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Saturday, February 01, 2014

Inequality and Democracy

A comment I wrote on another blog about this subject:
There is a negative cycle at work. Politicians need two things, money and votes. As government checks out more and more from helping ordinary people, they become disillusioned and just stop voting. That leaves all politicians, including the Democrats who may actually be inclined to do good things for ordinary people, at the mercy of money.
If progressives are ever going to make headway, they need to demonstrate to disillusioned potential voters how they are digging their own graves by staying away from the polls and conceding control of government to money. Standard get-out-the-vote campaigns are important but not sufficient. A massive campaign to make people understand they need to vote if the power of money is going to be reduced is necessary. They also need to understand that it's going to be a long slog, and must persist in the face of inevitable disappointments. Massive turnouts, besides turning Republicans out of office, will also tend to make Democrats live up to their name.
There is more to say about this, but one thing at this particular point in our history is that we have to hold our noses in many cases and vote for Democrats simply because they are Democrats. Republicans now are forced to vote as a bloc, so there is simply no such thing as a good Republican. Democrats are at least committed to listening "to the people," and if progressives are successful in putting more of them in office by turnning out more people, they will listen even more. It is simply false that there is no difference. Look at the many, many liberal bills passed by the House when Nancy Pelosi was the Speaker that were stooped by the filib uster in the Senate.