The Party of the People is no more: the fall of the Democratic Party
The 2016 U.S. election wasn’t only one of the most controversial of our time, it was also a tell-tale sign of what the Democratic Party has become. They used to be the so-called “Party of the People,” the party that used to fight for the average American. Democrats were allies of the working class, and in some extent, they are the ones to thank for the middle class.
However, over the last few decades, the story has changed. Democrats became the enablers of the top one percent through their lobbying campaigns. And as Thomas Frank points out in his book Listen Liberal: Or, What Ever Happened to the Party of The People?, the democrats’ constituency shifted from working Americans to white-collar professionals when the elite of the party decided to “marginalize labor unions” in the seventies.
That decision could make up as one of the reasons our most recent election went so badly for Hillary Clinton. A really good portion of the electorate, most of them working Americans, did not only “dislike” Clinton, they hated her. And while most of us would argue that they should vote for the “lesser of two evils” we should probably put ourselves in their shoes. Sadly, for these people, Clinton represented the “worst of two evils.” For them, it wasn’t about racism, bigotry, misogyny or any other Trump-like ideology, if such thing exists anyway.
It was about their lives, their economic possibilities and their way to avoid the nightmares of a Democratic president claiming to be on their side while silently acting against their interest. Clinton, represented to many, the corruption of the Democratic Party. Every scandal brought to light by Russia’s hacking was only the tip of the iceberg and a perfect shield for those who hated her.
But Clinton’s defeat this past November isn’t more than a symptom of a much deeper problem. The Democratic Party is dead. Besides their obvious shift in constituency and their ever-increasing lobbying in Washington, Democrats also face backlash from their own followers. While their constituency agrees with their take on almost every social issue there is, many feel that the party’s political correctness is beyond their limit.
Democrats have somehow become the “moral” police. They go crazy for stupid tweets, or ridiculous comments, and they aren’t grasping the idea of comedy and satire. They dedicate their time and effort into calling out anything they deem “offensive” and to create the biggest problem out of it. This has prevented them from seeing the big picture and acting on it.
While Republicans have taken over the White House, both houses of congress and almost two thirds of governorships, Democrats are too busy calling out people for their choice of halloween costume. This is getting on the nerves of many of their followers, who feel frustrated at their leaders’ lack of man parts, for putting it mildly. If there’s any Democratic Party left, they have now become the Party of Protecting Feelings, as Bill Maher has well put it several times in the past.
Trump’s presidency will be a hard test on the party’s elite to determine their future. The survival of the party will rely on their courage to stand up against tyranny and whether or not they will stop playing police and step up to their role as leaders of the liberal community.