The Liberal Establishment is Fighting the Left
You won't hear much about this shift from the moderate centrists in the 'liberal' media or Democratic National Committee. They seem to think that ignoring when possible, and smearing leftists at every turn will make it not exist. They're whistling through the graveyard. Many people have grown weary of centrist Democrats' incremental rightward drift and collusion with the corporate lobby, Wall Street, and the Military Industrial Complex. Democrats today would have been solidly Republican just twenty years ago.
There seems to be two Republican parties today; the batshit crazy right-wingers, and the corporatist, neo-liberal, Democrats.
USA Today reports more than a third of Americans, 37%, now favor Socialism. That was unthinkable just five years ago. In less than a decade there has been a definite leftward shift in the public. People are weary of the lies associated with trickle down economics, corporate friendly policy that creates insane, opulent, wealth for the few and a thirty-five year long wage stagnation, and slow disquieting slide into poverty. Poverty being defined as one unfortunate life event, illness, major car or home repair, or otherwise unforeseen financial calamity from bankruptcy and homelessness.
The left was ignited by the Occupy movement of 2012. It was derided and smeared in the corporate media, but it didn't go away. Occupy retreated to organize. That organizing led to the insurgent campaign of Senator Bernie Sanders, an Independent, Democratic Socialist.
Sanders' campaign brought Socialist ideas to the mainstream, and the public was receptive.
The Emergence of The Left
Referring to 'the left' does not mean the Democratic party. The Democrats have become Republican in their governance, more like the GOP of Reagan and Bush Sr.
The emerging progressive left has been noticeably absent from American political discourse for over two decades. The Occupy movement of 2011-12 was the left's most concerted effort since Seattle in 1999. Any momentum the left may have generated in '99-00 was derailed by the events of September 11, 2001. The country went into an ultra-patriotic, vengeful, war mood. The perfect conditions for the far right-wing politics of xenophobic, flag waving, blood reckoning. The anti-war, political left was silenced, rendered impotent and invisible. To resist was to be labeled an 'unAmerican and a terrorist sympathizer.'
During W Bush's second term, the country was starting to show the fatigue of more than five years of 'support the troops' slogans and jingo patriotism and nationalistic flag waving. The nation was becoming war weary at the edges. There seemed to be no end in sight, there still isn't ten years later. Things were starting to look like Vietnam of forty years before. The political left was starting to make noise in the media. The prolonged wars were the foundation for the left to build its momentum.
The Left Doesn't Organize...It Coordinates
There is a saying in political circles that says: "trying to politically organize the left is like trying to herd cats."
Most people on the left are not suited to hierarchical political structure, and planned talking point messaging. The further left politically, the less inclined one would be to ideological obedience. Ideological obedience is a hallmark trait of conservative, and right wing Republicans and libertarians and now even Democrats.
Heretofore, the left has rallied around individual issues, not around a comprehensive platform. Leftist thought isn't hamstrung by strict doctrine, or seeking ideological purity.
The progressive left is propelled by a vision. An end to imperial wars of aggression and regime change, economic equality and rectifying systemic racism.
It may disagree with how to realize the vision, however, the vision is the proponent.
Neo-liberal, third way Democrats, who came to power with the election of Bill Clinton in 1992, had a strangle hold on what little voice the left had in the public discourse. Those corporate moderates, who are powerful Democratic party operatives, too easily conceded on essential social issues like healthcare. They had a majority in congress in '08-'10, and public support to bargain for and win universal single payer healthcare. But, at the beginning of the legislative bargaining process with the GOP, the Democrats conceded that powerful position, they never fought for it. The performance of the Obama administration and Democrat Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi's congress, didn't seem much different than the previous W Bush administration and GOP congress. All that differed was the language, the attitude. But, the results were eerily similar. Wall Street and the corporate lobby were dictating public policy, not the will of the electorate.
That was the critical mass that exploded into the Occupy movement.
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