COMMENTARY: New party attempts to uproot corrupt politics
The infamous presidential election of 2016 is finally over but opposition, pushback and acts of civil disobedience toward President Donald J. Trump’s policies from progressives and liberals will continue to be relentless. Many of the looming implications and feelings of uncertainty have worsened in communities across America. Millions of average working-class Americans, immigrants, women, environmentalists, social justice activists and members of marginalized groups are ready and willing to stand up in opposition to Trump all while members of the corporate Democratic Party establishment have been telling everyone that it was Russian interference, fake news and lack of campaigning in certain states that caused Trump's securement of the presidency. Yes, these factors did play minor roles in assuring Trump’s victory, but they are primarily just scapegoats to avoid talking about why Democrats really were defeated in House, Senate and gubernatorial elections across the country. Corporate Democrats refuse to fight for real progressive economic change and continue to listen to their campaign donors instead of the people. Justice Democrats seek to replace them.
Members of the Democratic establishment and leadership have let the American people down by failing to properly run effective campaigns with strong progressive candidates, continuing to accept more corporate money and overwhelmingly supporting weaker candidates for the presidency. The Democratic Party disappointed millions of people in 2016 with their loss and yet continue to take no notice of their true problems. They have no desire to make any real change to the party to fix their downward spiral. Top corporate Democratic leaders lined up in droves to support former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton despite numerous polls that showed Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), a real progressive, was the stronger and more favorable candidate to take on Trump in the general election. Following their abysmal nationwide loss in 2016, Democratic leaders were left scrambling to find new leadership for the party, but they are looking within their establishment for someone who will maintain the status quo in Washington, D.C., even though this is the same strategy and leadership that caused the Democrats to lose in 2016 to the most unpopular presidential candidate in U.S. history. Yet numerous leaders of the Democratic Party have repeatedly stated that their party is doing well, values are united and it is not looking for a change despite America’s desire for it. Senate Democrats have lost 10 percent of their seats, 19 percent in the House and 35 percent for governors, but corporate party leadership still does not believe the party is in need of change. Their failed leadership refuses to bring real progressive economic change even though they are supposed “progressives.” Their strategies have failed millions of Americans.
Yesterday, the owner of "The Young Turks" and progressive leader Cenk Uygur along with Kyle Kulinski and former Bernie Sanders staffers announced that they are co-founding the Justice Democrats, according to Real Clear Politics. This new party plans to run strong progressive candidates as Democrats for political office to replace the corporate Democratic establishment that ultimately led to Trump’s election and their embarrassing nationwide loss. The corporate Democratic leadership has failed by using the strategy of begging for large donations from several wealthy individuals, corporations and Super Political Action Committees (PACs). It has become more corrupted by their wealthy political donors, and regular Americans are well aware. This year alone, corporate Democrats raised over $1 billion for all national seats in Congress, outspent Republicans in the presidential race and still lost. So wake up — the American people are sick of the corporate money and sick of this system of corruption where the constituents come second to wealthy campaign contributors.
Cenk Uygur, the creator of the Young Turks, claimed that “... from now on there will be a new wing of the Democratic party and it will be the Justice Democrats. We will seek social justice, economic justice, racial justice and plain old justice, justice.” The Justice Democrats have outlined their policies. First, no candidate running on their platform is allowed to receive money from corporations and super PACs. All fundraising will be done through small contributions from regular Americans. Just this policy position alone makes their candidates extremely popular among average voters, considering nearly 75 percent of Americans believe money has a corrupting influence on politicians, according to polling by the Pew Research Center and Gallup in 2015. Second, pass a constitutional amendment that puts an end to Washington corruption and implements a system of public financing for elections. Third, re-regulate Wall Street. Last, end corporate and billionaire tax dodging and fix the tax system to better benefit the poor and middle-class.
This new wing of the Democratic party has taken up the noble cause of uprooting the corrupt political system caused by decade’s worth of failed neoliberal policies and Supreme Court decisions that have tainted democracy in America. Justice Democrats support many other progressive policies such as having healthcare and education as rights, supporting freedom of speech and expression, improving infrastructure, attacking climate change and leading the clean energy revolution. The corporate Democrats have disappointed and failed millions of Americans, but will continue taking corporate money and staying complacent. It is time for the failed Democratic establishment to make way for real uncorrupt progressive leaders who care about and will fight for all Americans.
Nicholas Quinn is a School of Arts and Sciences junior.
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