Democrats vs. Democracy, Republicans vs. Republic

Originally published on

“Progressive” members of the Democratic Party (if they are in a good mood) sometimes pat and fondle our dear little heads, and say that our opposition keeps their own chosen party “honest.” On the contrary, our opposition throws the political dishonesty of the Democratic Party into high relief. We must teach the corporate parties that some voters are not pets on leashes. We will put some bite back into elections.

Unsurprisingly, the two corporate parties make rules and regulations designed to disable any genuine party of anti-corporate populism. The Green Party certainly stands within the spectrum of ecologically conscious social democracy. As for parties that are explicitly socialist, the Democratic Party is not above using the old red-baiting tactics of the Republicans and the far right. Nevertheless, the public in Seattle voted Kshama Sawant into public office on City Council, and other class conscious campaigns against the corporate state and parties will continue. Were voters in Seattle voting for the Trotskyist affiliation of Kshama Sawant? A very few did so, but Sawant won because the demand for a living wage of fifteen bucks an hour vaulted her over a deadbeat career Democrat. By only a slim margin, surely? Yes, but given the corporate rigging of elections, that margin meant a historic level of class conscious friction against the fiction of “free” elections.

The aging hipsters of MoveOn will try the old bait-and-switch routine once again, dangling the bait of some “progressive” candidate until the eleventh hour of an election. Then they will make the case for the “pragmatic candidate,” likely a member of the Clintonistas if not an actual Clinton. In past years, the Democratic Party in Pennsylvania leaned on “the independent judiciary” to frame and fine two Green Party candidates for daring to run independent campaigns. So sleazy and yet so unsurprising, given the gangsterism of “progressives” in Pennsylvania.

Let’s speed forward to Massachusetts, where a candidate of the Green – Rainbow party, Jason Lowenthal, recently collected 3000 voter signatures in his run for Congress against a Democratic incumbent. (See message from the Green Party below.) But the town clerks told Lowenthal that he had collected signatures on white forms intended for the Democratic and Republican parties, and not on the tan forms intended for use by independent and opposition parties. How white of the Democratic and Republican parties to reserve tan forms for any political “minority” they hope never becomes a majority!

This is how the corporate parties repeatedly put the knife to their own throats, with a real genius for suicidal public relations.



Scott Tucker

Scott Tucker is a writer and a democratic socialist. His book of essays, “The Queer Question: Essays on Desire and Democracy,” was published by South End Press in 1997. He met Larry Gross in 1975, and they both now live in Los Angeles.

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