by Cory Doctorow
November 10, 2016
Day 14 Occupy
September 30 2011
Glenn Greenwald frames what
I've been trying to articulate:
as neoliberalism and its
handmaiden, corruption, have swept the globe, making the
rich richer, the poor poorer, and everyone in the middle
as elites demonized and
dismissed the left-behinds who said something was wrong
as the social instability of
inequality has been countered with increasingly invasive
on terror" policing, millions of people are ready
to revolt, and will support anyone who promises no more
business as usual
As Steven Brust
writes, the fact that Trump
supporters vehemently denied that he is a racist (he is a racist)
also means that,
they think racism is a bad thing and should be denied."
The "racist" Pennsylvania voters who
Obama in 2008 went Trump in
2016 - sure, they were bombarded with
racist Facebook disinformation for
the intervening eight years, but,
"scapegoating dynamics fester [in] a
system that excludes and ignores a large portion of the
In Sanders, the Democrats had a chance
to front one of the most popular politicians in living American
history, and instead, they chose someone who epitomized the
Establishment, whom Trump could easily demonize as
business-as-usual from the business-as-usual party.
It was the Democratic Party's election
to lose, and they lost it.
While we're blaming white supremacy and
rare Pepe collectors, let's not forget that the Democratic
establishment made a dangerous gamble that voters would turn out to
vote anti-Trump even if it meant holding their noses and voting
pro-establishment, and they were
totally wrong about that.
Complaining about "Bernie Bros" and
chalking up Clinton's weak support among millennial (and even
Hispanics - almost a third of whom chose a man who called them all
"rapists" in preference to Hillary) ignores the lesson of elections
and movements around the world, from
there is no future in backing the
With so many elections pending in the
EU, left-wing parties face a choice:
front another technocratic,
elite-serving Clinton figure
or back a genuine leftist who
promises an inclusive, redistributive, fair society
If they choose the former,
Trumpism will proliferate.
If they choose the latter, we
can put it in check.
The fact that Trump used Debbie
Wasserman Schultz's leaked emails to demonstrate that the Democratic
Party was corrupt doesn't make it a lie.
Debbie Wasserman Shultz is
substantially to the right of Richard Nixon
and Ronald Reagan, and stood without opposition in her
Florida district for 11 years,
rising to the highest ranks of power in the party machine.
In the UK, the Labour Party opposition
to Jeremy Corbyn is being led by a
Wasserman Shultz with English characteristics
who spent the party's own money to sue to disenfranchise 200,000
party members who didn't support the establishment.
Those of us who send money to the
left-leaning parties, who vote for their candidates, who call and
canvas door-to-door for them must draw a line:
We can't allow the party bosses to
hand our future over to more Trumps because they owe their
the 1 percenters who've
colonized our movement.
Put simply, Democrats knowingly
chose to nominate a deeply unpopular, extremely vulnerable,
scandal-plagued candidate, who - for very good reason - was
widely perceived to be a protector and beneficiary of all the
worst components of status quo elite corruption.
It's astonishing that those of us
who tried frantically to warn Democrats that nominating
Hillary Clinton was a huge
and scary gamble - that all empirical evidence showed that she
could lose to anyone and Bernie Sanders would be a much
stronger candidate, especially in this climate - are now the
ones being blamed:
by the very same people who
insisted on ignoring all that data and nominating her
But that's just basic blame shifting
Far more significant is what this
shows about the mentality of the Democratic Party.
Just think about who they nominated:
someone who - when she wasn't
dining with Saudi monarchs and being feted in Davos by
tyrants who gave million-dollar checks - spent the last
several years piggishly running around to Wall Street banks
and major corporations cashing in with $250,000 fees for
45-minute secret speeches even though she had already become
unimaginably rich with book advances while her husband
already made tens of millions playing these same games.
She did all that without the
slightest apparent concern for how that would feed into all the
perceptions and resentments of her and the Democratic Party as
corrupt, status quo-protecting, aristocratic tools
of the rich and powerful:
exactly the worst possible
behavior for this post-2008-economic-crisis
era of globalism and destroyed industries.
It goes without saying that Trump is
a sociopathic con artist obsessed with personal enrichment:
the opposite of a genuine
warrior for the downtrodden.
That's too obvious to debate.
But, just as Obama did so powerfully
in 2008, he could credibly run as an enemy of the D.C. and Wall
Street system that has steamrolled over so many people, while
Hillary Clinton is its loyal guardian, its consummate
Trump vowed to destroy the system
that elites love (for good reason) and the masses hate (for
equally good reason), while Clinton vowed to manage it more
That, as Matt Stoller's
indispensable article in The Atlantic three weeks ago
documented, is the conniving choice the Democratic Party made
to abandon populism and become
the party of technocratically proficient, mildly benevolent
managers of elite power.
Those are the cynical,
self-interested seeds they planted, and now the crop has