…and the death of the Democratic Party.
So I quit the democratic party today.
Hey, it’s okay; it’s been a long time coming and–as with all of my other ex-type of relationships–I did all my crying before the relationship came undone. I can be stupidly loyal that way. Except this time, I was the one who strayed. I fell in love with a crotchety old truth-teller old enough to be my father. And I fell hard. It was such a heady experience, even though I knew deep down inside that it was bound to fail, that nothing this lovely ever survives, I loved this man with utter abandon. So did millions of others. The more the media tried to black him out, the more the unaired rallies increased: 20,000, 30,000 or more attendees with perhaps another thousand standing outside just to hear his words. Which was lovely and terrible, because it gave me hope. He gave me hope. For a few minutes there, I thought we might actually make it.
Even when I knew it was a fixed game. Even when I knew it all along.
But I tried to return home. I tried to make peace with the ones I have stood with my entire life, an alliance my family forged more than four generations ago and to whom I have been unquestionably loyal. But, as with so many other toxic relationships, I hadn’t realized how unhappy I had been until I found happiness elsewhere. I had dared to believe that my ideals were not foolish or unrealistic. The love I shared with millions of people proved that I wasn’t radical at all; in fact, as an overseas friend once laughed: “Radical? Over here you’d be considered a moderate”.
So I returned…but I returned with conditions. I tried to explain–repeatedly, politely, urgently and then finally loudly–that we couldn’t keep going on this way. We had to change, evolve, return to the ideals of my youth, when the word “liberal” meant standing with the little guy and protecting the underdog: like the poor, the uneducated, the blacks, browns, reds, kids and all women. Again and again, I tried in vain to explain to them why I had left and how much I would love to return but was constantly rebuffed–very snidely–by the Hilitants.
While there has always been a right-leaning conservative cadre within the Democratic Party, now they represent the core…and they are rotten to the core, too–absolutely infested with Hilitants. Hilitants are appallingly corrupt, and not even in an interesting, scandal-ridden way; their corruption comes in the form of cowardice, from a wooden president who specializes in meaningless compromises and responds to injustice and massacres in that insufferable, “I will not lower myself to reply to the likes of you” manner, which, over the past eight years, has accomplished just shy of dick. I used to believe that it took tremendous endurance to be a democrat, that to constantly defend oneself against the wildly slung attacks by primitive jack-wipes actually meant something; now I understand that the only reason these bourgeois martyrs still stand is because they are numb–their efforts to dodge any worthy fight have resulted in the accumulation of scar tissue all down the center of their retreating yellow backs.
And still I hung on, even when they refused to change, would not even bother to address my concerns, OUR concerns, millions of us. Tried not to take offense from these frigid, hyper-disapproving, sniveling closest republicans who responded to our concerns with scorn or shrill defensiveness. Hardline democrats all–both women and men–have come to resemble tight-smiled, passive-agressive, under-medicated, under-fucked, resentful, image-obsessed, soccer-momesque nightmares–the kind of PTA asshole parents who breed psychopathic little assholes who can smile on cue.
I had reached the point in which I was simply going through the motions until election time–the equivalent of staying in a marriage until the kids are grown; another like-minded member, however, was still fighting the good fight. I felt badly for her, so every once in a while, I would chime in with a “yeah…what she said”, kind of response…because nobody else would even deign to reply.
Then, came this response–which met with overwhelming approval from the other Hilitants: “These members of the Far Left need to understand how hysterical they sound and stop complaining and recognize the outstanding liberal success of the past eight years!”
And, as it has been true with any bad relationship, I had that moment of clarity, the one in which I knew I had done everything I could possibly do to save it; that to continue would bring nothing but harm. This is what followed:
“Eight years of ‘outstanding liberal success’??
Name one. Okay, I’ll name it for you: Affordable Care Act aka Obamacare. Enormous achievement. My medication costs $2000 a month and the passage of ACA quite literally has saved my life…and I’ll even give credit to the one who tried to start this back in 1992: your god and personal savior, Hillary Rodham Clinton. So, even though it still screws the working poor and even though it is already crumbling…sure. Kudos, Big O, for accomplishing a thing that will surely be glossed over in sanitized ninth grade American History textbooks.
And…what else? Marriage Equality? HUGE achievement…and not a damn one of you can take credit. Not when your guy campaigned against it in 2008. Only SCOTUS and millions of determined gay people made that happen.
Anything else? No? Crickets. That seems to be the democratic MO, these days–silence. It’s embarrassing, all of this dead air, so why don’t I just tell you what hasn’t happened:
Sane gun legislation. In eight years, multiple massacres committed by ridiculously armed American terrorists have increased exponentially, and not a single piece of sane gun legislation has resulted. Nor have restrictions been placed upon the NSA to prevent them from rooting through your entire personal life with an electronic speculum…and without requiring any sort of warrant or warning or even reason. Drones are still wildly missing their targets and hitting innocents–including a schoolhouse full of children.
Public education is worse than ever..partly because teacher salaries are abysmal. Nor has anything been introduced to prevent college tuition from continuing its runaway train trajectory; already, post-secondary education is already out of reach for many Americans, and since nothing has been done about student loan forgiveness, it will eventually become damn near impossible.
Municipal police departments are only an atomic bomb way from having the arsenals of rogue armies…and rogue cops are getting away with murder–especially if they’ve had a bad day and you’re the poor black male who has the bad luck to cross them.
Women have fewer rights now than they did in the 70s–we are having to fight harder than ever for access to affordable health care. The gender pay gap has not budged nor has maternity leave; childcare is still prohibitively expensive and you can pretty much still get raped without any messy justice.
How about the horrors of Guantanamo Bay? They continued with an almost Monty Pythonesque rule book on what is considered acceptable torture, and on people–many of them innocent–who languished in prison for YEARS without any civil rights whatsoever, while Cheney and Rumsfield are still breathing free air.
SCOTUS just discreetly chipped away more of the fourth amendment last Monday and if you ever endure what I just endured from the TSA, you might have even the slightest idea of what that means. The very wealthy became wealthier than ever these past 8 years–never in American history has the gap between the haves and not-haves been so wide. There were no increases in the minimum wage, which is a fat, whopping $7.50/hr–not even enough for a high school kid to buy a junker, much less enough to support even a single adult.
Mandatory drug sentencing continues to be a nightmare– you can literally serve less time for killing somebody than if you are a first-time offender cooking meth…or even just having the supplies can get you five years! Even the judges are apologizing to the defendants that their hands are tied by these draconian laws which serve no purpose except to ruin the life of the nonviolent “offender”, destroy their families, make them virtually unemployable upon release and–oh yeah–rent space in a privatized prison.
And what gains have been made on climate change? Fracking? Homelessness? Mental illness? Drug rehabilitation? Women’s health and birth control? More options for people who sustain disabilities that might help keep them earning? Poor people–who costs the average taxpayer ten cents a day–lost some of their food stamps. Transgender people are still being marginalized. Hate crimes still happen, often, and not punished nearly enough.
But Congress, though…right? Okay, well…when has President Spock ever even wiped the dust off of his VETO stamp? When has he ever taken a stand? If nothing else, why hasn’t he made it a damn crusade to stop these American terrorists from their bimonthly wholesale slaughters??
Let’s face it: things only got WORSE these past eight years.
It astounds me when you people praise Obama and compare him to people like FDR. It’s like you all have Stockholm syndrome: you’re so terrified of those fool crackers in the GOP that you have brainwashed yourselves into confusing mediocrity with progress and that is why you get so damn shrill about any suggestion that maybe Big O just ain’t that great after all.
You might as well run with this slogan: “Because we won’t be as bad”.
As far as “The Far Left needs to start understanding that they need to stop sounding hysterical if they want to be taken seriously”, I would like to counter with this: “The Mid-Right needs to understand that they aren’t liberals at all; they’re DEMOCRATS”.
And your response is a perfect example of why this party is imploding–instead of listening to the concerns of your fellow party members–you know: the “Far Left” AKA “the critically endangered Progressives”–you chide them for being ungrateful, with the nasty disdain of a clique of political Mean Girls outflanking the weirdo hipster geek.
There is a reason the term “Hilitant” has come in to use…and you epitomize its very meaning: status quo, conservative, elitist, the Establishment, Neo-Reaganians. Terrified to change. Stagnant and secretly contemptuous of all the people you profess to help…including your fellow party members.
Which is why I am no longer a democrat.
Drop mic. I’m gone.