Hope

The real thing.

Not Obama’s vague hopey-changey snake oil, but the real thing.  The lesson the Dems aren’t learning from Corbyn in the UK and from the energy of the Berners during last year’s primaries and that which they will steadfastly refuse to learn because of the old adage that it is very hard to convince a man to believe something when his salary depends upon him not believing it, is that they have to give the people hope.  The main problem with Clintonian Third-Way centrist capitulation is that it is just a methadone bump when the GOP is offering a mainline heroine dose of Americanized fascism.  The GOP is well down the road to unvarnished authoritarianism and 30 years of Democrats finding middle ground has landed us here.

Halfway between truth and a lie is still a lie.

Jeremy Corbyn gave the people hope with a detailed plan of how to get there and how to pay for it all.  Corbyn has also been a steadfast and committed party man for his entire 40+ year career who did the hard work within his party to build the clout and political capital and outmaneuver his own Third Way Blair-ite capitulation brigade to get the full power and strength of his party behind him.  This is an important difference.

Bernie Sanders did very much the same thing from a hopeful vision and detailed planning perspective, but he lacked a proper vehicle because of our wretched two-party system, which left him in the position of being an insurgent within a hostile party hierarchy that just wanted him to get the fuck out of the way of their coronation.  Had he won the primaries decisively, the Debbie Wasserman-Schultz’s and Robbie Mooks of the party would have hamstrung him or perhaps even outright kneecapped him and deliberately taken a loss just to teach the rabble not to get too attached to things like actual Hope.

Obama certainly learned that lesson, or perhaps he already knew it (which is what I think, hence snake oil) when he disbanded the greatest informal political machine of the modern age and turned his campaign and eventually the White House over to official Democratic operatives.  We don’t have single-payer healthcare today because he didn’t keep his Army of Hope intact, at the ready to call and text and email and write snail mail and otherwise generally rally to the cause for his policy initiatives.

The lesson the Democrats are obviously, deliberately not learning here is that you have to give the people hope and a reason to vote FOR you and not just against the other guy.  Hillary’s greatest mistake, and I’m not sure I can fully characterize it as a mistake because she was so deficient as a candidate and as a politician that it kinda was her only play without the leopard changing its spots, was that she staked her whole victory on being Not Trump.

Which is, again, why I think a political brush fire in the wake of a shellacking in 2018 is the only thing that will clear out the dead wood from the Democratic Party, so that it can finally, once and for all, become a proper left wing party of the people.  Sometimes, things have to get bad, really, really bad, for things to ever get better.

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