After two pieces that hammer the Better Deal for ignoring a problem that, in the future, may morph into an existential threat, I feel like I may need to clarify a few positions. Specifically, what the Better Deal means for the party as a whole, and why we shouldn’t abandon the party because it’s glaring flaws.
There’s a theme I noticed last election cycle: the idea of allowing “ideal” to become the enemy of “okay.” This was further compounded by an inability to tell what “okay” was. That hasn’t gone away, either; in the post-2016 political arena, there’s a tendency among certain movements within the Democratic Party to try and cannibalize one another. This sort of internecine fighting goes beyond vigorous, healthy debate, and may actually harm the party in 2018.
And if they lose in 2018, the Republicans control the census. If that happens, you may not see another Democratic victory in your lifetime, regardless how old you are when you’re reading this. The Republicans may become to America what the Communist Party is to China or the People’s Action Party is to Singapore.
This is partly because the Democratic Party doesn’t have the, uh . . . “intellectual” purity the Republican Party has — and it shouldn’t strive to. The problem with purity is that you can never be pure enough for the hardcore fanatics.
As I noted in my earlier pieces, the “Better Deal” is fundamentally an appeal to populism, pinning the blame on elites — in this case, the corporate elites. And while corporate elites own the blame for a lot of problems in the world, outsourcing is a natural growth of the capitalistic system that everyone claims to support, and has improved lives globally. This one’s not their fault.
More to the point, however, outsourcing isn’t the issue any more than immigration is. The issue is the social ramifications of automation, and the Better Deal has nothing in place to combat that. And while that’s bad, that can’t be a deal breaker. If we let that be a deal breaker, we may never get a chance to fix the problem again.
Do you think the Republicans care about automation and people losing jobs? They’d prefer to blame it on Mexicans and Arabs to whip up support for wastes of taxpayer money like a wall along the Mexican border. And rather than offer viable solutions to the legitimate problems with Obamacare (problems fixed with a universal health care system, although that’s a wholly different debate), they’re trying to steal the health care from over 20 million people so they can give friggin’ tax breaks to the top 0.01%.
At least with the Democrats, we have a chance; they may not care about automation anymore than the Republicans do, but they aren’t ideologically homogeneous like the Republicans are. Nor are they as blindly destructive to civilization. We need to keep this in mind at all times, even as we criticize Democratic policies.