Can We Work Within the Democratic Party? (My Response to CalicoJack)

On November 3, 2020 (Election Day in the United States), I published an extraordinarily long post in which I discussed my thoughts about the presidential election, why I would not vote for the top two candidates running (Joe Biden and Donald Trump), and the prospect of voting third-party. I don’t know who read that post (it was long and I wrote some things that many people will disagree with), but I was always ready to defend my views because I have been sitting with those thoughts for a very long time.

On Monday, November 16, 2020, I received this comment from CalicoJack regarding the post:


Howdy Shmaltz!

I understand your frustration with the two-party system and your desire to vote third-party, but I don’t agree. I’ll distill my argument to this: why do you think Sanders ran as a Democrat and not as a third-party candidate. He never thought he could win apart from a heady month or so in 2016 and another in 2020. So, why’d he do it? Because he recognizes that true reform and change in the US will not come from revolution and throwing out the Constitution for a re-written one. If you think the powers that be control elections, you can be damn sure they’ll control that process. But, through incremental — although he was going for more than incremental change — from the inside. He pushed the Overton window to the left. It is now imperative that we take advantage of that by electing Democrats who can enact legislation and reforms that will be left-leaning.

Democracies will always be centerist governments. Democracies blend the voices, opinions, and desires of their electorates. In a sense they average us. The fundamental flaw in our democracy is that it is dominated by big money interests and that was before Citizen’s United. The only way out of it, though, is by electing Democratic majorities who are right now responding to the progressive element of the party and willing to pass electoral reform. By 2022, they likely will have moved on. New issues will be on the table and the electorate will be regressing towards the mean.

My opinion is that we work within the system to move it to the left because democracies will always hover around the middle.


November 16, 2020 at 10:24 pm  

This comment was thoughtful, and it was rich, but I must respectfully disagree with Jack here. Now, I wanted to respond to him under the original post, but to avoid writing a monster comment under a monster post, I decided to write out a thorough response in another post.

Before I continue, I must warn you: I plan to go hard against powerful people in this post. I don’t like to shame voters, but I won’t be surprised if this post offends some people who read it. However, there is a difference between shaming voters, which I don’t really care for and trying to hold politicians accountable.

Now, what do I want to say? For starters, I would like to talk about why Bernie Sanders ran in the 2016 and 2020 Democratic presidential primaries. Other topics in this post include: how feasible it is the work within the Democratic Party, what the Democratic Party should have been in this two-party system, and what the fundamental flaws in the American system of government are. As a bonus, I want to talk about the need for a new Constitution, despite how hard it may be to get one.

Continue reading “Can We Work Within the Democratic Party? (My Response to CalicoJack)”

2017 Rewind: A Prelude to the Midterms

2017 rewind, midterms, Jon Ossoff
Jon Ossoff’s run in a Georgia special election was one of the most-watched races of 2017. It was certainly memorable, but for all the wrong reasons. The Democrats had a chance to gain a head of steam before the 2018 midterms but Ossoff’s loss was truly deflating. The image was taken via a screenshot. (Video)

For this timeline, I would like to first look at the fallout from the 2016 general election. Then I will look at the 2017 elections, in order to provide a greater context for the midterms and for Democratic successes and failures in the age of Trump.

As I discussed in my Rift on the Left series, the Democrats had lost 1,042 seats across the country from 2009 to 2017, so the party had lots of ground to cover. The Democrats were provided a few openings in the first half of 2017, as Donald Trump plucked four congressional Republicans to join his cabinet. However, Democrats went 0 for 4 in the special elections where they tried to flip those seats.

The latter half of 2017 offered much more promise. As Democrats picked up in fundraising, individual candidates began to outraise Republicans. Also, November 2017 saw a host of Democratic and progressive victories across the country, even in places where Democrats were not expected to win. These victories gave Democrats a lot of momentum, which was met by a series of Republican retirements in Congress.

With that understood, let’s look at the events of late 2016 and the elections that occurred in 2017.

Continue reading “2017 Rewind: A Prelude to the Midterms”


Are You Still Following News of the Russia Probe?

Russia probe, Donald Trump, James Comey
Did this guy somehow collude with Russia? I don’t know, but something’s off …

On April 24, I started a two-post series in which I discussed my overall view of the Russia probe that is currently dominating headlines in the United States. While I said I felt that the probe was a distraction (in terms of its focus), I felt there needed to be an investigation in order to finish vetting Donald Trump and some of his cohorts.

Now, while I might disagree with this probe’s focus, it has turned up some interesting events I could not ignore or refrain from sharing. Also, there have been some recent developments in regards to how this entire probe and suspicions are being reported.

That said, let’s discuss what this probe is about and how I plan to cover it.

Continue reading “Are You Still Following News of the Russia Probe?”

Russia in the Crosshairs: Are We Sure We Want to Do This?

Mike Pence, Russia, Russian Probe
Are you sure you want to make this man president? That’s what will happen if Trump is impeached. (Photo by Gage Skidmore via Flickr. Some rights reserved.)

Last week, I discussed why there is an ongoing investigations that Russia. I went over the proof that supports the investigation while remaining as objective as possible. In this post, I will explain why I never believed these claims. And I would like to send a message to Democrats, as a concerned citizen.

Continue reading “Russia in the Crosshairs: Are We Sure We Want to Do This?”

Going from Benghazi to Russia: Why Are We Doing This Probe?

Russian President, Vladimir Putin, Benghazi, Russia, Russian probe
Did this guy try to influence the 2016 United State Presidential Election? Each house of Congress is conducting a probe to find out.

How did we go from Benghazi to Russia?

Some weeks ago, I discussed California Representative Maxine Waters, including her belief that the 2016 U.S. elections were hacked by Russia. I promised to lay out where I differ with prominent Democrats, including Waters. Now is the time to address this topic, although it isn’t an easy one to cover.

Continue reading “Going from Benghazi to Russia: Why Are We Doing This Probe?”

What the Heck Is Fake News? (WAW)

fake news, false information

For a while now, much has been made of something called “fake news.” From what I heard, I understood that fake news originated on Facebook, but I never bothered to look into it until now.

Continue reading “What the Heck Is Fake News? (WAW)”