Carlyle Fielding Stewart III

Writings on Democracy, Social Justice, and Religion

It’s Not Just About Beating Donald Trump But Defeating Senate Republicans and Reviving The Progressive Agenda Already in the Democrat’s Political Playbook.

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Recently surging in the role of front-runner because among other things “he can beat Donald Trump,” it appears Joe Biden will probably get the Democratic nomination for President of the United States of America. Bernie Sanders has vowed to support Biden if he is elected but should not be cast aside for his so-called “aggressive progressiveness.” While Democrats have had a bonafide record of supporting progressive causes over the years much more is needed now that can help Democrats win back the Senate and the White House. Time to pull out all stops, so to speak, with definitive strategies that will galvanize the vote and unite Democrats across ideological lines to meet the growing demands of a variety of Americans, especially the poor, the working poor and the middle class.

Albeit numerous political pundits want Joe Biden a good public servant with an interesting and assorted legislative past to be the next Democratic presidential candidate, and have jubilantly voiced their desire for a Biden presidency especially since the South Carolina primaries, they miss the mark if they believe that the Democratic Party can move forward in 2020 with only conventional establishment solutions to dire, long standing political problems. The embryonic demands of progressive voices and forces should therefore not be trivialized or abandoned.

For many years Bernie Sanders has been an ardent supporter of Democratic agenda by voting with them on key legislation. He is unafraid to speak his mind and does not sugar coat the truth about the reckless intransigence of Republicans and the corrosion and failures of our current political system. Consistently battling the disparities and injustices faced by everyday Americans, he is a strong voice for positive change in a political culture which has jaded us with political cliches and perpetual lies, deluged us with Orwellian Crimestop and Doublespeak, exhausted and angered us by political blame gaming, legislative evasion and avoidance, and an overall lack of accountability.

In a world of confiscation politics where timidity and fear appear to have gut-stripped and drop-kicked true moral temerity and boldness out of some politicians, Bernie Sanders is a breath of fresh air. He is an old school public servant whose hard-nosed persistence takes it to the opposition like the political street fighters of old who say what they mean and mean what they say right to your face and not behind your back. He refuses to always go along just to get along and will not be bullied or intimidated into abandoning his most cherished ideals and principles in deference to the failed policies of his political opponents.

We need someone who can go “toe to toe” with Donald J. Trump, the heavy weight who will use everything he can to knock Democrats out! Democrats must be careful to not soft-pedal or moderately downplay what some people are crying out for in fear and trembling of Donald J. Trump, who is not only an artful dodger but a master media communicator who will also use his verbal jujitsu to beat his opponents down, and who will definitely bring his a-game to the political table this November. A progressive willingness to politically prize fight and not just shadow box to win America back may be the perfect foil to Republicans who pride themselves for their political ringmanship and their ability to score points and outmaneuver Democrats. But as Heavyweight Champion Mike Tyson reminds us, “Everyone has a plan until they get punched in the mouth.”

Bernie has been consistently counted among those honest public servants critically calling for progressive change and we cannot ignore the truth and power of his messaging. His progressive policies and principles should, therefore, play an important and decisive role in re-shaping and re-informing the politics, platform and policies of the Democratic Party especially if the Democrats are to keep the House of Representatives and take the Senate and White House this fall.

Furthermore, when Bernie speaks of America needing a political revolution, he is not advocating a complete overthrow of our government as some pundits have wrongfully claimed. He is calling for re-instituting all-out efforts at reforming and rebuilding our nation, its infrastructure and government, through a progressivism which unapologetically serves the greatest number of people with the greatest needs in America. All too often such persons are pitied and blamed for being poor. Ridiculed, undervalued, marginalized, ripped off and often beaten back from getting a good start and fair share of the American dream, they are all too often dismissed and forgotten as political expendables and untouchables.

Other attempts to discredit Bernie Sanders as a Democratic Socialist and fire-breathing behemoth are specious and frivolous, and are nothing more than poppycock, propaganda designed to scare away would be supporters. Bernie Sanders is seeking to make up lost ground from the set-backs of the devastating right-wing policies and politics of the last forty years.

How can giving bailouts to Wall Street Banks and nothing to home owners kicked out onto the street be considered normal but not programs to help students expedite the cancellation of astronomical student loan debt?

Why keep doling hand outs to the rich with no thought to what it will cost taxpayers yet always painstakingly counting the cost in aiding the poor and needy? Something is terribly wrong with picture.

It’s not enough to beat Donald Trump. Republicans must also be swept from their majority grip on the Senate and for their obstinacy and failure to follow established rules of governing amid the current political crises. They must be relieved from their stultifying stranglehold on American Representative Democracy. Thanks to Mitch McConnell, and his tightly leashed Republican Senate along with behind the scenes power brokers orchestrating the takeover of America, coupled with a fawning, easily bamboozled electorate along with the added machinations of Donald J. Trump, they have sadly helped to break into pulverized pieces what once was the world’s strongest representative democracy.

Contrary to some opinions, Progressives have cogent and viable programs for reviving and restoring America.  They are not political interlopers, ne’er do wells, or cry-baby, leftist extremists always begging for handouts as they have been often characterized in the media and by political opponents. They have legitimate and honorable claims and interests to their causes and are supremely qualified to uphold and execute a vision that can dramatically transform the future of America after years of Reaganomics, Neo-liberalism, Right-Wing extremism, Predatory, and Disaster Capitalism and the politics of extreme austerity.

We have observed with our very own eyes the past fifty years something tantamount to grand-theft democracy through the top-heavy corporatization of America, the consolidation of a feudal, iron-clad grip over our Constitutional Democratic Republic. We see it in the desecration and repudiation of the Constitution, endless wars, the consolidation and manipulation of media outlets, the chicanery and denials of climate destruction now fast-tracking planet and species extinction, the politicization of the Supreme Court, the advent of dark money politics, the theft of black voting rights and scuttling of immigrant rights, the confiscation of native lands for oil exploration, the foreign intrusion and manipulation of elections, the insidious erosion of human rights and the demolition of labor rights. It also means slowly eroding the rights and powers of the people through Draconian Republican policies and the politics of cruelty, which have put people in harm’s way under the aegis of a more palatable centrist political agenda.

In the forthcoming national election, we must abide more than the “same old” political same old. We need a political paradigm shift to all-out progressive norms and values although democrats have basically kept their progressive vision and instincts and get high honors for trying to save what is left of our Republic. They have fought like the Dickens to uphold government of the people, for the people, and by the people but have been constantly rebuffed and insulted by Republicans who have blockaded political progress through their hard-core refusnik, gangster policies and tactics. Some Republicans are not only rude and abrasive but are without any home training, as my mother would say.They have lost civility, decorum and humanitarian scruples. But Democrats have demonstrated the Promethean courage to impeach Donald J. Trump for his abuses of power but Republicans have failed miserably by not removing him from office. The longer Trump stays in office, the more damage he does to America. The haphazard manner in which the deadly Corona Virus is being handled is a case in point dramatizing more than ever the rising need for the 25th Amendment.

In a country which has moved to the extreme right since the turbulent but precocious days of American Civil Rights Movement, which now finds our government slowly euthanized by politicians who appear to want to kill America off as we’ve known it, we also observe the demonizing and excoriation of minorities by ranting racists and Eliminationists in the American heartland who have riled up many white people, the escalation of mass minority incarceration, the aggregate shut-down and relocation of factories overseas, the resurgence of white nationalism, racism and persecution of women and other peoples, and the institution of a new narco-politics where Tea Party alienation, Trumpian zombification, and plutocratic mummification of some politicians have made them nothing more than calcified figures of the D.C chapter of the American Wax Museum. What happened to true political instincts and reflexes? What happened to thinking and acting on one’s own as opposed the new political robotinization that we painfully observe today?

A seismic sea change has transpired in American power politics the last five decades which has not made America greater but made America worse in a seemingly all out effort to throw America back to the glory days of slavery and Jim Crow and by creating a new American Feudalism under the veil of a mordant Autocratic Authoritarianism.

The Democratic Party will need the support of younger generations of Americans and many of them still enthusiastically support Sanders, and will support Biden because quite frankly it is their energy and vision that will propel the Democrats forward and the Party tent should now be enlarged sufficiently to happily welcome and accommodate their views and ideas.

Needed now are not only “establishment veterans like Joe Biden” as a firm foundation to a new Democratic politics, but a Abraham Lincoln,”Freddie” Douglass, Theodore, Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt, Francis Perkins, Fannie Lou Hamer, Ella Baker, Medgar Evers, Lyndon Baines Johnson, Caesar Chavez, Delores Huerta, Abolitionists, Black Lives Matter, Labor Rights, Me Too and Disability Rights Movements along with Enlightenment Science, Elizabeth Warren. Nancy Pelosi, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Rashida Talib, Ayanna Pressley, Ilhan Omar, Hakeem Jeffries as well as Nina Hudson Turner and progressive moderates Kamala Harris, Amy Klobuchar and Brenda Lawrence  to name a few. Added to this New Progressivsm would be the courageous spirit of LGBTQ, migrant and immigrant rights movements who are bold, creative and transformational in fighting to correct past and present wrongs and putting this nation back on track to doing what is right for all Americans.

Time to swing the American political pendulum all the way back away from the extreme right-wing policies and politics of the past fifty years which have clouded, shrouded and retarded quantum progress so that everyday Americans and not just the rich can be finally made whole. Then we can talk centrism and moderation by moving the pendulum back to the center but not until the progressive agenda is fully, if not partially, realized in the Democratic Party’s political platform, identity, and playbook.

Progressivism has always been a seed bed of the policies and politics of FDR’s New Deal and his Economic Bill of Rights, JFK’s New Frontier and LBJ’s Great Society. Democrats have helped moved this nation forward. We now need an outright resurgence and revival of that progressive platform, a new political re-grafting, if you will, of this movement back into the Democrat body politic in response to the downward spiral of our nation. Only when justice is actively pursued for all and equality for every citizen is established and promoted can America become healthy again and move beyond the uni-quack and junk smack of the current swamp culture which makes an abhorrent cesspool of our democracy and angrily flushes our beloved republic down the sewer drains of permanent political dissolution saying “Bye Bye to the American Pie,” and putting an expiration date on the American dream.

Yes, we can live with establishment politics but we cannot live with an opaque, tepid, timid, vapid, insipid, political  twiddle-poop, mollycoddle “business as usual” politics in this vicious and meretricious political climate especially if Donald Trump and the Republicans are to be soundly beaten this November. We cannot bring a pea shooter to a political knife fight. We cannot afford leadership more prepossessed with its own failure because they “look like grasshoppers in the eyes of their opponents” or are paralyzed by fear of ticking off the opposition by speaking the raw truth or being attacked, misrepresented or lied on by the Corporate media or are scared of their own political shadow as opposed to casting a giant shadow or are all too afraid to accommodate the demands of a progressive political agenda whose populist messaging speaks to the needs of the majority of Americans many of whom still languish in the doldrums of fear and outright despair.

Not an either/or” but a “both/and” approach is needed. Virtually every major achievement for positive social and political change in America has been realized through political progressivism and a persistent willingness to take risks and fight for what is right which ultimately plays to win and not to lose which are highly needed in the rough and tumble arena of American blood sport politics.

Democrats have done a phenomenal job and made heroic efforts in keeping hope alive and fighting for the people. They are the only political party in recent memory which has a genuine compassion and concern for the well-being of all Americans but mostly everyday Americans while some Republicans don’t seem to give a tinkers damn about anybody but themselves, corporations and the wealthy. In the so-called richest nation on earth how can such spiritual and physical poverty still be so rampant? How do you justify taking health care and food stamps from the poor while still boasting of being the most powerful nation on earth?

Finally, after making more salient a progressive platform for Democrats, and Biden is elected to office, herculean efforts will be needed to clean up the mess that Trump has left behind. Who knows the full extent of the political and structural damage done by the president and his cohorts to our political system and government. One thing we do know, whatever is necessary to restore America back to its higher principles and ideals as a nation will require inclusion of conservatives, moderates and progressives, working together for the greater good and well-being of all America not just for Democrats and Independents but also hopefully for Lincoln type Republicans who will abandon their current political lunacy but may have to feel the heat of their own political extinction to finally see the light of the importance of serving and saving all of America.

Yes, beating Trump is important this upcoming election but defeating Republicans in the Senate is also important if Democrats are to win the day and take America back. Time for progressives, moderates, populists and establishmentarians to come together. In the words of a famous tune popularized by the late great Duke Ellington, “It don’t mean a thing if it ain’t got that swing” and Nat King Cole’s, time to “straighten up and fly right.” Without the progressive agenda boldly revived, utilized and re-inserted into the vision and platform of the Democratic Party and political playbook, Democrats can defeat themselves before they get to the ballot box this November which can certainly open the door to four more years of Donald J. Trump.


One response to “It’s Not Just About Beating Donald Trump But Defeating Senate Republicans and Reviving The Progressive Agenda Already in the Democrat’s Political Playbook.”

  1. Bill Cooper Avatar
    Bill Cooper

    Great article!

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