DEMOCRATS RUN FROM DEMOCRATIC PRINCIPLES…
The consensus seems to be that Democrats deserved to lose the recent elections because they chose to run from rather than on Democratic principles. To curry favor with Tea Party types, many Democrats demonized the Affordable Care Act and ran on a platform of securing the border—code for going after Mexicans who are “invading” our country—and on not being aligned with President Obama. One Arizona Congressional Democratic candidate ran ads featuring Republicans and bragging that he “bucked his party.”
I believe many Democrats did not vote because they felt betrayed by Obama and were disgusted with Democrats toadying up to the tea partiers. Predictably, the Democratic Party elite-establishment blames the rank-and-file Democrats and specifically Mexican Americans-Latinos for the party’s losses.
Actually, President Obama and the Democratic Party leadership own the electoral losses. For example, to provide political comfort to a handful of seemingly vulnerable Democratic candidates, Obama—backed by the leadership—delayed providing deportation relief to certain groups of undocumented immigrants, such as parents of U.S.-born children. The message was clear: the careers of a few white Democrats are more important than the lives of millions of brown workers and their children.
Victims of the Democrats’ pusillanimity…
Sadly, some Democrats who did not deserve to lose fell victim to the Democrats’ cowardice. One was David Garcia, Arizona Superintendent of Public Instruction candidate. It was that office—under Mexican haters Tom Horne and his successor John Huppenthal—that determined that the teaching of Mexican American history and literature in Arizona was illegal.
A professor of Education (Arizona State University), Arizona Associate Superintendent for Standards and Accountability, and Department of Education Director of Research and Policy, Garcia would have brought professionalism to that office and purged it of the racist cloud that envelops it.
Garcia, unlike other high-profile Democratic candidates, did not toady up to the tea partiers. He lost by a very slim margin to Horne-Huppenthal clone Diane Douglas, who ran on the sole issue of repealing the Common Core educational standards, which she falsely insisted was a federal mandate imposed by the Obama administration. The voters the Democrats kept from the polls were decisive in this race. Ironically, the Democrats aided and abetted the Republican campaign to suppress Democratic turnout.
Now there are two Democratic Parties and an appendage…
The one Democratic Party is comprised of the rank-and-file Democrats—decent and principled folk who are not involved in the machinations of the Party elite. Because they are purposely kept in the dark, these Democrats have no idea what is done behind their backs and in their name.
The other Democratic Party is made up of an elite clique who see the rank-and-file as pawns to be used and who routinely betray the principles they purport to subscribe to.
An appendage of the Party are the sycophants, minions and hangers-on. These are folks whom the Party uses to parrot the script provided by the Party elite.
The only time the Democratic Party elite-establishment ever even thinks and talks about the Mexican American community is during election time and that is limited to “How can we get them Mexicans to vote for us?” Their mantra: “You must vote for our candidates solely because they are Democrats and are the lesser of evils.”
About this “lesser of evils” nonsense…
In the 1960s, Republican Edward W. Brooke of Massachusetts (the nation’s first African-American U.S. Senator elected by popular vote) championed civil rights and lobbied his Republican colleagues to support the Voting Rights Act and the Fair Housing Act, which the Democratic Southerners in Congress vehemently opposed.
Also in the 1960s: George Wallace, Democratic Alabama Governor stood for “segregation now, segregation tomorrow, segregation forever.” And Lester Maddox, Democratic Georgia Governor famously decided to close his Pickwick restaurant rather than give in to the “forces of integration.” And Eugene Bull Connor, Democratic Sheriff of Birmingham, Alabama (and Democratic National Committeeman for Alabama), used high-pressure hoses, clubs and police dogs to assault black civil-rights marchers. And the KKK operated under the auspices of the Democratic Party.
Democratic Party hemorrhaging…
There was a time when the Democratic Party stood for something and actually did good things, when principled Democrats were respected rather than demonized. There was a time also when the votes of rank-and-file Democrats mattered as they selected their candidates through Primaries. Today, Democratic Primaries are basically outlawed, and candidates are handpicked in smoky back rooms by the Party elite and the machines—even when there is an open seat. Once elected, the anointed ones are fiercely protected by the party elite. What the person stands for, what he/she has done or how she/he has voted, who funds his/her campaign is of no matter. All that matters is the “D” behind her or his name.
No wonder, then, that the Democratic Party is hemorrhaging members. The AP reports that between March and August, 2014, the number of registered Democrats in Arizona fell by more than 16,000 while the number of Independents increased by more than 18,000, making Independents the largest voter bloc in Arizona. Until and unless the Democratic Party re-discovers its principles and gets its backbone back, until the rank-and-file take back their party from the elite, the hemorrhaging will continue. c/s
Copyright 2014 by Sal Baldenegro. To contact Sal go to: firstname.lastname@example.org