Which is my Democratic Party?

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• Topics: Elections,

Marian Beddill has contributed this guest article. Marian is a retired engineer who has lived and worked all over the world, and is now a community activist working mostly for social justice, the environment and integrity in our elections systems. See link at bottom of this article to her website.
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In 2004, I said: “If there ever was a time, now *is* the time for better leadership of the Democratic Party - in the USA and in Washington State.”

BUT then I thought about——!
How many Democratic Party’s are there - and which will hold or grab the reins in 2008?

There is the Democratic Party of the neocons - who “know” that corporations are and should be in charge—and profit is the sole measure of success in business and their politics. There are corporate people in the national and state parties, but I am not Corporate, and the Democratic Party of the neocons is not my party.

There is the Democratic Party of Political Incumbents, who “know” that compromise and deals is the way the world works, and that getting something through and getting re-elected are the measures of success in politics and in its parallel business world. But I was never an incumbent, and the Democratic Party of Incumbents is not my party.

There is the Democratic Party of Political Consultants, Pollsters, Strategists and Players from the Sidelines, who “know” that making deals and marketing are the way politics works, and that getting something through and getting “your people” re-elected are the measures of success in politics and their own business world, where failure of your candidate is taken as your own failure - thus not good for business. Some of these sidelines players are not after strictly financial gains, but after power for whatever their interest might be. But I am not a Political Consultant, Pollster or Strategist, and the Democratic Party of Political Consultants is not my party.

There is the Democratic Party of the Media, who “know” that controversy sells, and bigger campaigns mean more and bigger ads, and know that’s good for the business of the Media. The FEC and the PDC track where the money comes from and which campaigns it goes to, but who tracks where it goes - who actually *profits* from big political campaigns? TV, radio, newspapers, graphic artists, marketing experts, print-shops and data analysts are those who pocket the outlays made by the campaigns. But I am not a Media Mogul, and the Democratic Party of the Media is not my party.

There is the Democratic Party of Labor, who “know” that labor leaders should be, and are in charge and better wages and benefits for workers are the sole measure of success in life and politics. I strongly support fairness and justice in employment and treatment of workers, but I was never a labor leader, and the Democratic Party of Labor is not my party.

There is the Democratic Party of the Party Faithful, who “know” that the Party Leaders are right, so they must follow the guidance and instructions of those leaders. They don’t have to think, because the leaders are informed and have figured out what should be done and who should be the candidates. But I am not a blind follower, and the Democratic Party of the Party Faithful is not my party.

There is the Democratic Party of the Philosophical, who “know” that there are ideas and concepts which define the community and the way things ought to work, even though they may not see them working that way very often. They think a lot, and discuss a lot, but have very little success in getting others to join with them to actually do the things they dream of. Maybe I am at least sometimes a Philosophical Democrat, but that doesn’t get much done and consumes a lot of energy for little to show, so I probably should not be a Philosophical Democrat.

There is the Party of Principles and the Platform for All the People, who “know” that there are values which define what is important for the community, and that define the way things ought to be in order to bring a satisfactory life for everyone and to build a community and world in balance, for seven generations and more. But proposals founded on principles and values seem to compete weakly against the power of immediate gratification, and they struggle for the scarce resources which is almost always the case, so they are a small Party which rarely seems to have much impact - and attracts few members from those others who want it all, now, for themselves.

So I am probably a member of the Party of Principles and the Platform for All the People, and (in 2004) I was sad for the Nation and the World.

Then some things seemed to change, and at least for a while—(in 2008) I am glad.

About Marian Beddill

Citizen Journalist • Fairhaven area of Bellingham • Member since Jan 16, 2008

My bio is complex, with various sections. There are two public data-places for it - my website cited in this Profile - and my published autobiography (from youth to my [...]

Comments by Readers

Tip Johnson

Dec 04, 2008

Well delivered!

Over the years, vacillating between radical and progressive, I have had many occasions to contemplate the complexity of the Democratic Party and the difficulty is has hewing to principles.

Though I was a union laborer for years (IBEW, CWA), I’ve often thought we would be better off with a separate Labor Party.  Never a well received idea amongst Central Labor.

The two party system has big advantages for those in control.

But the implosion of the Republicans may usher in new opportunities for the political landscape.  They, after all, are not without their own complexities.  For instance, the rise of the Neo-Con wing must have been a big disappointment for the Dan Evans style old school Republicans.

The barriers to creating new parties are very steep, but perhaps it’s time to reexamine our labels.  Heck, the Ds and Rs have sure mixed it up since Lincoln’s time!  Why not at least try to straighten it out?

I think the failure of the Republicans to acknowledge the last election as a referendum on their policies and their reluctance to repudiate Neo-Conservatism leaves them very vulnerable to change.

We can hope!

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g.h. kirsch

Dec 06, 2008

Marian has laid it out nicely.  Thoughtful, weary, hopeful, and uncertain all at once, she feels the same stress and desire we all have as we face a gaping void.

It would be wonderful should the D’s transcend all those other characteristics and actually become the “Party of Principles and the Platform for All the People”  that Marian would be a part.

On the other hand, that party may still need to be created.

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