America in Crisis: What Happens When Neither Political Party Answers to the Bottom 90 Percent?


Thom Hartmann / AlterNet | Truthdig | March 20, 2016

As Donald Trump leads a full-scale war against the Republican establishment and elites, particularly through his attack on both their military (Iraq) and their trade (NAFTA) policies, the Democratic Party is also in a predicament that Bernie Sanders’ candidacy is exposing. Both parties right now face a great crisis of leadership/ideology as well as a great opportunity for reinvention, and whichever party first reinvents itself successfully will begin winning elections the way the Democrats did in the 1932-1968 era.

If neither does, our nation faces a massive crisis provoked by the loss of democratic representation of the majority of the American electorate.  Neither party today does much of anything for the bottom 90% of Americans, as so clearly demonstrated by a recent study out of Princeton that showed that the likelihood of legislation passing that represents the interest of that bottom 90% was equivalent, statistically, to white noise.

Thomas Frank’s new book “Listen, Liberal: Or, Whatever Happened to the Party of the People?” offers the fascinating premise that starting with the McGovern Commission of 1972 (which largely excommunicated Labor from having a large role in Democratic Party decision-making) and going into a full-out embrace of the “professional class” – i.e. the top 10% economically – the Democratic Party has largely abandoned the American working and middle class – the bottom 90%.

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