Why Neither Party Can Survive the Downfall of the Working Class

Senator Marco Rubio dropped out of the Republican race on Tuesday after losing his home state of Florida to Republican frontrunner Donald Trump.

Jim Tankersley pointed out on Wednesday in the Washington Post, that of the three Republicans who are still running for nomination, none of them are “carrying the ‘reform’ banner that many conservatives once believed would win over the middle class"

Ted Cruz is running on a platform of supply-side voodoo Reaganomics that includes slashing income taxes for the rich, and putting a consumption tax in place on average people.

John Kasich is running on another traditional conservative platform that says that balanced budgets lead to shared prosperity, and the way to balance budgets is to slash public spending and to destroy public-sector unions.

And both of those candidates are trailing WAY behind Donald Trump, who Tankersley writes "is running a populist campaign that upends at least a half-century of conservative orthodoxy"

Trump fundamentally strays from the conservative ideal that says that when markets are "free", in other words, "free" of rule-setting by government, then people are free.

According to Tankersley: "He tells Americans the economy is a series of deals negotiated by their leaders in Washington, and those deals have been very bad for workers, and that he will renegotiate them, favorably."

And in reality, there's more than a little truth to the idea that the economy is rigged to make sure that money continues to flow upwards out of the pockets of the middle class and into the coffers of the economic elite in America.

But Trump's not the only candidate in the race who is exposing that truth.

In fact, he's only really started speaking out about our rigged economy since he started running for president, perhaps because he was personally benefiting from the rigged system for so long.

Senator Bernie Sanders on the other hand has been speaking out about how our rigged economic and political systems for his entire political career.

In a recent piece called "The goal of the Neo-Liberal Consensus is to Manage the Decline", Gaius Publius offers one reason why the Clinton campaign has been so critical of Bernie's big proposals like single-payer healthcare and free public college for all.

He wrote, it's "because having big ideas is resistance to the bipartisan consensus that runs the country, and they want to stave off that resistance."

And that helps explain why Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders are bringing so many first-time voters into the Republican and Democratic primaries, and it's why they're both winning big with independent voters.

Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump both represent real opportunities for Americans to resist the decades-old bipartisan neoliberal consensus.

Average Americans have watched for over 30 years as Republicans and Democrats came together to push a neoliberal agenda that has enriched corporate America, while the middle class has disappeared.

Avedon Carol pointed out recently that austerity imposed by outsiders created the conditions for fascism to grow in Germany after World War One.

But she goes to write that here in America (and in Britain), austerity is being imposed by our own leaders, "and most effectively by leaders of the Democratic Party (and the UK Labour Party), the supposed "left" party, the party that was understood to support working people."

The reality is, as I've written again and again, that Al From and Bill Clinton transformed the Democratic Party from a party that supported and fought for working people, into a party of "Republican-lite" ideology that has been more concerned with corporate well-being than with the well-being of working people.

And ever since then, with a few exceptions, American voters have only had a nominal choice between Republicans and Democrats.

In reality, the elite in both parties have been working for decades to bolster their corporate donors' bottom lines and executive salaries, at the expense of working Americans.

That's been the end effect of the bipartisan neoliberal consensus, and Gaius Publius points out that "They not only have to stave off your resistance. They have to manage your acceptance of their managed decline in the nation's wealth and good fortune."

In 2016 though, both parties are seeing profound resistance against that "managed decline"

Both parties now have anti-establishment candidates running on populist platforms of exposing the rigged economy and making it work for average Americans again.

Huge numbers of Americans, who for years have been too disgusted with our rigged political system to participate in our democracy, are turning out now to resist the bipartisan neoliberal consensus and to vote for candidates who aren't part of the establishment elite in either party.

Reihan Salan recently wrote in Slate that "The GOP can no longer survive as the party of tax cuts for the rich. It must reinvent itself as the champion of America's working- and middle-class families."

That's true, and that's exactly what Dwight Eisenhower's Republican Party used to be back in 1956 when the platform included expanding social security, union membership, and unemployment insurance, when it included expanding healthcare and improving housing, and when rooting out political corruption was a central tenant of the party.

And it's what the Democratic party claims to be at its most basic level, except that Al Fromm's bloodless coup in 1992 transformed the Democratic Party into "Republican-lite" at its highest levels.

Neither party can survive with a platform that puts corporate well-being and the well-being of the economic and political elite in this country ahead of the well-being of American working- and middle-class families.

Voters on both sides need to keep standing up and telling the party elites loudly and clearly that we don't want candidates who are corporate shills, and we don't want candidates who will simply continue to manage the decline of the middle class.

The American people want and deserve candidates from both parties who are champions of America's working- and middle-class families.


The Glenn Beck Review's picture
The Glenn Beck ... 7 years 11 weeks ago

If it ends up being Clinton v Trump (the lesser of two revolting plutocrats, and I'm not sure which is which), then the Dems will lose the general election. That's the Bernie or bust pledge. Democrats had better wake up fast.

If they won't follow Bernie's light, then let them flee Trumps fire.

wslifko 7 years 11 weeks ago

Should be interesting when the Republicans are forced into a brokered convention, choose Kasich (I'm assuming since he's Caucasian and doen't have the name Trump) and then get ripped apart by their constituents. Trump goes Independent splitting them into two factions.

If the DNC/Clinton continue cheating and lying they could very well continue to control their robotic followers forcing either an Independent run by Bernie or a massive write-in effort which could dangerously leave the country open to a possible Kascich or Trump presidency.

Idon't think Clinton would win under those conditions unless she cheats in the same manner that Bush did nearly 16 years ago. Which is also possible since she's every bit as dirty.

cccccttttt 7 years 11 weeks ago

The elite in both parties are the enemy of the middle class.

They have rigged the system against third and fourth parties.

"if Bernie fails, jump to Trump"


c-gull's picture
c-gull 7 years 11 weeks ago

"The whole history of the progress of human liberty shows that all concessions yet made to her august claims have been born of earnest struggle... If there is no struggle, there is no progress. Those who profess to favor freedom, and yet deprecate agitation, are men who want crops without plowing up the ground, they want rain without thunder and lightning. They want the ocean without the awful roar of its many waters" Frederick Douglas

We cannot afford to be hermit crabs and crawl into our shells. Our opinions will not survive if we do not have a chance to fight for them. Remember that " truth has no special time of its own- its hour is now-always". Al Schweitzer

2950-10K's picture
2950-10K 7 years 11 weeks ago

cccccttttt: Jump to Trump, is that supposed to be some kind of joke? Trump is a card carrying member of the economic elite, the Fascists who have purchased and control the political elite. The entire Teapublic Party and a significant part of the Democratic Party have been bought and are controlled by the Fascists. Trump and the other scoundrels like him are the problem....to put it mildly, he's not your friend,

The Teapublic Party is pretending to dislike Trump because he's exposing the evil side of what it is to be a right wing conservative. He's doing this to get elected, and then it will be concentration of wealth on steroids....and very likely a world war that will visit our soil in one form or another....probably in a radioactive form.

2950-10K's picture
2950-10K 7 years 11 weeks ago

No one can deny that Hillary has done a good job as a hard working and dedicated public servant. I'm sure she would make a fine president, however there's a huge problem, a problem being largely ignored at this point.

Her problem is the right-wing media, which is ninety plus percent of all political media, and in addition to this, a vast number of voters who are both uninformed and are easily misinformed. Hillary will get demonized to the point at which half of the country will wonder why she isn't in jail....all lies of course.

Look at the damage Fox News has already done to undermine our democracy. In the minds of the easily mislead, she's already an establishment scapegoat on par with Obama. Everything and anything that's wrong with this country will be pinned on her simply because of her participation in the Obama administration. Again, I'm talking about the easily mislead, the Trumpettes out there. She has a tremendous amount of political baggage that will be unfairly targeted.

Bernie on the other hand has had a clean and consistent record for decades, one that will be very difficult to distort and slander. As a presidential candidate, the working class will quickly identify with, and relate to him, not so much with with Trump or Hillary. It's not even close. Bernie will expose Trump for who he truly is, and destroy him. The media will have no option to black him out in a Trump vs Sanders race....that's the key here..he needs to get to the point where the media is forced to cover his message of truth regarding environmental, economic, and social justice. The it will be game over....he easily wins.

IM Jussayin 7 years 11 weeks ago
  • Oh great! TWO Glenn Becks! And they're BOTH morons. You must be a "millenial" because you seem to be too stupid to belong to my generation. First, Bernie is just not going to beat Trump. In real American politics, (that's REAL politics, not your storybook politics) there are two labels worse than "liberal," socialist and communist.
  • Since Sanders has already put the former on himself, all we need now is someone to affix the other. Oh, wait. Trump's already done that three times that I've heard. How many times a week do you suppose we're going to hear it if he does get nominated. Idealists on each side nominate candidates. but practical people in the middle elect them, and there are enough people old enough to remember the end of the cold war and equate it to the Soviet Union. Enough, I suspect, to vote for Trump rather than put a "communist" in the White House.
  • As for "fleeing Trump's fire," where are YOU going to run to?
RFord's picture
RFord 7 years 11 weeks ago

The Republican party of today is not a party I would be proud to belong to because it is very very flawed and it hardly represents me, a retired union plumber. The Democratic Party of today of which I favor is also flawed. At the start of an old TV series, I think it was "The Defenders", they said "Democracy is really a bad form of government but all of the others are so much worse". So we trudge on with what we got. I believe today's Republican voters feel betrayed by their party. Some believe President Obama is the root of all of their and the nation's problems but they are only the ones that watch too much of the FOX news channel. I'm a Bernie guy but his chances are not looking great. Bill Maher said "I think the American voters are stupid". He may have something there, at least for some of the voters. Many voters on the republican side are voting for a guy who tells lots and lots of outright lies, condones and promotes hatred, racism and violence, has a very thin skin, is very boastful, can not tell you exactly what his plans are for accomplishing any of his plans unless it's a stupid plan like building a huge wall or targeting ISIS civilian family members, and he has no resume as a statesman. If we had to have a Republican president, Kasich would be my choice of the lesser evils. On the Democratic side, Many voters are voting for a woman that has been very inconsistent on a wide variety of issues, also tells some lies or at least distortions of the truth. She says what she wants to do, or what her audience wants to hear but not really how she will accomplish anything. She is very corporate friendly too. Many people are voting for her because they always vote for Democrats and she has the most recognizable name or because they think it would be "neat" to have a woman president. As I said, my choice is Senator Bernie Sanders, a Jew that represents Christian values better than any of the Republican candidates. Bernie wants to help with poverty (the poor). He wants healthcare for all (the sick). He wants to regulate investment banking (the money changers). I understand Bernie's definition of "Democratic Socialist" and I like it. Bernie tells how his plans can be accomplished. Bernie has always been consistent about his political views on issues. He has a HUGE amount of integrity, something that the Republican front runner has very little of. If Hillary wins the nomination I will vote for her, although I live in Mississippi and Democratic votes haven't elected very many people in the North end of the state where I live in a very long time. Still. I want my number on the board. I want to at least have my say and I do every time we have an election. In 2008 over 40% of the vote in Mississippi and Alabama went to President Obama, so It's not as bad as you may think. The way I look at it is we're not 20% apart, we're 11% from a majority. Remember to get out and vote, even if you live in a very red state. Put your number on the board. let your voice be heard.

ErinRose's picture
ErinRose 7 years 11 weeks ago


I don't agree with you about HRC. There are fundamental differences between Bernie and her. The most apparent is: she is Establishment through and through, while Bernie is leading the revolt against anything the Establishment stands for.

I think she would make a terrible president; she's got tap-roots into Wall Street and she is ALL about the money (and not for you and I.) She sees herself as Queen and We, the People as her serfs, here to make her rich. Bernie is about taking America up and out of the weeds and stemming the ground zero fascist trajectory this country is currently on.

I don't know about you, but I don't want to wake up and find myself in 1984, 1840, Bolshevik Russia, Maoist China, or the neo-liberal's New World Order, thanks.

ErinRose's picture
ErinRose 7 years 11 weeks ago

IM Jussayin:

"Communist"... puh-leeze!

The way y'all throw that word around (like you know what it means).

EXACTLY what do you mean by "communist"? Are you talking about Marxism? Have you read the full version (not the pamphlet) of his manifesto? Give us a list of what constitutes communism in your mind. (I'd REALLY like to hear this one.)

jeffnvegas's picture
jeffnvegas 7 years 11 weeks ago

It's just too bad that most of America is too dumb, too busy, or too pragmatic to change anything. Look how Black Americans have repeatedly voted against their own best interests and even in Illinois where the chicago mayor (hillary's co-hort) is hated, they voted for her. People here are not going to wake up until it's too late.

2950-10K's picture
2950-10K 7 years 11 weeks ago

Jussayin: Do you really think the billionaires need more of your moral support and money? When is enough, enough? Look up the stats on concentration of wealth since your beloved Fascists started their conservative trickle down swindle. Give me a break....who's ignoring reality here?

2950-10K's picture
2950-10K 7 years 11 weeks ago
2950-10K's picture
2950-10K 7 years 11 weeks ago

Erin Rose: I want Bernie for President just as bad as you do..... The true danger in the upcoming election is that many believe, including those in progressive media that Trump is Republican/anti-establishment...that's bull! He's saying whatever it takes to get elected. He'll be a hardcore Paul Ryan type if elected....I can't believe how many are falling for his lies. The fact that he's pretending to be anti-establishment is the only way a TeaPublic candidate will ever get elected now, and his party knows that.

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