Another Special Election Loss - Is It Time for Democrats To Move Left?

Poll after poll shows that America is a democratic socialist country.

So why do Democrats like failed Georgia congressional candidate Jon Ossoff continue to run on a Republican-lite message? Is it time for Democrats to move left?

After this week's disappointing loss in the special runoff election for 6th District of Georgia, Democrats are looking for answers.

Ideas vary on where to go next, but the general thinking - as New York Congressman Joe Crowley pointed out - is that Democrats need to find a coherent national message:

"Typically in this district the Republican wins by 20 plus points and last night's win for them was incredibly much more narrow than it has in the past as the same in the race in South Carolina. But what we need to do, continue to do, is focus on the issues that would help elect democrats nationally."

Ossoff basically ran as a Republican-lite. He ran against single-payer, he ran against "wasteful spending," and he ran against "Washington." Wouldn't he have been better off running as a real progressive?

A recent poll from the Progressive Change Institute found that Americans overwhelmingly support Bernie Sanders-style democratic socialist policies:

- 75 percent of Americans poll support fair trade that protects American workers, the environment, and jobs.
- 71 percent support giving all students access to a debt-free college education.
- 71 percent support a massive infrastructure spending program aimed at rebuilding our broken roads and bridges and putting people back to work.
- 71 percent support expanding social security.
- 59 percent support raising taxes on the wealthy so that multi-millionaires pay the same 74% rate in taxes as they did in 1980.
- 51 percent support single payer healthcare.

Wouldn't Democrats as a whole be better off if they ran as progressives? America is a socialist country!


Outback 5 years 38 weeks ago

Wouldn't Chimps fare better if they billed themselves as human? Come ON! The Democratic Party of FDR has long since given way to CORPORATE Democrats. The Blue Dog Democrat. The Neo Liberal Democratic Establishment which is suckling off the same corporate teat as their Republican cronies. The political establishment, "left" and right are all part of the same country club. The majority of our legislators are millionaires. We need to reject this Kubiki Dance in which one party poses, juxtaposed against the other as "standing for" some set of principles that mean absolutely nothing. It's just words, echoing endlessly in the media echo chamber. Until the PEOPLE open their eyes to this scam it will be more of the same until the ultimate "Collapse" (a great book, by the way by Jared Diamond that details what happens to societies when they persist in keeping their heads up their asses). SCREW the Democratic Party Establishment! There will be no changing these elite political dilatantes. We need to establish a new Progressive Party with a bold progressive agenda!

OldGent's picture
OldGent 5 years 38 weeks ago

Certainly past time to give up on status quo. Obama tapped the youth movement but since then they have lost their way to corruption. Youth are no dummies and see what has taken place. Clinton and Wasserman-Schultz corrupted the process and it cost them the election, not Russian hacks, but Democrat failure to listen to youth.

Arrgy's picture
Arrgy 5 years 38 weeks ago

Why are we NOT sueing over electronic voting machines that can't be certified? This drives me mad!

Riverplunge's picture
Riverplunge 5 years 38 weeks ago


Do we even HAVE any Democrats with enough guts that will run on the platform that you stated? Or are they afraid that they will lose?

deepspace's picture
deepspace 5 years 38 weeks ago

As Republicans chortle and Democrats sulk, keep in mind that Georgia’s Sixth Congressional District is red as hell. (The Democrats lost the seat to serial-philanderer Gingrich in 1978 and have not regained it since.) Also keep in mind that Georgia is a badly gerrymandered state, notorious for voter suppression, even going as far as locating polling places in police stations in predominately black neighborhoods, among many other underhanded tactics.

In fact, as a fanatically partisan Secretary of State, Karen Handel worked long and hard to make sure that everybody but white Republicans had a most difficult and unpleasant voting experience -- that is, if their names were not already purged from the registration lists. Don't forget that her buckets of out-of-state, secret PAC cash also pushed a last-minute hysteric ad that turned the Steve Scalise shooting into violent political rhetoric and that shamelessly lied about how Democrats "praised" the incident. (Never happened anywhere!) Ignorant, bigoted Republican voters deserve their low-life candidates -- a good match.

IOW, this election is further proof that America does not conduct fair and honest elections and therefore is not a democracy. If everyone was properly registered and required to vote -- and if all the votes were counted -- we wouldn't be top-heavy with undeserving billionaires, Jon Ossoff would be representing Georgia's 6th, Rob Quist for Montana, and Karen Handel would be scraping mushy dog turds off hot sidewalks along with Greg Gianforte, a job most suitable to their talents.

ErinRose's picture
ErinRose 5 years 38 weeks ago

I disagree that it would be better to run "as if" the Democrats were Progressives. The problem here is that this is what we have had in the past; people who pose as one thing when they are actially another and once in office they then fly their true colors. I think it would be better if we get rid of the posers and run actual Progressives who (1) won't take corporate or PAC money, (2) who are not looking to genuflect before the 2%, (3) who actually care about working class people and the environment, (4) who aren't sociopathic personalities with a pathologic need to lie about everything even when it's not necessary to lie, (5) get their funding from small donations from the public, (6) who will never become lobbyists or executives of corporations after their time in office, and (7) have the chutzpah to stand up to the bad guys and get the job done.

This country has been running on crooks and criminal behavior for FAR too long. We need a deep house cleaning and a fresh start getting back to the days of FDR with peace and prosperity for all. ***

Edward J. Dodson's picture
Edward J. Dodson 5 years 38 weeks ago

About 10 years ago I reached the conclusion that neither the Republicans nor the Democrats would ever take the steps necessary to rid our society of systemic problems. The two parties are all about the distribution of spoils associated with holding political power. I registered as a member of the Green Party, realizing that the struggle to build enough support for Green Party candidates would be decades in coming.

A few years ago, as I was preparing to teach a course examining the socio-political arrangements and institutions most likely to yield justice in any society, I introduced the idea that we should build support (via Initiative and Referendum options) to eliminate all elections to our legislative bodies. Instead, we should choose our legislators by lottery.

Any citizen willing to serve on a city or town council, in the state legislature or in the U.S. House of Representatives would have to take and pass what amounts to a civil service examination to demonstrate competency. The person's name would then go into the lottery. If chosen, one would serve a 4-year term (subject to recall by the simple measure of 51% of citizens in the jurisdiction electronically declaring dissatisfaction), then returning to one's private life.

No campaigns. No fund-raising. No elections. No pay-to-play politics. Legislation in the public interest. Actual democracy.

Outback 5 years 38 weeks ago

Brilliant, Professor Dodson. When the wheels come off, I hope someone in a position of authority remembers your suggestion. The odds of getting it past the establishment, as you must realize, are zero. In the shorter term, if the Sanders crowd would just develop the stones to give up on the Democratic Party we might possibly zero in on your suggestion through a process of successive approximation.'s picture
SteveofOccupyPh... 5 years 38 weeks ago

Is America a socialistic country? Are you being sarcastic? Blowing up the world, subjecting your people to what goes with the evils of consumerism, racism and militarism along with creating the realm of loving things and using people as opposed to loving people and using things are hardly socialistic.

Scotty11 5 years 38 weeks ago

Gotta slap my hand. I did the knee jerk $5 donation (many times) to the Ossoff campaign. Wouldn't have done it if I had read up on his platform.

So why work with the Democratic Party...Why not start a Sanders/Warren/Merkely style Progressive Party?

Sure, it would keep the Rpubs in power for a couple more terms till the numbers built up...not winning anything currently what's the difference...except you'd eventually leave the Corporate Dems hangin in the wind. My guess it there would be a higher success of winning the low hanging/more local fruit...which is how you build a base. You'd also get rid of that awful 'D' word...(corporate) Democrate.

ScottFromOz 5 years 38 weeks ago

"I don't care who does the electing, so long as I get to do the nominating" William M Tweed.

IOW, The Democrats and the Republicans are ALL nominated by the money people. That's why we only get to choose from TweedleDumb, and TweedleCrooked. Why would anyone expect that these politicians will vote for, or put up anything other than what benefits their benefactors?

In my lifetime, I have seen the steady debasement of politics. Since the advent of the obscenely mis-named "Citizens United" SCOTUS decision (should have been "Corporates united"), the quality of Democracy in the US is in freefall along with the tsunamis of dark cash that that decision has unleashed on our elections. The part that really pisses me off though, is that the Conservative judges in the SCOTUS at the time, were warned that this would happen, and blind Freddy could se that it would. IMO, the cons judges knew that this would happen and they believe(d) that politics should only be for the wealthy.

So how do we get the money out of our elections?

2950-10K's picture
2950-10K 5 years 38 weeks ago

I'll bet anything the 49% who did not express support for single-payer are the same citizens who thought Obamacare and the ACA were two different health insurance programs. However most of the polls I've found regarding single-payer support are much higher than 51%. The Hill poll seems way off??? I assume that's the one Thom has used.

Make government the servant our founders intended, not our ruler. Once the 49% understand this is what government's roll is, they'll realize medicare for all is the answer. Resist Fascism Now!

BTW: I'm getting reports that the vote was flipped in favor of Handel by 11%, not that anyone cares anymore...this is just accepted now. The Dems are too busy on defense as always.

twelter001's picture
twelter001 5 years 38 weeks ago

it seems that the democrats need to get back to the basics so that they can move the fuck along. i believe that the direction of the democratic admitinstration has to be the creation of relationships with everyone in country through strong education of their main goals. some of the more conservative folks are completely shut down; just waiting for them to die has to be enough. the younger generation knows value of education and can be taught about the directions and solutions that the democrats will have (if they get their shit together and agree on a few). these 45 supporters are more open to measured clear communication, possible facts too, delivered in a language that they can understand. it won't be hard to do,

unfortunately, this direction necessitates the democrats to get off of their "high horses", pulling their heads out of their asses, and relating to their roots. this may be hard for the entrenched, entitled. free thinking (sic), crats. welcome to the new world!

DHBranski's picture
DHBranski 5 years 38 weeks ago

Many have pointed out the problem all along. It's not complicated. The Dem voting base had long consisted of the poor and middle class, for the common good. The Clinton wing split this base wide apart 20-some years ago. As the overall life expectancy of the US poor fell below that of every developed nation, liberals maintained a rousing pep rally for the middle class. Many knew that the years of the Obama administration marked our last chance to bring the "masses" together, for the common good. We're more divided, pitted against each other by class and race, than we were eight years ago. Democrats divided and conquered their own voting base, and are probably over for the foreseeable future.

DHBranski's picture
DHBranski 5 years 38 weeks ago

People have been saying this about the younger generation for decades. Your post gives no clue about what direction you think the country should take, what the leading priorities should be.

DHBranski's picture
DHBranski 5 years 38 weeks ago

On health care, what would be the logic of providing anything more than emergency room services to the poor, just to dump them back on the streets? Lack of adequate food and shelter take a very heavy toll on human health. In fact, since the Clinton admin. ended actual welfare aid, the overall life expectancy of the US poor already fell below that of every developed nation. We're stuck with reality: Not everyone can work (health, etc.) and there aren't jobs for all.

Outback 5 years 38 weeks ago

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It comes down to this: identity affiliation. Some of us have spent a lifetime relating to the propaganda distributed by our respective parties. It's simpler that way. A binary weighting of values that ring our personal bell. To no small extent we are influenced by the rhetoric pervading family, community or class. How deeply do we examine these “truths”? About half of the American electorate are self described “independents”. Free thinkers, or so we would have others believe. But how free are we from the constant drum beat of the propaganda that washes across the masses? Do we ever really analyze divisive issues in depth, or do we operate on a visceral level? Until we reach a certain level of awareness, through education (self or formal), we can never aspire to be a free and truly democratic society. And it seems that the powers that be are hell bent on preventing exactly that. We need to lose the terms “Democrat” and “Republican” and establish a new direction for the betterment of all, not those afflicted with the “greed gene”.

Uncle Draggi's picture
Uncle Draggi 5 years 38 weeks ago

1) Yes, if the Dems want to stay in the 'game', they need to quit acting like .. 'mice'. However, since neither the Democrats nor the Republicans seem to give a rat's ass about "We the People" any longer, we need to stop pretending like we give a rip about them, too. Stop screwing around and present "progressive" ideas -as- -they- -are-! Either get serious or just admit that Americans have become wimps & cowards, and be done with it.

2) It has become =plainly= obvious that Republicans will do =any=thing they can to disenfranchise voters they even suspect won't vote the way the Repubs want them to do. Illegal? Unethical? The Repubs =literally= don't care. After all, who the hell do the voters think they are, anyway? Did the Dem lose in Georgia? Maybe, and =maybe= =not=! Frankly, until and unless the Dems start screaming bloody murder to have =every= election recounted =and= investigated for possible illegal and unethical activity -- during/after each and every single one -- they :deserve: to be treated like 'doormats'! You know damn good and well the Republicans wouldn't hesitate a nano-second to scream if the shoe were on the other foot! So, either grow/find "a pair", or wimp on home and shut up, period, full stop. I'm sick and tired of the cowardice of the Dems!

Democrazy 5 years 38 weeks ago

The Democrats have let the oppostion ruin their name. Just saying "Democrat", yet voting "Democrat " is revolting to many Americans. Democrats need a new name and a new image. I suggest the party be call "The People's Party". And that the members and representatives of The People's Party act like their name!

changeX's picture
changeX 5 years 38 weeks ago

Since the last actor President, our Dear Country has had its political steering wheel wrenched 115% to the right and once in a while someone, instead of going along with it complains and ends up with a right turn compromise. YES it is TIME for the DEMS TO TURN LEFT.

Kilosqrd's picture
Kilosqrd 5 years 38 weeks ago

Uncle Draggi,

"Every election recounted and investigated for possible illegal and unethical activity..."

I suggest you begin with the only known illegal/unethical election actiivty from last year. That would be the DNC and DWS and its unethical behavior in shafting Bernie Sanders.


jibaro01's picture
jibaro01 5 years 38 weeks ago

I will tell you what I see but you will not like it.

I'm from Puerto Rico and I went into politics for a while. What I saw were people who got into the movement intent on changing it's purpose, to drive us into extremism and some of those people worked openly for the federal government.

I saw people come into the movement because they failed to gain a position with the mayor parties and saw in us an oportunity to get in on the ground floor so that they could be the ones making the big bucks. Corruption is widespread in the island.

What I saw was a game between the three mayor parties that was very similar to the way wrestling functions. There is the "good guy" and the "bad guy" and while they fight before the public eye, in private, they are friends and partners in corruption.

The same thing is happening in the US. In the last elections, it did not work. The "good gal" had so many problems that she did not win people in the opposition over. She was so despicable that people saw hope in the guy who was supposed to be the "bad guy". So Trump won.

It might be that Ossoff lost because he was supposed to lose. He is a Republican playing at being a Democrat. He certainly did not try to win.

If the people that control the US have enought monye to invest getting their candidates into office, if they had enought money to get the Supreme Court to dictate in favor of Citizens United, you think they would allow a candidate that they own lose? They wont. They already lost enought when a guy they can't control got elected president.

It's all a show created to make us think that we have a functional democracy when we don't. The evidence is right in front of our eyes and we refuse to see it. Isn't it true that when the Democrats control everything, like it happened when Obama won the first time, nothing happens to change the course of the USA? Do they do anything worth mentioning or do they continue what the Republicans started and widen it's scope a little.

There is no such thing as a Democratic party. Al gore said it. The Democratic Party is the left wing of the Republican party. They are members of the same wrestling team and their purpose is to entertain the masses.

rkaferly's picture
rkaferly 5 years 38 weeks ago

Not only was there a tremendous amount of kicking voters off the voter registration, what if, Ossoff actually won but due to massive vote fraud it appeared he lost. It won't matter how well the democrats present themselves unless this country exposes and corrects the amount of vote fraud going on.

Marinerjunky's picture
Marinerjunky 5 years 38 weeks ago

When Democrats help the Tories out with their campaign against Labor, I have questions about this Democratic Party.

flyguy8650's picture
flyguy8650 5 years 38 weeks ago

My oh my how we all can name the issue - We are governed by the "Oppo-Sames", it is clear that we have corruption on both sides of the asile, equally by the way. Until the "Progressives" stop with "idenity politics" and the GOP stops with it's lack of understanding the entire electorate and these two factions can stop hating each other and get the MONEY out of Politics. Noting will change. Short of a full revolution - (think Venezulea!), our only hope is to start at the ground level and regain the importance of teaching Civics. I really like what Professor Dodson proposed as well. It is a cultural and full society shift. Not to Democratic Socialism but to the American Exceptional Society we are but have lost our way by not focusing on education of our youth. We have brought up our youth to believe that the Federal Government is there to give out "free-stuff" for votes. That is why we/lefties, keep electing the same Pelosi/Trump types to office. The voters want all this "free-stuff" but do not want to pay for it.

There is a very simple solution - IF you take free stuff then expect and be "forced" to work for it by volunteering. We can no longer afford the nanny state culture. There are thousands of opportunities to not only take but to give. Put the takers to work wherever there is work to be done. Clean streets, work in a child care facility so our single parents can volunteer, work in a clinic and yes, start to move to Medicare for All by taxing consumption and yes, get the 1% to pay more. Not pay it all, just add a sur-tax to stock options, bonuses, etc. It will take a number of years to move to this but we must pull together and stop fighting each other. Take the $ out of our politics, reduce the number of days allowed by candidates to run and stop private funding of campagins. Like in UK.

Simple to talk about, extremely challenging to implement. I will be dead by the time it happens but at least my grand kids will not have to deal with the "Opposames" and may be able to avoid becoming a third world country.

In the words of Graham Nash - "Teach your children Well" - they are the only hope for the USA


flyguy8650's picture
flyguy8650 5 years 38 weeks ago

Added Comments to consider:

75 percent of Americans poll support fair trade that protects American workers, the environment, and jobs. - But are not willing to pay for it
- 71 percent support giving all students access to a debt-free college education. - Who pays for this?
- 71 percent support a massive infrastructure spending program aimed at rebuilding our broken roads and bridges and putting people back to work. - Where will the $$ come from? China, India, Iran????
- 71 percent support expanding social security. - Simple answer - Remove the CAP on SSA
- 59 percent support raising taxes on the wealthy so that multi-millionaires pay the same 74% rate in taxes as they did in 1980. - Sounds good but is not going to solve the problem. If you TAKE ALL their $$ it is just a sliver of dent in the budget
- 51 percent support single payer healthcare. - Medicare for all - HAVE TO increase medicare tax in a sliding scale based on real income. Medicaide needs to be incorporated into Medicare for All. Means testing as well. ​Make all private insurance companies non-profits.

Nice ideas, not going to happen unless we are willing to fight $$ in politics. Remove the profit motive and corruption, (Clinton, Bush, Trump types). Break up banking to local and global entities. Separate investing banks - like it was in the late 40's

Yikes - sounds like a revolution is necessary after all....Non-violent hopefully and an understanding this will take several generations to accomplish. Good target however.

Good luck to you all who are under 45. It is up to you, our generation, (boomers), screwed you all over very well. My personal apologies.

Dianereynolds's picture
Dianereynolds 5 years 38 weeks ago

C'mon flyguy Free shit is good. Somebody should pay for it. Anybody but me of course.

I sat in my bunker all day and communicated with people that know and the debate is over. In Georgia, the Russians did it and that's a fact. I heard Handel was up by 11pts. and after Putin adjusted the final count she only won by five. Where are the missing 6 points?

Inquiring minds need to know.

#resist until I turn Blue.

Rippercat's picture
Rippercat 5 years 38 weeks ago

Agreed - we have a social democracy here but it is being destroyed. I'd like the economy to be guided by professor Richard Wolff. The Democratic Party is too far gone to save. We need a replacement as others have suggested.

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