Why "leftism" is parting ways with "liberalism" and what it means for the future of American politics

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2018/05/24/normcore-v-radical.html


Yeah. Your typical corporate Democrat like Chuck Schumer would rather have someone like Trump in the White House, making them look good by comparison, as they claim to be resisting the regime even while voting to grant it more extrajudicial spying powers, than someone like Sanders, making them look bad when they constantly sabotage everything he’s trying to do.


The Dems are doing the same thing as the repubs used to do. Clutch their pearls and hold back “until we regain power”. Where’s the outrage and protesting that should be happening.?

We need to rethink the 2 party system completely.


As someone who would be considered “leftist” according to these definitions, I don’t feel like the problem is capitalism itself- just unregulated, utterly corrupt capitalism. Or would changing the laws to prohibit blatant conflict of interest make it not capitalism anymore?


I feel like I should point out here that everywhere else in the developed world, universal healthcare is the position of centrist and even center-right parties, not just the left.


I think that’s what the term “American-style” capitalism was driving at. Compared to European-style capitalism or Japanese-style capitalism. Both have their corruption issues, but they haven’t degraded to the point where corruption is the point, rather than an aside.


American liberalism is seeking to reach across the aisle to Republican establishment figures who are horrified to see their party shedding its polite veneer and pandering to racism, religious zealotry, and xenophobia.

That’s the Dem establishment for you: instead of working with progressives to put no-brainer policies like single-payer universal health insurance and stricter regulation of Wall Street into the party’s platform they reach out to establishment Republicans fighting off the Frankenstein’s monster they created. Do they really think that voting to confirm a torturer or rolling back the already inadequate Dodd-Frank are what their constituents want?

I hope that 2018 will be the year that Schumer and the other Boomer+ establishment Dems finally realise it’s no longer the year 1992, but I’m not holding my breath.


Yes. We don’t really have a left and right in this country. We have centrist and really far right

So this is a good thing. Let the leftists go far left, let the liberal/conservative moderates go centrist, and let the right stay as far out there as they want. We need more than two parties so we can see what a farce the far left and right wing really is.


A two party system simply cannot represent the electorate in any meaningful way.


Here in the US, we have a right wing that wants to maintain the status quo. that means no new social programs, but also don’t remove any current social programs. no decreases in military spending. no increases in public education spending. no new taxes (read my lips). Usually grudgingly tolerant of unions (e.g. local and state GOP in the rust belt). Republicans have been in this category for many years, a significant number of Democrats as well. Most fall here but with slight leaning left or right on their own pet issues.

we have a populist ultranationalist wing that wants to move to a very hierarchical and class-based society, authoritarian policies are the only way to regress to those “good old days” that never really existed in the way that people imagine. classically we’d call them fascists. they are willing to disrupt the status quo in order to reform the nation to fit their own ideals. ex: Tea Party, Constitution Party.

we have a small number of progressives. they are willing to disrupt the status if there is some perceived benefit to the public good. generally promotes programs that exclusively benefit the disenfranchised, on the theory that help should go where it is most needed first. having no direct tangible benefit makes progressive unpopular with the middle class, especially the sort that found AllLivesMatter to be an appealing campaign. ex: Green Party, some Democrats.


Perhaps Millennials and Gen X will vote independent more? The numbers I’ve seen don’t back that up though so we might be stuck with a 2 party system for another few generations.

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I have some sympathy for the argument that the so-called liberals in the U.S. (primarily in the Democratic Party) have turned a blind eye to what is basically a corporate co-option of the state, and in that respect are not so far different from the Republicans. They were willing to overlook growing inequality, growing corporate power, and stagnant wages for workers. But I can’t really wish a pox equally on both the parties. What we have seen with the Trump Administration is what happens when that corporatist program is taken to an Orwellian extreme. We have a guy heading the E.P.A. who has spent his whole career suing the agency he is now heading. We have a Secretary of Education who doesn’t believe in public education. We have an guy from the Tea Party, burn down the government wing of the G.O.P. who is now, weirdly, both Budget Director and head of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, a guy who doesn’t believe in consumer protection. And so on. It is “regulatory capture” on a massive blatant scale, and to an extent I am pretty sure the Democrats, flawed as they are, wouldn’t countenance. The G.O.P. political program was summed up in a comment I read (but alas, can’t attribute): “They want to feed us to the corporations.” That is what is happening now.


The DNC is distancing itself from the “left” as quickly as it can. They believe the only winning strategy is to move right (again) and scoop up middle of the road Republicans fed up with the radicalization of the party. The strategy is a likely a solid one, but it will not get my vote. I am simply done with Neo-Liberal empire building.


Then we can finally break free from the old United False Dichotomy of America.


I don’t think that either of these definitions make much coherent sense. (But “liberals” is worse.) It’s like those two labels are only being used because they are already out there, not due to any correlation with their original or common current meanings.


Did you sleep through the 2016 primaries? There were a hell of a lot more than the RNC or the DNC would like to admit…


If you’re not the party in power, it’s all academic wanking.

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actually I think most americans are interested in forcing their religious beliefs onto everyone else (bafflingly, trump is the choice of the conservative evangelicals).


“It’s not a bug, it’s a hidden feature!”


1000 times this. I’m all for pushing the DNC further left, but the perfect can be the enemy of the good. voting green party or throwing a burn the whole thing down vote to Trump to spite Hillary has done more damage to the US safety net than the prior half-dozen GOP presidencies combined.