"The people don't want a phony Democrat." —Harry Truman, 1952
In 2008, after the Bush debacle, America had wanted a new FDR. When they voted for Obama, they thought they had one. But because most of his progressive ambitions were thwarted by fierce Republican obstructionism in Congress (especially since the rise of the Tea Party in 2010), Obama was rendered into being more of a speech-giver rather than a real activist President.
Many Democrats in Congress, encountering relentless GOP criticism and growing frustration from their constituents, had wanted to appear more "center" and "moderate" after consistent attacks by the right wing and Fox News, accusing Obama of being a Socialist.
Since the 2008 economic collapse, massive job losses and high unemployment, Americans have become much more aware of the corporate takeover of our Democracy, the top one percent and income inequality—thanks in part to the Occupy Wall Street movement.
But too many Democrats in Congress have also hampered Obama's agenda: "centrist" Democrats, corporate Democrats, conservative blue dog Democrats, moderate Democrats, "Third Way" Democrats, neoliberal Democrats, or "New Democrats" have primarily catered to their corporate sponsors (money in politics).
But a recent poll shows many of these Democrats in Congress have been pushing policies counter to their own constituents' wishes. Most Democratic voters aren't "center", they are "left". Democratic voters are becoming more liberal (progressive), and it isn't hurting people like Senator Elizabeth Warren at all. This is objectively true, and there are two charts from Gallop to prove it.
First, as shown in the chart below, long-term polling trends from Gallup clearly show that an increasing percentage of Americans who self-identify as Democrats also self-identify as liberals.
In 2002 there were almost as many conservative Democrats as liberal Democrats, and moderate Democrats far outnumbered either liberals or conservatives. Now, there are actually more liberal Democrats than moderate Democrats, and conservative Democrats have become a small minority.
What's more, as Democrats have become more liberal, they have not lost any ground to Republicans, as this next chart from Gallup shows:
Over the past decade as Democrats have become more liberal, if anything they have improved their position relative to Republicans. They certainly have not lost ground. In other words, the majority of the American people do not want:
- "centrist" Democrats,
- corporate Democrats,
- conservative blue dog Democrats,
- moderate Democrats,
- "Third Way" Democrats,
- neoliberal Democrats,
- or "New Democrats" (like Hillary Clinton)
The people want REAL Democrats—progressive and liberal Democrats— like FDR or Harry Truman. So why aren't more Democrats in Congress standing their ground, or making more progressive votes? Why are some considering Obama's disastrous fast-track of the horrible TPP trade agreement? Why is Obama even considering this (did he also abandon his progressive values and cave in to corporate interests?)
As President Harry S. Truman had said on May 17,1952:
"I've seen it happen time after time. When the Democratic candidate allows himself to be put on the defensive and starts apologizing for the New Deal and the fair Deal, and says he really doesn't believe in them, he is sure to lose. The people don't want a phony Democrat. If it's a choice between a genuine Republican, and a Republican in Democratic clothing, the people will choose the genuine article, every time; that is, they will take a Republican before they will a phony Democrat, and I don't want any phony Democratic candidates in this campaign.
But when a Democratic candidate goes out and explains what the New Deal and fair Deal really are--when he stands up like a man and puts the issues before the people--then Democrats can win, even in places where they have never won before. It has been proven time and again.
We are getting a lot of suggestions to the effect that we ought to water down our platform and abandon parts of our program. These, my friends, are Trojan horse suggestions. I have been in politics for over 30 years, and I know what I am talking about, and I believe I know something about the business. One thing I am sure of: never, never throw away a winning program. This is so elementary that I suspect the people handing out this advice are not really well-wishers of the Democratic Party."
Many people may have suspected that Obama's election was bought and paid for, but that he had only made promises to the "powers that be" (the bankers, etc.) to get himself elected to office—and then once there, he would enact his own agenda. But maybe (by using the example of the TPP trade agreement), just like many other politicians before him, Obama became corrupted by the power. Or maybe he had been another willing puppet all along, and has only been a figurehead for the puppet-masters all this time—just like other politicians.
It seems that, for a very long time, the American people's only choices have always seemed to be "the better of two evils". The Republicans and Democrats today appear more like part of an exclusive club, playing the game together (taking turns being the bad guys) with the American people being their audience. They are the magicians, using their slight of hand, playing their tricks on us...distracting us with one hand while stabbing us in the back with the other.
The few that don't play the game (according to the politicians' established rules) are left hung out to dry whenever they make a mistake or shoot themselves in the foot with idiotic antics (like Anthony Wiener). Bill Clinton (a New Democrat) could sign the NAFTA trade agreement, lower capital gains taxes for the rich, lie about "pizza" and deregulate the banks—and can still be hailed as a hero by many Democrats and operate as a king-maker. Now everybody in the Democratic "machine" wants more of the same with Hillary. And it looks as though Obama will help her.
When someone like Elizabeth Warren or Bernie Sanders comes along and speaks out, they are marginalized by the "mainstream" media and made to sound radical—claiming they are not "moderate" or "centrist" enough for the American people, when in fact (according to Gallop), Americans are moving "left", not "center" --- and the Left is becoming the new Center (like voters once were during the 1930s, 40s and 50s).
Our politicians tell us how corrupt other nations' governments are, pointing the finger of blame at them, when in fact, they are just as guilty. And nothing will ever change—at least, not in our lifetimes—at least not unless more people are given a better selection of people to vote for. Say, a REAL Democrat, like FDR — who overwhelmingly won 4 consecutive Presidential elections.