The Competing Ideologies of the Democratic Party


It is time for the Democratic Party leadership to put to rest the failed neoliberal ideology that has governed both Republicans and Democrats over the last 30 years and embrace a more progressive social democratic platform. 

Our country has been thrown into disorder. Our middle class, once the envy of the world, has been decimated. Household debt is at record levels. Median income growth has been near frozen while other basic expenditures, such as food, housing, healthcare and education, have been skyrocketing. In our broken and corrupt campaign finance system, politicians rely on 0.26% of the population for nearly 70% of their campaign funding. Just 158 families in the United States account for nearly half of all political spending. 

For the great majority of Americans, the neoliberal world order which has governed our politics and policies over the last 30 years has been a total failure. It is an ideology that preaches to shrink the state and shutdown regulations in order to allow money and capital to organize society. Today, as a result of 30 years of this ideology, we are seeing 85% of all new wealth created going to the top 1% of Americans while other less fortunate members of society are living shorter lives defined by increased poverty, substance abuse and massive debt. 

This ideology which has declared collectivism the enemy and individualism the savior has created an era of loneliness. There is no sense of community, belonging or a broader sense of shared destiny. It should come as no shock that in this age of individual isolation we are witnessing an epidemic of mental health disorders. The only individuals who are benefiting from this order are the very few at the top and it is no coincidence that those who benefit the most are also those who are controlling the levers to change it. 

It is time for the Democratic Party to abandon the toxic doctrine of neoliberalism that has torn our society apart, destroyed our politics, threatened our environment, and produced great financial crises. It is time to embrace collectivism, rebuild our sense of community, reclaim our economic freedom, protect our environment and create a shared sense of destiny. Without it, our future is bleak. We can no longer live in a society where the top 3 individuals have more wealth than the bottom 50% of Americans. The anger and divisiveness in our society (the Trump phenomenon) is a direct consequence of this growing income inequality. The longer growing inequality goes unchecked and unresolved, the more dangerous it becomes. 

It is time for the Democratic Party to abandon neoliberalism and embrace Democratic Socialism. 

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