Abandon All Hope for the Democratic Party

For decades, people have tried to fix the Democratic Party. They’ve imagined that their failings in this regard could be overcome by a greater effort. But it is hard to imagine anyone in the future mounting as significant an effort as did Bernie Sanders and his supporters.

We’re cynically told to just wait, because younger people hold better views. But the holding of views, by anyone, has nothing to do with it. And younger people have a pretty consistent record of becoming older people.

Why does the holding of views have nothing to do with it? Because the Democratic Party is bought and paid for and directed from the top down.

Here is a party that pretends to have solved the healthcare crisis with such self-deluding intensity that it refuses to express support for providing universal healthcare.

Here is a party that criminally pushes for more militarism and war including the overthrow of the Syrian government, and that will not admit the existence of occupied Palestine.

Here is a party that continues to refuse to oppose fracking, that won’t put opposition to the TPP in its platform even while its candidate pretends to hold that position, and that won’t put free college in its platform even while its candidate pretends to hold that position.

This is where the Democratic Party is after — just as before — a challenge from within and without that, if not for systemic corruption, probably would have made a decent candidate the party’s nominee and did make that candidate the winner of nearly 50% in its primaries and caucuses. A greater challenge than this is highly unlikely in the coming days, months, years, or decades.

Let’s pause a moment and listen to the breeze. There it is. Wait for it.

All together now and con brio: So I want Donald Trump to transform the country into fascism because I hate women, right?

I want you to vote for a woman named Jill Stein, with or without Bernie Sanders on her ticket.

I also want you to recognize that the system is totally corrupted. Cleaning the money out, fixing the communications system, opening up the ballots and debates, abolishing or democratizing the Senate, undoing gerrymandering, creating hand-counted paper ballots at each polling place and an election holiday, banning bribery, publicly funding elections, ending the electoral college and delegates and superdelegates, creating direct democracy through referenda, redistributing power to states and localities, and other necessary reforms are not going to be achieved because of whom we elect within the broken system so much as by what we do to bring pressure to bear on everyone working within it.

The reason to break free of both election obsession and lesser evilism is not that one evil candidate is or isn’t worse than another evil candidate. The reason is to make ourselves independent minded throughout the year and to direct our focus toward policy-based popular campaigns for radical change rather than dissipating a movement into cheerleading for a particular set of Misrepresentatives.

The majority of the United States cannot stand either Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump. That majority needs to take a clear stand for a system of government that does not impose such people on us. Don’t fund them. Don’t work for them. Don’t allow them to go outdoors without protest. Don’t allow them to go indoors without protest. #NoTrumpNoClinton should be our position. And our agenda should be investing unprecedented, undreamed of quantities of energy and funding and time and creativity into building a movement to overwhelm whoever claims to be our public servants with our legitimate majority demands to try to save this planet, stop killing, share the wealth, and improve rather than degrade peoples lives with public resources.

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  • Lynn Walker

    Slow learner, but finally seems to get it. Can we extend this title to “Abandon all hope for a political resolution”? I’m still waiting for more than one other person to understand this very basic concept: our oligarchs control the political realm. Play politics you play into their game and you lose every time. When will enough people understand that we have to go elsewhere, not politics, if we want to fix our problems? Can we start now? Does this article make it clear to everyone? Not really, because Swanson is still proposing a political solution. Apparently this loser, Swanson, thinks it’s nobler to bear your losses with “gradual” progress than to ever actually use your brain and balls to win.

    • single payer

      Can’t help but find your comments interesting. This little snippet….

      “Furthermore, endless criticism, lacking in positive suggestions for remedy, are as psychologically destructive as the fear-mongering produced by other journalists and politicians. It is effectively the same action. You do nothing to improve our knowledge and understanding with your persistent criticisms.”
      It’s the remedy that’s missing and that is specifically what I’m curious about. Please do elaborate if you will.

      • Carl_Herman

        David Swanson states here that the wars are criminal, and has written a book on this topic. Therefore, one solution is arrests of the obvious War Criminal leaders of both parties. This would initiate safety for minions to abandon their psychopath masters and reveal the full truth.

        Without arrests, there is no safety for truth.

        • MrLiberty

          We have bestowed the monopoly on violence, justice, etc. onto the government and have retained nothing for the people. I agree that justice all around would send a message to the world that the US is finally ready to accept responsibility for its crimes and those of its leaders, but how will that ever happen?

          I firmly believe that the reason NO charges are EVER filed against presidents, etc. by either party (even when in opposition) is that they know in their hearts that their party’s president, governor, etc. will commit crimes that equal or outdo the ones in question. By setting a precedent, they set the stage for future prosecutions. Better to allow this one to slip by so that the crimes that benefit them and their party will be allowed in the future. Sadly the founding fathers ignorantly believed that the process of impeachment would be utilized throughout government, including the Supreme Court, to get rid of the un-constitutional criminals and that this ever-present “threat” would keep government officials in check. I think we can see from the current near-emperor status of our current and past presidents (at a minimum) that this “threat” was about as weak as expecting the Congress to actually have a spine in the face of the executive and judicial branches.

        • single payer

          Ok, so I’m not too far off base. Thank you.

        • Brockland A.T.

          Turkey’s Erdogan has demonstrated the power of arrests.


          Its time to indict Hilary. Upon gaining the Presidency, she, or rather the neocons, will be in the perfect position to clean house; fascism is already here but has yet to be christened properly.

    • MrLiberty

      Indeed, EVERY political solution is based on violence of one group against another. It can be no other way. There is no “opting out”, no “voluntary alternatives” allowed, etc. You either accept the political solution or you go to jail or worse. Why does ANYONE have the right to tell me what to do with my money (yes, indeed I should be obligated to pay for services I purchase), what I can do with my property (either I control it or it truly is not mine), or what I can do with my body/labor, etc. (either I own me, or I am someone’s slave)? Once we all wake up to realize that we have been suckered into believing what Larkin Rose calls “The Greatest Superstition” – namely that someone or some group, for whatever reason, has the right to rule me, we begin to walk on a new path based in peaceful solutions. You are right – political resolution will NEVER solve problems, for its violence only and always creates new ones. In the political game it is ALWAYS win/lose, but when people interact voluntarily, in the absence of force/coercion, etc. it is always win/win.

    • diogenes

      The source of the problem — laws enabling corporations and their plunder and corruption and monopoly, usury, financial fakery, the Federal Reserve — is in government and can only be addressed through government, by changing these laws. The political system as constituted is designed to prevent this. For suggestions based on history on how to work around this, see Parts 4 and 5 of my essay, posted elsewhere on this site, The Distribution of Wealth In America.

    • Brockland A.T.

      Swanson’s been in the antiwar movement long enough to have seen graphically what happens to brains and balls that try and win everything but the peace.

      Real political solutions work. If and when violence comes to bear, the groundwork laid for political solutions are the perennial roots that survive the autumn scythe and winter’s chill.


      Winning a revolution isn’t enough if it only breeds a revolving door of revolutionary regimes and failed states.

  • MrLiberty

    Ron Paul’s folks tried to fix the GOP and found exactly THE SAME corruption. BOTH major parties are controlled by big business interests who employ the power and violence inherent in political systems to their benefit. There may be differences in which interests control which party, but the end result for America is the same regardless of which one holds power. Good that you have finally woken up to the internal corruption that so many of us have see firsthand – and thus have abandoned the two-party oligarchy that has been destroying this country.

    • Brockland A.T.

      GOP corruption got Trumped.

      Of course, its not over yet.

  • WillDippel

    Here is an article that looks at how Hillary Clinton has completely reversed her opinion on one key issue:


    If she reverts back to the view she held while in office, this issue could negatively impact millions of American workers.

    • Brockland A.T.

      Reversion implies crooked Kilary wasn’t lying to the electorate begin with.

  • Kansas_Voter

    I hope that Liberals who are disappointed with the democratic party will see that the Green Party is where they belong. The 2016 election has demonstrated that if all of Bernie’s supporters who are #BernieOrBust would join the Green Party they could easily become the second largest political party in the country–maybe the biggest. The 2016 election has also demonstrated that many democrats are conservatives and they’re the ones who control the party, so there really isn’t any reason for a Liberal to stay a member. Join the Green Party and cast your vote for Dr. Jill Stein.


  • jadan

    Bernie’s “political revolution” turns out to be something of a joke. His endorsement of Clinton is a strategy of compromise to defeat Trump, the great fascist threat. Trump does not pose the danger Hillary does, however. Nuclear confrontation with Russia is the great danger from US/NATO aggression. When Jill Stein offered Sanders the top slot on the Green ticket, she won me over. Sanders lost his chance for a real political revolution. I’m voting Green…for a lost cause. And I hope Trump wins…..awful as that sounds, it’s better than having your dosimeter fried………

    • diogenes

      Poor Bernie, forced to expose himself as a pathetic fraud.

      He’s also a silly fool if he thinks most of his voters will follow him in backing the crooked psychopath of his choice.

      I’m with jadan, I’m voting Green.

      • jo6pac

        There lots of others around the net saying the same thing. Green

      • TruthTime

        Not necessarily a fraud. The DNC itself is the fraud – they are absolutely frightened of a “new” Democratic Party. They did the same thing to Dennis Kucinich.

        I predicted way back on Washingtons Blog that Bernie would not be the Democratic Nominee. I told the same thing to Eric. The Republican and Democratic parties are both corrupted to the core and voting FOR them traps the American public in a system beyond repair.

        • Joann Hughes

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  • Chris Horton

    Dear George Washington,

    As leaders we need to be the ones who stay cool in the battle, think about what we know, turn to each other for strength and perspective, and then swallow our fears, disappointments and even outrage and make the choice to go on trusting the leaders we’ve chosen, until such time as we just can’t or there is an alternative we can agree on together. We’re still in the middle of a great battle, and we’re being called on to hold our forces together and keep them on the firing line.

    The starting place, as you clearly understand, there is the recognition that this is not just a random set of battles, it’s a war, and there is an “us” and a “them”.

    The “them”, which Bernie correctly identified, is the Billionaire Class and their minions, parasites and those who are prospering in their shadows. As Warren Buffet pointed out, they know they’re in a class struggle with us, they have all their think tanks, spy agencies and university departments working out strategy, and they talk to each other in their own network of private clubs and meetings to coordinate. And they’ve been winning.

    Bernie correctly identifies the “us” as the vast majority who depend on a paycheck, a relief check or the work of our own hands to survive, whether we would last a week or a few years without it, And this “us”, while we may belong to many different organizations, movements and identity groups, has not been organized as a class as a whole, has not been conscious of being players as a whole the game, and so has not been capable of thinking and acting strategically together, in self defense against the billionaire class or to advance our interests.

    Bernie and his campaign have been dramatically changing that. He and his core supporters have been thinking strategically about our situation and our opponents, advancing a program that can bring us all together to confront them and showing us what and who we are and what we’re up against. This has transformed our conversation and situation, but it is only a beginning.

    I don’t see any other leader or force on the American scene right now that is capable of consciously playing this role. Jill Stein says a lot of the right words, but Bernie is the one who has won the trust and leadership of millions and who has come to speak for us.

    Right or wrong, wisely or foolishly, Bernie, in endorsing Clinton, has just made what he and his inner circle must have decided was a necessary strategic move. While he has not released his delegates and while anything could happen in the next two weeks, it’s looking likely we’re stuck with this, however it plays out. Many of us were shocked and disappointed, but we have to trust him, because right now, win or lose, he’s our champion, he’s our player at the table, and he’s the one whose call to battle we all answered.

    The working people of America are in a mood now to take power into our own hands – a revolutionary mood. Bernie called us to this revolution, which we were ripe for, and we responded. What Bernie’s doing is dangerous. He’s risking leaving that revolutionary ferment up for grabs. If we turn our backs on Bernie in our disappointment and scatter, we’ll end up squashed like bugs, as the billionaires move to make sure nothing like this ever happens again. The ruling class is going to throw everything at us and use every trick they know – starting with the Trump campaign.

    Bernie is now asking everyone if we possibly can to come to Philadelphia. We need to trust him and go. And then we’ll see if we still have a hand we can play.

    • jadan

      The Democratic Party has been the graveyard for genuine progressive politics since 1896 when a third party called the People’s Party found out what the politics of “fusion” is all about. The native Populist movement was destroyed. Bernie never accepted the fact that he represents a third party and thought it expedient to work within the Democratic Party machine. He ignored the pervasive fraud and announced that Hillary was the people’s choice when this is not true. But like Gore in 2000, Bernie backed away from challenging the election itself.

      There is no “movement”. There might have been, but Bernie’s too old and doesn’t have the stomach for a bonefide political revolution. The us and them rhetoric is just rhetoric. The billionaire class is behind Hillary. Bernie just handed his “movement” to the establishment. He is not my champion. Bernie is a good man, an honest man, and a strong and steady advocate of social democracy, But he’s worn out. He ain’t no Muhammad Ali and there’s no way he can go 15 rounds. In this country, you can say any damn thing you like, short of calling for violence, but it’s what you do that counts. Bernie just handed his people over to the bitch goddess of war & blood money and asked them to make believe they have changed the Democratic Party, or will in the near future.

      Don’t despair, however. The American people have been in the thrall of the elite minority from the start. We live in a a technocratic oligarchy. We yearn for democracy. The elite, in the personage of Hillary Clinton and other lapdogs, manages to forestall the revolutionary changes you seem to believe are imminent. They know how to relieve the distress of the masses so they don’t go after their pitch forks. Didn’t Obama tell them that he was the only thing that stood between them and the pitchforks? He’s passing that torch to Hillary and she’ll do the job even better. The yoke will be lifted a bit from the necks of the people. We are many and we are armed. They are few and they know it. This is not 18th Century France. The people actually are powerful. What they need is a real leader to realize the democratic potential. They ain’t got a real leader.

    • Brockland A.T.

      Bernie sold out. No-one who knows the type is surprised.

      Your wall of text can’t change that any more than it can take back every positive radical thing Bernie’s ever said and now turned his back on.

      The ‘genuine’ thing to do would have been to bow out without endorsing Hilary or speaking against her, endorsing Jill Stein (Green Party), then bowing out of the race entirely.

  • Brockland A.T.

    Ya know, Robert Kagan wrote a great article describing how useless governmental checks and balances would be in stopping Trump from introducing tyranny. Parallel thinking suggests, this neocon knows it wouldn’t stop his Hilary and the neocons either. Informed thinking suggests those checks and balances Kagan thinks of, go beyond just the legislature and judiciary to address the mil-intel bureaucracy of empire itself.


    Trump, maligned though he may be, is most maligned by forces no-one likes or trusts for their history of perfidy; the MSM and their neocon masters and assorted panderers.


    Fascism is already here; its just awaiting christening. Hilary will almost certainly have a bone to pick with elements of the surveillance state that opposed neoconservatism and opposed her. Threat of indictment was vexing. Insulting even. Purges of otherwise irreplaceable competent people who opposed neo-crazies may be on the neocon agenda.

    Neocons have never held Presidential power before; their greatest excesses were always curbed. President Shrub, who went all the way to Baghdad, said no to attacking Iran. Obama enshrined the Drone Wars, but said no to attacking Syria. Those Presidents said no because competent military and intel people remaining in the system wouldn’t stand for suiciding America.

    Hilary will not say no to any war the neocons want for any reason. The history of tyranny suggests that past a certain point of ascendancy, internal opposition to Power will be not be met with patient arm twisting and respectful cajoling behind closed doors. ‘Friendly’ talks about grandkids, in the open press yet, is the new default.

    The risks of a Trump presidency are versus the known moral and material incompetence of Hilary Clinton. There are good reasons to vote Trump, looking past emotion and rhetoric.


    Its also telling who’s splitting with Trump in the GOP; along with the neocons, the GOPs Armageddon Lobby. They don’t believe Trump will bring on Armageddon; odds are they aren’t flocking to Jill Stein instead, but to Hilary.


    It would be unwise to rule out Trump 2016. There are no good reasons to vote Hilary, except that she’s not Trump, which is not an argument at all but rather the neocons demanding their pawn be promoted.

    Unless of course Jill Stein (Green Party) really catches on and can beat Hilary AND Trump. She even believes in proportional representation and paper ballots.


    The greater danger lies in Hilary, not Trump. America’s first-past-the-post, winner take all, Electoral College rigged election system traps the voter in ever having to choose the lesser evil rather than greater good. Jill Stein would make a great President, but risky protest vote.

    President Hilary Clinton. Think on that; and what it will mean and what it may cost.