"The floggings will continue until morale improves," has always been the Democratic Party leadership's response whenever a challenge from the Left is met by their defeat by the Right. Today, using Bernie as a prop, new Senate minority leader Schumer admits the Party needs to change its message (but not its actions, if electing Shumer over Bernie is any indication).
Currently, the media is full of Monday morning quarterbacking, running down the list of excuses or one might argue legitimate reasons for Hillary's loss—Comey's midnight surprise, misogyny and racism of white male voters, the electoral college system, even Bernie and third parties (again)—but in all of this there is slight to no mention of the class issue, how the Democratic Party Leadership throughout my entire voting life (with the possible exception of George McGovern), has turned its back on the working stiff. Their attitude has always been, "where else you gonna go." When voters get sick of this nonsense and do look in a different direction they are roundly castigated and blamed for the obvious and predictable results of every bad decision the Democratic Party Establishment has made in their choice of candidates, campaigns and policy.
The problem the Democratic Party has, and by extension the country, is that time doesn't stand still. We are on a one-way trip into the future of an ever-more-populous world, where a system based on maintaining inequality lacking structural safeguards finds its excesses naturally magnified. The ability to deliver the goods of empire to the majority tasked with supporting it, in the face of the avarice of those at the top becomes ever more difficult when a revolving door means there are no economic checks on decision-makers from selling out their fellow countrymen, and many incentives to do so. The big neo-liberal lie has always been that expanding the economic system into those areas as yet not succumbed to its direct influence will somehow benefit both those already within the system and the new additions, justifying force if necessary to accomplish the task. The actual track record continually proves the opposite is true, for both.
Stiffing the American worker, and the workers of all nations, has thus been a bi-partisan project, along with the creation of the Presidential Debate Commission—not non-partisan, as we were continually lied to again in this election season—bi-partisan.
Jimmy Carter sold out American electronics manufacturing when he allowed Japan to dump their products in the US market below cost, in exchange for continued maintenance of US military bases on their soil; and he invested in more nuclear missiles. Reagan had the ability to make the country feel good while he set to shafting the American worker by sending manufacturing outside our borders; a boon for those who set up the plants and no one else. And so on through Clinton's end to big government, the Bush the second ("I'm against nation building" during the campaign against Gore) fiasco, and eight years of feel-good-do-little Obama. When he had control of both houses and could have accomplished any of the semi-progressive rhetoric he ran on, he felt it was a good time to rest up for the big fight of getting through a health-care reform that took the only common sense solution (universal) off the table, in favor of something the insurance companies might have written themselves.
Stiffing the American worker, and the workers of all nations, has thus been a bi-partisan project, along with the creation of the Presidential Debate Commission—not non-partisan, as we were continually lied to again in this election season—bi-partisan. While actual leadership would require a chieftain using the bully pulpit of his office to rally the populace in a responsible direction, no commander in chief in memory has done so, but rather found themselves running interference for the desires of the powerful with the public.
The fact that the majority of the people in the majority of the states, while not the actual majority in our somewhat f-d up system, were willing to elect someone who said 'a plague on both your houses, we should let the cold war be over already and take care of our workers,' is going completely ignored by those with their hands on the microphones, busily telling us how things are.
They tell us it's about race and gender, flyover states versus the coasts, because we're all so different, and don't share the same challenges, the same economic hardships.
Of course Trump has not suddenly turned over a new leaf. He is the same lying con man he has always been. He is busily selecting the right-wing troglodytes who will do their version of business-as-usual so he won't be bothered with anything but looking presidential and making America great, again.
And yes, it is about race and gender—but the thing to remember about a snake-oil salesman is that the message can be very adaptable. You got gout? It cures gout. Cancer? It cures cancer. You think it's Mexicans stealing jobs? Muslims? Uppity women? Blacks? Liberals? No worries.
Whatever your issue, what's in the bottle is the same. Welcome to fascism, American style. Be sure to bring your flag.