[Marxism] The Party's Over: Bernie?s Last Dance With the Dems

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Mon Feb 3 06:48:36 MST 2020

On 2/2/20 10:32 PM, John Reimann via Marxism wrote:
> There are some very good reasons not to support the Democrats, but the idea
> that what we're facing in Trump is essentially similar to what we faced
> with Goldwater, Reagan and Bush is not one of them.

I wouldn't say that Trump is like any of these previous politicians but 
he certainly reflects the new Republicanism that has been brewing for a 
decade or so, maybe more.

I don't know how many comrades listen to rightwing talk radio but that's 
where Trump comes from. I used to listen to this guy Steve Deace who had 
a show on a NYC AM station that was syndicated around the country. Deace 
spent more time attacking RINOS than Democrats, the term for Republicans 
in name only. Deace was a Christian fundamentalist of the kind that 
Chris Hedges wrote about in a book titled "American Fascists: The 
Christian Right and the War on America". I don't agree with the term 
fascist but his research is invaluable.

All this stuff that we label as "Trumpism" did not come from him. It 
came from the Tea Party right, the bible thumpers, the nativists, the 
Putin admirers who were there all along. He gave them a voice.

In the process of becoming the dominant voice of the Republican Party, 
they have intimidated the old guard at first and then transformed them 
into True Believers.

But as Mark Lause brought out, what difference does it make for the 
left? The Republican Party has radicalized and you at the same time have 
people like ex-ISOer Alan Maass writing things like this:

"For the next year at least — possibly one or two or three or more, but 
maybe less — a left-wing radicalization will continue to take the form 
of a surge of democratic socialist politics, with a particular focus on 
elections within the bounds of the Democratic Party, even as those 
bounds are strained."

Are you fucking kidding me? A particular focus on elections within the 
bounds of the DP has something to do with "radicalization"? What does it 
mean to be a radical? If it is making speeches about the "billionaire 
class", then it is a different kind of radicalization that young people 
underwent when I was young. These were people who joined SDS. Right? 
They occupied buildings on campus, not passing out literature to help DP 
candidates get elected. That's what galls me about the confusion Jacobin 
and the DSA have sown. Words like "socialism" and "radicalization" are 
being redefined to mean the left-liberalism of a wing of the DP.

But that's okay. A vacuum is being created that genuine socialists and 
radicals will fill. My only hope is that they will not try to fill it 
with the bogus "Leninism" of my misspent youth.

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