Appointment of Schumer to Senate Minority Leader: Democrats’ Denial & Suppression of Progressivism

Speaking as an FDR Democrat (economically, anyway.  That Japanese internment camp thing wasn’t a great idea), Chuck Schumer’s appointment as the Senate Minority leader left me having a crisis of faith.  Not that my faith was entirely sturdy; seeing as their trust in fellow party elites over the needs of the proletariat have become a nasty habit in most post-McGovern Democrats.  Chuck Schumer’s appointment sends messages to progressives: none of them good.

The Democratic Party establishment has learned nothing since Trump became the presidential-elect. The establishment Democrats who negotiated and fund-raised through big money interests have substantially lost the window of opportunity to attract and uphold the progressive movement, thus becoming victims of a system that had been too far rooted in favors and influence since  Benjamin Franklin received his snuff box.

Chuck Schumer’s interview with Dan Balz about the Democrats’ general election strategy gave me pause:

The electorate is moving in a more Democratic direction. When middle class incomes decline, people tend to move in a more progressive direction…For every blue-collar Democrat we lose in western Pennsylvania, we will pick up two moderate Republicans in the suburbs in Philadelphia, and you can repeat that in Ohio and Illinois and Wisconsin.

— Chuck Schumer [1]

The Intercept had torn into Schumer’s record already [2], so I wouldn’t be contributing anything new to the conversation of major league lobbying money in our body politic; But the one thing I can say with certainty is that the other two reasons I gave in the above paragraph are made moot because what Schumer implies is that all outreach made by Democrats are the product of calculation, seemingly going out of their way to avoid directly engaging with the proletariat.  They analyze demographics rather than getting actual boots on the ground.  These out of touch politicians are the reason Trump had any appeal to Republicans and the populous movement of young voters in the first place. Not to mention Clinton’s lack of reliability to the everyday American [3], continuous pay for play activities [4], and two email [5] scandals [6] put the nail in the coffin for a 2016 presidential-elect Democrat.

With that being said, the Democratic Party is in placing their faith in Schumer to do what, exactly?  Bring in more progressive values? To bring in people even remotely left of center?  Already protests have erupted demanding him to step down as Minority Leader [7] and for good reason, Schumer is connected to one of the most powerful lobbying firms in the nation {8}, rallied for AIPAC to stop The Iran deal [9], and passes toothless energy bills [10] in what appears to be an attempt to save face with environmentalists while staying mum on the Spectra oil pipeline [11].

I know all about Bernie’s endorsement of Schumer: I don’t agree with it, but I can’t blame him.  My guess is that Bernie  just doesn’t believe the Democrats have anybody else with any influence in their Rolodex. If he thinks that Chuck Schumer’s the only chance that the Democrats have got to push progressive values on the Senate floor, then we’re in deep trouble. 

If this election has taught us anything, it’s that we cannot fully place our trust in our elected officials, Democrat or Republican. It is now very clear that if they keep finding excuses not to make the changes we need, then we will flip the seats.

If money is going to talk, then progressives are going to walk.  And that is something the Democrats cannot afford anymore.  The complacency of the Left will usher in a fascist America.

Fight On,

Nick S.

About the Author: Nick S. is an artist, blogger, and activist.  He is also a member of NQD’s Communications Committee.  

Note: Article was updated 1/25/17 to include citations.














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