there, un due all the stuff Trump did that un did the stuff that Obama did -then add some millenial ideas. But for now we all need to pull TOGETHER and focus on Trump. Its imperative.

    • Realist
      May 21, 2018 at 1:12 am

      You speak as though you, Hillary, Nancy and Chuck somehow represent the will of the rank and file citizens who used to associate with the Democratic party and who preferred a genuine progressive like Bernie when given a choice on the ballot. I recommend you go re-read the previous article (Hillary Clinton is Now a Victim of Socialists) about how the Clinton’s hijacked the party to further the agenda of the neoliberal corporatists. The party leadership today is no more “Democratic” (large D) than Calvin Coolidge was or Mike Pence is. In fact, before being constrained to parroting approved lines from his establishment insider handlers, Trump occasionally sounded left of Hillary on many issues. Your forked-tongued sell-outs with the [D] after their names have tacked so fast to the starboard they’ve basically swamped their vessel, otherwise known as the Democratic Party which is now the “Leakin’ Lena” under Pelosi, Schumer and the likes of Kamala Harris or Corey Booker. The people don’t want their approach to fix the Trump “problem.” They want something else, something yet to emerge from beyond the Democratic-Republican duopoly.

      • May 23, 2018 at 4:58 pm

        Couldn’t have said better it better myself.

    • John
      May 21, 2018 at 2:53 am

      What are you claiming to be “unrealistic”?

      If the US can let the Pentagon lose 21 TRILLION dollars between 1998 and 2015, then there is, quite literally, nothing being proposed by anyone that is more than pocket change, relative to that.

      We could have free at point of service health care for all, free education through graduate school, a national minimum income, AND repair our infrastructure while switching to entirely renewable energy, for a FRACTION of what the Pentagon loses via its “failure to correct system deficiencies.”

      IF Dimocraps were wanting to get rid of deranged leadership, they would not have pushed the super-predator ecocidal warmongering enabler of a serial rapist down our throats. Yes, Drumpf is bad, but he is not nearly as unhinged as the one that Haim Sabain’s party decided to rig their elections in order to coronate.

    • May 21, 2018 at 3:25 am

      And Nancy Pelosi has a net worth over $100,000,000…that’s right!
      But she won’t support single payer.
      Yep…..that’s the way forward alright!

      • RickD
        May 21, 2018 at 8:20 am

        Let me help you out:

        Roll Call’s Wealth of Congress Index reported that Pelosi’s net worth was $29.35 million and having ranked 15th out of 50 wealthiest members of Congress for 2014.

        List of current members of the United States Congress by wealth
        Rank Name Net Worth ($ million)
        1 Rep. Greg Gianforte 315
        2 Rep. Darrell Issa 254.65
        3 Rep. Michael McCaul 107.61
        4 Rep. John Delaney 91.68

    • irina
      May 22, 2018 at 2:43 pm

      I recently got a call from someone asking me to donate to Diane Feinstein’s re-election campaign.
      (Only reason I’m on D. lists is because I changed my registration from Green to caucus for Bernie).

      When you mention the dinosaurs like Pelosi, Schumer and Feinstein, my brain goes away. Where
      are the younger D’s ? Why is your ‘party’ so full of fossilized creatures who refuse to make way for
      new blood ? They remind me of the Komodo Dragons who eat their young if the young foolishly come
      down from the trees which the old dragons are too big to climb.

      By the way, it’s ‘undo’, not ‘un due’. Unless you mean the the ‘stuff Trump un did’ was ‘due’ to be ‘undone’.
      (And some of it no doubt was, for example regulatory excess of which I have been an experiencer).

      • Professor
        May 22, 2018 at 9:22 pm

        I voted for de Leon. When I sent Feinstein a letter asking her to reconsider her decision to seek re-election I received a reply that stated that that it was against the law for her to read letters regarding the election. Feinstein and Pelosi are definitely hurting the Democrats with youth and with Labor and with Mexicans in California and nationally as well. Unseemly, I would say that the Democrats are going to have a very rude wake up call this November. No doubt Feinstein and Pelosi will be interviewed on National News , FOX and MSNBC and they will shake their heads and blame everyone but themselves . I think it is very disturbing that the Republicans can perform this badly and still retain power. The Republicans are suppose to be like this the Dems can’t hold up their end anymore. Too old corrupt and uninspiring .

        • irina
          May 23, 2018 at 9:55 pm

          I was fairly surprised to get a ‘donation call’ since I live in Alaska and my
          land line number clearly starts with the (one & only) Alaskan area code.

          They must be really scrounging for dollars.

          My mother is 94 this year and doing very well, mentally acute and still
          swimming 3/4 mile/day. She is very well read and informed on many
          topics. But she would be the first to state that people in their mid-eighties
          and up should really not be engaging in the rigors of a re-election campaign.
          Or in governance. Perhaps as advisors or mentors, but not as legislators.

          The travesty of John McCain maintaining his seat from Sedona is another
          example, as was Teddy Kennedy. Seriously people, it’s time to step aside!

          Whose ‘law’ keeps candidates from ‘reading letters regarding the election’ ?

          Yes the Dems, led by their feckless “What Happened” (?) leader, are all
          about blaming everyone except their own archaic carcasses.

    • May 22, 2018 at 11:26 pm

      @ Strngr-Tgthr: “All Democrats are asking is that we get rid of the deranged leadership first, before Trump can do more damage. After that challenge, then we will have the time and power to do stuff the millennials want.”

      rotflmao. And why should voters vote for Democrats when they promise nothing better? Dems and Repubs are just the two faces of the unitary War Party. I never vote for war criminals or for those who support the commission of war crimes. (I’m a combat veteran.) That you advocate for voting for either of those “parties'” candidates indelibly brands you as a supporter of war crimes, crimes against peace, and crimes against humanity. You come before us with blood on your hands. As such, you are beyond doubt part of the problem, not its solution.

      • Skip Scott
        May 23, 2018 at 6:36 am

        Great reply!

  17. Joe Tedesky
    May 20, 2018 at 11:04 pm

    Matt Taibbi walks us through a day in the life of a potential Democratic candidate. Here you will learn about the Campaign Industrial Complex. A complex hinged more on money than political ideology, and social aspirations.

    “The need to continually raise more and more money to support party bureaucracies becomes so intense that the notion of choosing candidates based on ideas or principles becomes a far-away dream.”

    You want to be a political candidate, well then come to the Democrats with lots of money. America doesn’t need any campaign finance laws, not.

    https://www.rollingstone.com/politics/features/jeff-beals-new-york-midterms-w520302

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