Taking Democracy Out of America
Amazingly, the presidential election of 2024 isn’t that far away, and already the Democratic Party is doing its best to remove democracy from the process. Once again, the DNC is uniting behind Joe Biden who, if reelected, would be 86 if he finished his second term of office. Already South Carolina has been awarded the first primary in place of New Hampshire, since Biden performed much better in SC than in NH in 2020. Already the DNC has announced it wants no primary debates even though Biden faces at least one challenger of substance, Marianne Williamson. Already Democrats are being told you shouldn’t want a younger, more dynamic, more progressive candidate, that more candidates and more choice is bad, that no possible mainstream candidate is better than Biden, and anyway Democrats can’t be distracted by choice when the Republican candidate is likely to be Donald Trump or Ron DeSantis.
At the same time, Kamala Harris remains Biden’s heir-apparent, even though Harris is both politically unpopular and ham-fisted. As Krystal Ball, who can’t be accused of being anti-women, explained, Harris lacks political talent, full stop. Like most VPs, she has accomplished little, but when she has taken center stage, she hasn’t inspired confidence. Nevertheless, she’s important to the image of the party and its alleged commitment to diversity. Old white guy Joe needs to be balanced by a younger woman of color irrespective of her lack of political acumen and her lackluster record in office.
Sadly, we’re at a place where to critique Joe Biden is to be accused of ageism; to critique Kamala Harris is to be accused of both racism and misogyny. To ask for more candidates, more competition, more democracy is to be accused of being an operative for Trump. So it’s likely Biden/Harris again for 2024, like it or lump it.
The last true liberal/progressive Democratic nominee who tried to bring real hope and change to America was George McGovern in 1972. Nixon trounced him, of course, and Democrats at the top abandoned “leftist” notions for a pro-business, pro-banking, pro-military, and pro-money agenda, as implemented by Bill Clinton and Barack Obama. Both were two-term presidents, both were good at posing as champions of regular folk while implementing agendas that were old-school Republican. Meanwhile, the real Republicans drifted ever further to the right.
America today is stuck with two rightist parties, a uniparty of sorts, where the agenda favors the richest few versus the poorest many, the powerful versus the powerless. Sure, the Democrats profess they are more “woke” and are willing to talk about systemic racism, sexism, LGBTQ issues, and so on, while the Republicans, incredibly, are both more populist and more willing to question massive spending on weapons and war. Yet both parties remain bought and paid for, serving the interests of the big-money owners and donors. In short, 2024 promises a rigged deal, not a new one, no matter which major party candidate wins.
And that’s a shame, because America needs a New Deal for the poor, the powerless, the workers, the regular folk, but they’re not even allowed to have a candidate, let alone a choice. At this moment, the most likely “choice” is between Biden/Harris and Trump/DeSantis, and if you think either ticket will support meaningful change…
Establishment America is bereft of new ideas and new possibilities; thus, the dynamism of our nation is dying, smothered by greed and cynicism. It’s “no change” Biden versus “very unstable grifter” Trump, or possibly “younger grifter” DeSantis. What a choice!
So, who would I vote for if the election were held today? Marianne Williamson. She’s not perfect (there is no perfect candidate), but she’s articulate, empathetic, and open-minded. Better yet, she’s not bought and paid for. If I were a Democrat (I’m not), I’d vote for her just because the establishment dismisses her as an unserious crystal/aura lady. Imagine: she dares talk about love and compassion and pursuing peace. We can’t have that in America!
I hope Williamson gains traction within the party, enough so that the DNC can’t suppress debates, because real debates would reveal what many have already noted: that Biden has slipped too much to be entrusted with the presidency for another four years. Yet, unless he collapses on stage, or even if he does, the DNC will continue to prop him up as vigorous and able to serve.
That ongoing sham reveals a harsh reality: who is president doesn’t really matter in America when the candidates and their staff are pre-selected by the real power centers like Wall Street and the National Security State.