Category Archives: democrats

The Professor: Divided America

The following is a fictional account of the dialogue between a political science professor and the students of an honors seminar in an East Coast liberal arts college.

 

The class had just started when Alison raised her hand. The Professor nodded, and she asked, “Everyone talks about a bi-partisan process in Congress to pass needed legislation. I don’t see how that is possible. It seems to me that the bi-partisan approach to legislation is a thing of the past and is just not possible today. Am I right?”

“When the country is divided, so will the Congress. The wider the divide between our two parties, the more difficult it is to put together a bipartisan vote in the House or Senate to pass any kind of legislation. In the past, while both parties worked to elect a strong majority in both houses, it has only been in the last decade that one party is dedicated to achieving a long-term one-party rule. This has been true since the Progressives have dominated leadership positions in the Democratic Party. Your best source for this recent political direction is the writings of Saul Alinsky, a brilliant revolutionary writer who was once a ‘political organizer’ in Chicago. Alinsky has made a profound effect on the liberal left-wing of the American political scene.

“You can sum up his teaching by saying that as long as your intention is to seize power for the Progressive Party (his term for socialism and communism), the end justifies the means and you are free to choose whichever side of any issue that will help you destroy the political opposition. Both President Obama and Hillary Clinton chose the Alinsky doctrine to push for a one party ruling government in America. They came very close to success. The danger is still there. Approximately half the voters in America have accepted the socialist message. Remember, in most cases people have voted themselves into a socialist government. Voting yourself out of socialism is a very difficult problem. Venezuela today is a perfect example.

“When the democratic/progressive party is devoted to destroying all political opposition, bi-partisan legislation is a hard challenge. If a champion arises from the very diminished number of moderates in the old Democratic Party who could champion America issues of well-being, social mobility, economic prosperity and national security,  then maybe the numbers of socialist followers in America could be diminished and there could be a return to bipartisan government. There is not much time left as the Progressives today control the national media and nearly all our universities.

“Alison, does that answer your question?”

“Yes, but how can we who do not believe in socialism and its ‘leading from behind doctrine prevent a Progressive takeover?”

“Don’t stand on the sidelines and whine. Become real players. Get in the political fray at all levels. Speak out. Americans are a remarkable people and given a choice will pick the right course.  But only if that choice is laid out and explained, Otherwise, the Progressive/Socialists will play their seductive song over and over until it becomes a reality. At that point, returning to a free society with individual choices and freedoms will require more than words. It will require a people’s revolution in the streets of America.”

 

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The Professor: Democratic Party and Class Warfare

The following is a fictional account of the dialogue between a political science professor and the students of an honors seminar in an east coast liberal arts college.

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The Professor liked to keep his class on their toes and ready to respond to any political issue. He stopped his pacing around the room and said, “I’m going to leave you for ten minutes. When I come back, I want one of you to present a Class question. Since it is a Class project you will all receive the same grade for the selection and presentation of the question.  I expect a question that will be relevant to our political environment and yet will be a ground-breaking issue for the next decade.”

Several hands shot up as the Professor smiled and left the room. He thought he would like to watch the dynamics of the Class as they worked on selecting a question but he knew if he stayed in the class, the actions around the conference table would adjust to his presence. A big part of his curriculum was to expose students to the give and take of peer groups in the decision-making process.

Returning to the room, The Professor paused outside the class room and listened at the door for a few seconds. He was surprised at the silence. They must have come to some agreement. Walking in and taking his seat at the table, he asked, “Okay. Who is the lucky presenter?”

Edward said, “I am.”

“May I assume that the question is yours?”

“It is one I’ve thought about for some time. But it really is a class question. Should I begin?”

“Yes.”

“The Republican Party has a fairly coherent message that resonated with Americans in the last election. Today the Democrats do not have a positive message, other than opposing President Trump on every issue. Yet the Democratic messaging routinely out performs that of the Republicans. Opinion leaders in the media, entertainment and education organizations seem to be taken with the Democratic Party’s message. Why is that?”

“That is a very good question and one that will be with us for at least the next decade. The question on the first level is easy to answer but difficult to explain in believable detail.

“The Democratic Party has been moving toward European style socialism for the last hundred years and probably longer. Their success is in their messaging. Their failure is in their inability to apply the socialist message to governing. But we are discussing the messaging today. The message when stripped to basics is one of class warfare. The promise is for a redistribution of wealth.

“Material wealth always seems to end up in the hands of a minority, leaving the majority to struggle for what’s left. The message of Democrats/Progressives to the majority who are not wealthy is to set them against the minority who they believe have more than they should have. The message of the Progressives is not to create more wealth or to improve social and economic mobility. Instead it is ‘you must take wealth from the minority who hold it by very high taxation rates, economic regulations, death taxes and heavy taxes on businesses. This Progressive message is very adaptable to slogans. Remember President Obama’s class warfare sound bites: level the playing field; give everyone a fair shake; the rich need to pay their fair share; transform America by redistributing wealth among individuals and nations; and protect the middle class.

“Don’t think the progressive message of the Democratic Party is too simple to be effective. It is not. When hope is vague and distant, the class warfare message is very effective and will thrive in a failing economy.”

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The Professor and Saving the Democrats

 

“Are you all ready for the summer break? Next year you will all be sophomores. I am very pleased with this class. Because of you, I have agreed to teach this honors class for two more years. If you can put up with me, we will have more time together. Starting with Paul, please go around the table and tell us very concisely what you plan to do for the summer and what are you planning to do after graduation.”

In less than ten minutes everyone had responded to the Professor’s request. The Professor leaned back in his chair and said, “All your responses are worth more comments but with the time available, I’m going to focus on Carlos’s statement. Carlos, you said you wanted to work within the Democratic Party organization after graduation. Why did you pick that as a career choice?”

“My family and all our friends have always been Democrats. No one in the family can even remember anyone in the joint family who joined the Republican Party. When we needed something, or had a complaint, we always took it to our Democratic party contact. I grew up in a small town in Western Pennsylvania. My grandparents on both sides worked in the mills or mines. They were all union members. They would tell us stories of how tough life had been when the Republican Party was dominant and cautioned us to never let them takeover political power again.”

The Professor said, “Yes. I’m old enough to know how things were then. The base of both political parties often goes back for several generations. This last election I think is the beginning of new political alliances. The Republicans running on a populist and nationalist platform made serious inroads into working class communities. The political map today is very different.”

“Professor,” Carlos asked, “Will you give me some advice in getting started?”

“I assume you goal is to bring the Democratic Party back to its traditional place of power with working class citizens. To begin you must understand what caused this sudden and dramatic change. The Democratic Party of your parents and grandparents was the voice of the working people. It was a center and slightly left of center party. With exception of the intellectuals in the party, the rank and file were definitely not socialists and were not apologists for American power and uniqueness. Under Barack Obama and the Progressives, the Democratic Party swung rapidly to become the very left-wing of the American political world.

“During his eight years in power, the Progressives took over the party with a strong socialist and internationalist ideology. The welfare of the working-class families was ignored in favor of destroying the opposition political party and America’s economic and military power. The Progressives knowingly turned away from American working and middle-class traditions and heritage in favor of socialist principles.

“They did this very abruptly and successfully. Their globalization priorities overrode America first responsibilities. Jobs, decent pay with good working conditions and benefits were no longer the top priority. Control of the media and education using class warfare rhetoric to replace the traditional working class goals of improving the status of the family via education and hard work. Every parent wanted life to be better for their children than it was for them. If you look at the leaders of the Democratic Party today, it will show a clear dramatic move to the left. One of the heroes of the party today is a declared Socialist who is not even registered as a Democrat. It will be a long way back and that journey is not for the faint hearted.

“Carlos, my advice is to begin working this summer as a low-level party volunteer in a role that gives you daily contact with people and party officials. Watch, learn and do not offer much advice to your superiors. Keep good notes, make numerous contacts, pick a catchy subject and use your writing and analytic skills to get published. Once you have established your credibility you can move up the party ladder at the next opportunity. Take advantage of every speaking opportunity. Get comfortable with yourself. You have chosen a hard and nearly thankless path. But it needs done. I don’t think you or anyone will be able to bring the Democratic Party back to the point your parents will recognize it, but you may be part of the task of saving what can be saved to form the foundation of a new party.”

 

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The Professor: Freedom and Two-Party Government

The class was halfway over and the momentum of the discussion was slowing when Alison asked, “Professor, if everything is political, how much does the viability of our system of government depend on the existence of two or more political parties?”

“Good question and one that is outside the ‘box.’ People create and join with a group of like-minded citizens to be able to push their political and social beliefs. Without such ‘parties’ it is hard to see how a democracy could exist. The alternative is clearly an autocratic dictatorship or single party led by an elite group. Recent and current communist and socialist governments fit this template. The other possibility is a utopian plan such as the utopian agrarian parties common in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. The utopian parties, with their roots in European socialist philosophy, all failed for the same reason, the lack of an authority to motivate members to follow the rules, written or unwritten.

“The Socialist and Communist governments fixed this problem by establishing a one party ruling elite with strong coercive powers. They all failed due to over centralization and harsh penalties for those who have the courage to dissent. The combination of centralized control leading to a falling standard of living and increasing political repression eventually bring the people to revolt.

“Enough background. American democracy needs a political arena of more than one party. A one-party system has always led to a loss of freedom regardless of the political ideology of the ruling party. During your lifetime, you will face a continued struggle between the Progressive Party and its conservative opposition. It sounds theoretical, but it is very real. The Progressive Party has swallowed the Democratic Party. It exists only in name. In the last national election, more than 50% of the voters voted for the Progressive Party. Only the Electoral College system established in the Constitution kept the Progressives under Hillary Clinton from winning the White House.

“The Progressives owe their name and political program ideology to Saul Alinsky, a brilliant American Socialist, who had a defining impact on both Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton. He, too, was a Community Organizer in Chicago. The Progressive ideology is to use any means available to destroy the opposition and seize power to redistribute individual and national wealth using the power of a single party government. In the process of destroying the opposition political party, it was first necessary to destroy American economic and military power. President Obama, I believe, made an impressive start to destroying American uniqueness and the faith the citizens have in their government. The entire Civil Service now has a questionable first and second tier leadership.

“The next four to eight years of leadership is critical. We were close to the tipping point and unless the media reverts to reporting all the news and the conservative leadership becomes far better at getting its message to all Americans, freedom of choice of the individual will be lost. Pick your side. There can be no fence siting.”

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The Professor: Russia, Hacking and the Election

“Okay! We’re all here. First the question period. I know you see this as a chance to listen to me rather than the reverse. That’s okay with me. You know by now I’m not the usual teacher. I want you to leave this University knowing how to think and find solutions to problems. Part of that is to encourage you to think outside the box. But that is only part of the process of analyzing problems and selling your solution. You must develop an instinct to know when thinking inside the box is just as important. Most complex problems require both kinds of thinking. Why search for a new type of solution when there is an existing one that works well?

“So, who has a question they would like me to discuss?”

The Professor pointed at Alison and said, “Alison, let’s hear your question.”

“TV and the print media are constantly railing about the Russians hacking into our elections to favor President-elect Trump. It sounds like this is more about partisan politics than it is about Russian influence. What is really going on?”

“I think you know most of the answer, but I’ll tell you what I think. Great powers have been intercepting the communications of both opponents and friends throughout history. Hacking, as a form of collection, is at least five decades old. From a very primitive beginning, it has gotten much more sophisticated. The point here is that all powerful nations are engaged. So no one should be surprised that foreign nations will attack our communications systems, particularly those used by important people who don’t have the sense to protect their information. Hacking is not an act of war. A hacking attack on the national grid, the transportation system and some others would be. But senators Lindsay Graham and John McCain, who are making such a scene about wanting to punish the Russians and discredit the landslide victory of Donald Trump over the hacking and disclosure of emails associated with the Clinton campaign, are just over-heated politicians who can only be cured by term limits.

“These two senators sat through the entire tenure of the Obama Administration and, even with a Republican Congress, did next to nothing to stop the destruction of our military forces, the mistreatment of veterans, and the alienation of our allies. Closing of Guantanamo Bay and stopping Trump seems to be their main agenda.

“The Obama intelligence organizations have decided that the Russians were attempting to influence the election by releasing hacked items from Democratic email servers. President-elect Trump doesn’t trust their analysis. He shouldn’t. These are the ranking officials that lied about the Benghazi ‘talking points,’ refused to conduct a real investigation of Hillary Clinton’s illegal server and the consequent mishandling of highly classified material, and produced intelligence on ISIS to fit the White House view of them as the junior varsity. Are these people to be trusted? I think not. The rank and file of the several intelligence organizations are solid, hard-working men and women who take incredible personal risks to serve the nation, but their leadership is suspect.

“I don’t believe anyone in the Obama Administration wants a real investigation of Russian, Chinese or other hackers. Too much would be uncovered, such as what classified material did these hackers get from the Clinton email server.

“Bottom line is that what is going on is a failed President leaving office and trying to rewrite his record and constrain his successor.”

 

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The Professor: What Does the Election Mean?

“Before I start this morning session, do you have any fundamental questions to ask?”

Several hands were raised, and the Professor nodded at Carlos, who asked, “What does this election mean in the context of two-party government in the coming decade?”

“A good but very broad question. The Democrats or Progressives who now control the party picked a very poor candidate who had poor people skills and a heavy load of not very acceptable baggage. The Democratic message was more of the same, even though it was clear most Americans thought the Obama Administration was on the wrong course. People wanted to take a chance on change and Hillary Clinton offered more of the same.

“In its desire to push a very socialist agenda, the Democratic Party lost touch with the people, who I believe were fed up with the ideology of both the right and the left. President-elect Trump presented the people with a pragmatic approach. A decade ago, he could have fit into either party. This man made his fortune by recognizing problems and working to solve them. With him, ‘the issue is always the issue,’ unlike both Obama and Clinton who follow Saul Alinsky’s axiom that ‘the issue is never the issue.’ The difference is that the Alinsky Progressives were focused on seizing power to bring about a transformational distribution of wealth; people like Trump were about solving problems and making things work.

“This landslide election is a rejection of the Progressive socialist ideology and a return of the voters to a more central political position. If the Democrats continue to push a socialist agenda in 2020, the party will self-destruct. But there will always be nearly half of the citizens holding on to an embedded belief that being rich is bad and that peace is achieved not through strength but through understanding and appeasement. To them there is no need for a strong military or a strong national economy.

“These people believe President Obama’s deliberate weakening of the military and his total focus on distributing wealth nationally and internationally were needed steps to bring about equality and social justice in both America and the world. This belief is rooted in two primary drives. One is the distrust of European immigrants for wealth and corrupt aristocratic government. Our history has seen the establishment and demise of several local communes based on the philosophy of ‘from each according to their ability and to each depending their need.’ The other is the emphasis the Christian religion puts on the message of love, forgiveness, the evil of wealth, and the belief that peace and justice come from treating other people and nations the way you would like them to treat you. That is a wonderful belief for individuals dealing with others, but it doesn’t work on a larger scale or between nations. Instead, it results in the development of elite leadership and the use of force. The use of coercion to achieve social change and economic functioning has always resulted in elite rule and the loss of individual choice. Nevertheless, the ‘have-nots’ of any society have always resented the ‘haves’ and will be attracted to the slogans of the socialists championing ‘a fair shot for everyone,’ ‘income equality,’ and ‘a balanced playing field.’

“In our last three presidential elections, more than half of the people have voted for a candidate pushing the same old slogans. The problem for the Trump Administration will be to mix governing with pragmatism and a populist message. All our citizens must see they are sharing the better life.

“Otherwise, it will be an even sharper turn toward the hate-America, guilt-driven governing philosophy of the Obama/Clinton era. I’m not sure we can continue to pull back from the progressive abyss so much of our world has fallen into.

“Personally, I am pleased and excited by the possibilities of a new administration. You will all have to work hard to lead our nation between the excesses of both the left and the right of our two-party system of government. Both contain the seeds of tyranny. There is a place in the center that is right for us.”

 

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The Professor and The Debate

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The first Presidential debate of 2016 had just finished and the spin rooms were already active with talking heads. Professor Clark shut off the wide-screen TV that dominated his home office. He said, “It is a pleasure to have this class in my home for this historic debate. There is no question that this is the most important election period in my lifetime. There are serious issues at stake. Many have been postponed for years. The very direction of the nation is being decided. The kind of world you will live in for the rest of your lives is being debated now throughout the nation. To verge on the sensational for a moment, I don’t think it is a stretch to say the very existence of this unique nation could be a casualty of the election.

“I know it is late and the sleep time hard-working students get is precious, but I want to go around the room and get some one-liners from you. Alison, let’s start with you.”

Alison said, “Secretary Clinton stayed on message and showed very good debate discipline, but I don’t think she scored many points. Her poll numbers will remain relatively constant.”

“Robert, you’re next.”

“It’s hard to pick a clear winner. Trump missed several opportunities to score but he did as well as he needed to. The moderator was clearly helping Hillary and that will resonate with his followers.”

“Carlos, what’s your take?”

“I agree with Alison and Robert. The debate was a draw or close to it. Secretary Clinton had the worst hand, having to run on the direction Obama put this nation on when the people are screaming for change.”

“Katrisha, comments?”

“I saw the debate nearly the same as my colleagues, but was struck by the body language. Hillary was ‘smirky,’ stiff and her voice was too high-pitched. Trump showed anger and some petulance. He couldn’t get over his ‘counter-punching’ instincts. As a result, he let his opponent direct the substance of the debate.”

The Professor nodded at Paul and said, “Go.”

“I thought at a presidential debate even a moderator from NBC would play it fairly straight. It could have been worse, but his frequent interruptions of Trump, the selective fact checking and the avoiding of any questions on e-mails, illegal servers, BenGhazi, the Clinton Foundation and many others showed a clear network biases.”

“Barbara you’re on.”

“I was struck by the fact the contestants seemed to be unconsciously addressing different audiences. Hillary’s comments, I believe, were directed to the wonks and the Washington establishment. Trump seemed to be ignoring that audience and speaking to the people outside the handpicked inside audience. His pitch should have resonated with mainstream America. Especially the working people and those who are having difficult times just feeding and housing their families.”

“Edward, comment?”

“Yes. Irrespective of the judgments coming out of the spin rooms, the wonks and talking heads have been wrong about nearly everything associated with this campaign. And they have been wrong because they dislike the Republican candidate deep in their core. Trump is not of them, he doesn’t look like them. He doesn’t share their beliefs and perhaps worst of all, he is not an ideologically pure right-wing conservative Republican. The Conservative establishment class, including those in Congress and the feckless national security crowd, are giving, at best, very tepid support to the Trump campaign. The entire Bush crowd is an example of these political correct Brahmans.”

“Not exactly a one-liner but then the one-liners have been growing with each speaker. Alice, it is up to you to wrap this up.’

“I’ve enjoyed the comments and have to admit some of them surprised me. Indicating that while we all witnessed the debate, we saw different things. This is not a traditional presidential campaign. Maybe this is closer to a revolution than an election. Maybe, just maybe, in most countries these issues would now be being fought in the streets.”

“Excellent comments. This is a remarkable class. Go get some sleep and we will pick up these threads in our next class. Thank you.”

 

 

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