Thursday, March 5, 2020

SUPER TUESDAY & THE ESTABLISHMENT DEMOCRATS: A POST-MORTEM ANALYSIS


Oleh Lily Hikam*)

What follows is my reading of the outcome of the Super Tuesday primaries of the US Democratic party in 14 states plus Samoa. To begin with, it's clear that all of the existing polls that predicted the victory of Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt) have been put into shame: Joe Biden has won in 9 states and Bernie in 4 states, while Michael Bloomberg in the American Samoa territory. Like it or not that was the dynamic in the Dems' voters whose implications on both the 2020 presidential election and the future of the progressive politics in the country need to be seriously addressed.

Now, it's not to say that the Super Tuesday results will be the end of the world as far as Sanders' campaign is concerned. The fact is he's a runner up in the post-Super Tuesday competition with not so wide margin vis-a-vis the winner, Joe Biden. In term of pledged delegates, Sanders has got 441 while Biden 507 and there is still some states like California that are still counting their ballots. Bernie Sanders won quite significantly in California, a state whose 416 pledged delegates are the largest. More importantly, there are still more than 30 primaries in the weeks and months to come. Some are in the swing states like Florida, Michigan,Wisconsin, and Ohio, or in a big state like New York where Bernie has a strong attraction to the grassroots voters.

And yet, the former Vice President Biden's winnings in Super Tuesday states was, to use the mainstream media pundits' words, a shocking political turning over. In my reading it could mean that the establishment Democrats' will to power is gaining strength and, if it's true, there would be no game changer in the 2020 US Presidential elections. It might even helping Donald Trump getting reelected and, worse still, it reflects the failure of the "political revolution" platform, envisioned by Democratic socialists such as Bennie Sanders, AOC, and many others, that would empower the American working class.

Why?

Establishment Democrats don’t care about the plights of American working people, mainly their stagnant wages or their terrible working conditions. They don’t care about the student loan and medical debt driving average people into poverty. They don’t care about the inflated military budget. They don’t care about climate change or taking a drastic measure to stop the destruction of our planet. and they sure as heck don’t care about losing to Trump in November by nominating this man to run against him.

Establishment Democrats only care about protecting a system of crony capitalism that has enabled them to benefit from concentrating wealth and power in the hands of the Capital owners while disenfranchising and exploiting the workers who made those profits. Establishment Democrats only care about what is good for the big money donors, wealthy patrons and they will regulate based on what will benefit them, not the working class.

Because under a Biden or Trump presidency, it will be business as usual for them. Nothing will fundamentally change, as Biden promised a group of rich donors early on in his campaign.

Of course nothing will fundamentally change for the working people of this country, either. They will still go bankrupt from going to the doctor, live paycheck to paycheck, be saddled with student loan debts for the crime of pursuing a higher education and if there’s war on the horizon, our children will still be the ones sent to the front lines.

Under the Dems establishments, the Democratic Party is not the party of the American working class in the style of FDR, Kennedy or Johnson. It is more like a "socially liberal, fiscally conservative" right-wing party in the style of Ronald Reagan.

Early congratulations to President Donald Trump for his second term in office?!

*) PhD candidate, Dept. of Biological Chemistry, School of Medicine, University of California, Irvine, CA, USA

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