"The Democratic Party has and always will be an instrument that is a fetter to any notion of social transformation.  It falls over backwards to be seen as a non-threatening opposition ..."

post 11/02/2004: don't go away now
essay by mike morgan


*  The Democratic Party:  The only apt word that comes to mind is "wankers."  They were handed the election on a silver platter and yet they still managed to fuck it up.  Bet for sure that the Republicans wouldn't have conceded if the boot was on the other foot.   The incompetence level of the Democrats is such that it's hard to discount the loss as not being deliberate.  For instance, a friend whose family donated a chunk of change to one of the Democrats' front election funds (Moveon.org), ostensibly to oust Bush, told me that the check was only cashed on November 3rd.  Incompetence and greed aside, the end result is what mealy-mouthing on substantial global issues (the war) and coddling conservatism gets.  Even if these same conservatives (so called "swing voters") elect the Democrats, they (the right wingers) are fair-weather friends at best and will abandon the Democrats as soon as that party moves a centimeter to the left.  So, all we've got to look forward to is the same ridiculous procedure repeating itself four years from now.  For those who argued the lesser-of-two-evils limping dog of a position, they didn't even get that after prostituting what they confessed to really believe in order to sell their lousy proposal in the first place.  If those spineless Democrats had the chutzpah to put forward a candidate who refused to acknowledge the legitimacy of the Republicans, who refused to even debate them because of their dishonesty and duplicity, that person surely could have stood more of a chance at popularity than the Old Grey Wooly Vest (John Kerry).  When people are treated as fodder and taken for granted, they might make wrong and terrible decisions in reaction, but they will not automatically follow and do as expected.  This is especially true when those telling them to act are elite snobs, with nothing substantially different to offer than more of the same.  The lowest common denominator then comes into effect.  Everything gets boiled down to inane criteria and catch phrases such as "strength to lead," "ready for duty," or "steering the course."  The Democratic Party has and always will be an instrument that is a fetter to any notion of social transformation.  It falls over backwards to be seen as a non-threatening opposition to the very people and positions it disingenuously claims to be against.  And it destroys the hopes of those who unwittingly or naively believe it to be a real opposition.  How many times does this have to happen before it is accepted as a universal truism by those who stand against the Bush or any other right wing agenda?   If the Democratic Party disappeared overnight, there would be cause in this household to go on a drinking spree celebration of epic proportions.  All that money and clout too, George Soros, Barbara Streisand, Brucey Springsteen.  Keep yer savings in yer sock. 

* Class:  Of the fifty richest counties in the United States, thirty-five of them voted in Kerry.  He was definitely up there in terms of being one of the most well-heeled U.S. presidential candidates of all time.  The NY Times, bemoaning NYC residents reaction to the election results, used as an example an independent film maker who lived on Central Park West.  Apparently, she was so cut up about the outcome that, on the day after, she burst into tears in the foyer of her building and had to be helped weeping into the backseat of her waiting Lincoln Town Car by a consoling doorman.  I am not making this up.  Such examples certainly speak volumes to the working poor of this country, the people whose aspirations the Democrats claim to represent.  You'd better believe that "Fuck the rich" is never going to be one of their party slogans.

* No Left:  The absence of a Left in this country is devastating.  Instead of this malarkey being a side show, it becomes center stage.  If there was a functioning, attractive Left in this place, George Bush would have been dealt with.  Instead, we not only have these clowns dictating issues, it's their show.  We either participate in the circus or grump on the sidelines. In the long run, what's more important?  A vibrant resistance movement with a shot at going forward or short term swing voters from Ohio, who will only step backwards and bollocks up progress?  Those who argue for the latter have no commitment to overturning the tables.  Only an effective resistance movement can force concessions, e.g. the African National Congress in South Africa.  The level of mass insurgency to apartheid rule was such that, for the ruling class there, even an organization like the ANC became a liveable alternative.  We'll only win victories from the Democrats when they have to concede them.  And then we will beat the Republicans.  The Democrats don't want to know what comes next.   

* A Nation Divided:  Of course this is a nation divided: by race and class; not by Republicans and Democrats.  What an unhelpful crock when it comes to explaining the nation of voters.  The only division is made by the remnants of the Left.  Everybody else is united.  The distinction is irrelevant (more or less the same amount of people voted for the Reds in Blue states as Blues in Reds).  This has more to do with lack of choice, intellectual laziness, bullshit imagery, privilege, narrow self-interest and false nationalism than it has to do with genuine ideological and political diversity.  On this question, Osama Bin Laden is unfortunately right.  It really doesn't make a difference -- only to those who can benefit from keeping this fallacious notion alive (the Republicans and the Democrats).  The rest of the nation can't afford to take too much more of this.

* The Dumbing Down of the Voting Populus: This cannot be denied.  Ignorance is the order of the day.  That the Republicans can claim a victory based on moral values is Orwellian to say the least...It's absurd.  Only socially unconscious people buy into this.  Our society appears to be well stocked.

* Liberals:  "I'm embarrassed to live here...I'm moving to Canada...We didn't register enough voters...I can't believe how stupid Bush is," the litany of liberal twaddle, elitism, whining and white-knuckling prior to the election was indigestible.  With no Left to box their ears and expose them, liberals, with their milk toast ideology and lack of imagination, pervaded the anti-Bush campaign like a cheap suit, and, in true hand wringing fashion, they got what they deserved.  Bush won and the liberals felt guilty and upset (for a few days at least), sold out by their intellectual inferiors, namely good ole boys, religious fundamentalists and rednecks.  They couldn't even blame Numero Uno liberal Ralph Nader for this catastrophe...or Florida and old Jewish geezers voting for Pat Buchanan by mistake.  Whose rule did they think they were living under for the last four years?  Or did they even fucking notice?  And all of them were around for the twelve-year run of Reagan/Papa Bush.  Shit, most of the ones I know are property owners, amassing their dosh during those regimes.  They're all still here though.  Probably planning how to bugger up the next one (election that is).

* The Real War:  Meanwhile, life as an occupying force is not as easy as it seems.  A case in point: on the Saturday after the election, as the U.S. military was planning the Dresdening of Falluja, the Iraqi commander of the U.S. led assault disappeared after being present at the final briefing for the laying out of the battle plan.  Presumably, he went to the other side with loads of information.  Plus, he's a Kurd to boot!  Whilst this received a NY Sunday Post headline blaring "Falluja Turncoat," it hardly got another mention in the press as the battle went on.  But it does pose a more serious question for the new world order warriors.  Can they ever win?  Perhaps they can turn Iraq into a giant bomb crater of uninhabitable rubble, but this might not look so good on their resumes for their long, violent and bloody haul of conquest throughout the continents of the world.  This is where the resistance to U.S. occupation is at, not in New York, Illinois or California.  While this indeed poses "the enemy of my enemy is not necessarily my friend" scenario, it is what exists right now.  Victories for the right on the home front are not the end all and be all.  It behooves one to remember that John Kerry and many of his hack cronies originally thought that all of this was a good idea.  Don't go away now.

(art: troy dockins)


A native of South Africa, Mike Morgan has lived and written in Brooklyn, NY for the last 20 years. He is a founding member of Lurch Magazine and serves as one of its Senior Editors and Contributors. In addition to these duties, he has been and continues to be at the heart of a thriving literary, art and music scene and is a regular at Freddy's Bar, where he is often found discussing global and local affairs, rock and roll, various New York sports teams, and whatever books he happens to be reading at the time.


archive index | current issue


©2004 Mike Morgan / Smokebox
Smokebox is a non-commercial, volunteer driven e-zine