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Ralph Nader > In the Public Interest > Is the Same Old Democratic Party Ready to Correct Course? In Time?

By Ralph Nader
March 22, 2024

While calling this year’s presidential election against Der Fuhrer Donald Trump the most critical ever, the Democratic Party is using the same old playbook for this year’s campaigns.

The same old obsession with raising record amounts of money at the expense of presenting an authentic, vibrant agenda that will motivate millions of voters to vote for Democratic candidates.

The same old corporate-conflicted political/media consultants are controlling what the candidates say and do so as not to upset the monied interests and the lucrative consulting business for corporate clients.

We will see the same old exclusion of experienced grassroots and national citizen groups, with millions of members, who just might have some good ideas about policies, strategies, tactics, messaging, rebuttals, slogans and ways to get out the vote, that the “politicians” have never thought of or, in their arrogance, ignored. (See winningamerica.net).

Expect the same old retention of Party apparatchiks wallowing profitably in their sinecures, never looking themselves in the mirror and asking themselves why they can’t landslide the worst GOP in history. Republican candidates are openly anti-worker, women, children, consumers and the environment. If your name ends in INC the GOP might be on your side.

Get ready for the same old resistance to infusing the Party with energetic young leaders to start replacing older, smug, bureaucrats who lose to the GOP in eminently winnable races at local, state and national levels, yet have victory parties when their losses are less than the pundits or polls had predicted. (They celebrated their 2022 loss of the House of Representatives to the vicious, cruel, ignorant GOP.)

The same old scapegoating of Third Party candidates, spending gobs of money and filing frivolous lawsuits to block them from the ballot so as not to give voters more voices and choices, and to stifle any voters who might choose Third Party candidates, is in full swing. Instead of focusing on getting more of the 120 million non-voters to vote for Democratic candidates this year, the Democratic Party is focused on denying the First Amendment rights – free speech, petition and assembly – of Third Party candidates and their minuscule number of voters.

As Bishop William Barber, co-chair of the Poor People’s Campaign, so cogently points out, just getting out 10 to 15 percent more low-wage/poor voters would easily help the Democrats win the national presidential election. Instead, the Democrats feed reporters material that leads newspapers to feature stories like the New York Times March 21, 2024 article titled “Democrats Prepare Aggressive Counter to Third-Party Threats.” What they mean is being heavy on obstructing their access to the ballot.

The same old plans to waste huge amounts of money that allow media consultants to reap 15% on campaign ad buys instead of really going for the ground game are underway. For example, one pro-Democratic Party PAC announced it would spend $140 million to put real-life voter testimonials on television praising Biden and his Party. They think that’s a winner, right out of the practice of dramatized testimonials by Madison Avenue advertising firms.

Note the same old stories reporting periodic fundraising totals fed to eagerly waiting reporters comparing the Dems and the Reps money totals unattached to any programs, agendas, or commitments to the people. Thus, the March 20, 2024, New York Times dreary headline: “Outside Groups Pledge Over $1 Billion to Aid Biden’s Re-Election Effort.”

They include environmental groups, labor unions and other “liberal PACs” that shell out the money without asking the Democratic Party to commit to any reforms or to address long-avoided necessities for the people. It’s enough that the Dems are against Trump and the GOP – assuring a race to the bottom in the presidential election.

The lengthy Times article goes on and on reporting announcements by assorted Democratic moneypots and their GOP counterparts. Similar dreary ‘cash-register politics’ articles will appear in the coming weeks and months with ever more frequency.

Heaven forbid that reporters start writing about how all this money inhibits candidates from reforming the campaign finance system that is rotten to the core. Congress and the White House are for sale or rent! For example, the Democrats could – but do not – advance a much overdue agenda to curb the corporate crime wave, repeal anti-labor laws (like the notorious Taft-Hartley Act,) junk the corrupt tax system written by big corporate tax escapees, debloat the vast, wasteful, redundant military budget, and push for the popular Medicare-for-All legislation languishing for years in Congress – for starters.

Don’t look for resignations from poor performers like the managers of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee (DSCC). Imagine barely winning the Senate in 2022, when twice as many GOP Senators were up for re-election as Democratic Senators? How are these losers, given an encore, going to do this year when more than twice the number of Democratic Senators are up than GOP solons?

The same old inability to confront shrinking support or turnout from their base – African Americans and Hispanic Americans – is inexcusable. The Democrats can’t seem to convincingly say that the Party is not taking them for granted and to build the relationships that could motivate these voters to return to the fold.

How about not being able to recover the loss of many unionized workers to Trump, of all demons, and show all workers why their livelihoods would improve with a Democratic victory? The Dems don’t even know how to use LABOR DAY to showcase their sincerity with events on the ground in every locality.

Same old Empire of lawless military forces, now growing with unconditional weapons shipments to Ukraine and Israel – the latter’s genocidal war taking us into co-belligerent status under international law against defenseless Palestinian civilians in Gaza.

For a majority of American voters who reject Trump as a law-violating, unstable, narcissistic, liar weaving fantasies and fabrications that service what Rep. Jamie Raskin calls “dangerous extremists” in Congress and state legislatures, this is what the Democratic Party and the two-party duopoly offer in November.

At the least, concerned, engaged voters should demand that unresponsive Party campaigns return their calls to receive their input. That’s how primordial the situation is these days.

The same playbook will produce the same failed Democratic efforts. Change course before it is too late.