The DNC Is Playing 'Chicken' With Progressives

Caitlin Johnstone

In a flagrant act of "Yeah, so what?" it seems that the DNC has chosen their path in how to deal with the damaging email dump revealing a widespread us-and-them conspiracy to undermine Sanders' campaign.

They had a path open to them to "clean house", as Nina Turner told MSNBC yesterday. Mea culpa, mass firings, re-structuring and a re-vote would have been a good beginning.

Instead, the establishment players have chosen to stare everyone down, parading their absolute power that has corrupted them absolutely, and that it doesn't matter if people know that the election was rigged -- the people's votes are not needed.

Hillary Clinton issued a statement about hiring Debbie Wasserman Schultz as soon as she was fired. Hidden within the text was an incendiary statement.

Debbie "will continue to serve as a surrogate for my campaign nationally."

This was no misstep. This is a domination power play. This was goading. This was an abusive husband staring down his battered wife, daring her to say anything about the affair she has just discovered.

The DNC has stopped fulfilling its purpose.

So now the game of "chicken" begins.

Did you ever play "chicken" when you were a kid? Two kids, usually boys, ride their bikes straight at one another. The first to turn was the loser.

The DNC has not backed down one inch from its path. From the announcement of Wall Street crony Tim Kaine as Hillary's running mate before the email scandal, to Sanders delegates being locked out of the room for the vote on superdelegates just after, to adding Wasserman Schultz to Clinton's campaign after her unabashed flaunting of the Democratic Charter, they continue to stare progressive voters right in the eye, fully confident that a Trump scare campaign will be enough to make them turn and chicken out, and go back to obedient slavery.

Americans are under the strong illusion that they can only choose between two parties. And until 48 hours ago, they were under the illusion that both of those parties democratically elected their candidates.

But instead of jumping in quickly to reassure voters that the Democrats are committed to electing their candidate democratically, they went the other way. Continuing the line that Debbie Wasserman Schultz held to at the start of the campaign when she insisted the party needed to keep the vote from being decided by "grassroots activists" (read: voters), Democrats have made it clear that the party is their party and they choose their candidate.

Well, firstly -- rigging elections is not legal, as should be obvious by the thump of lawsuits hitting DNC desks right now.

And also -- I guess that means they don't need voters now. They can do it all on their own. That's interesting.

But, okay, let's just pretend, shall we? The DNC elects whoever they like because it's their party. I like games. Let's play that game.

If you hold that statement as true, that means there is currently no democracy in America. That means that at least one of the two candidates is being hand-picked by a handful of the richest and most powerful people in America, and Americans are under the enslaving delusion that they must either vote for that candidate, or the other one who is literally from the party that represents rich people.

There is no option for working people within the two party system. Just the choice between the rich people's choice or the representative of rich people.

Most Americans have forgotten that political parties can, will, and should die off whenever they need to. It happens all the time in every other democracy on earth. A healthy democracy represents the will of the people, which means that as parties lose their way or get corrupted by power, they die. Parties are beholden to the people. Not the other way round.

The evidence is in. The Democrats have been fatally corrupted by power. They need to die or to be completely overhauled from within.

They've lost their heartland already, but more importantly, they've lost the ability to manipulate them. The DNC have always relied on liberals being educated, but docile peaceniks who don't like to make a stir. Liberals are nice people, do-gooders, and they want to work with each other for the good of the whole. That's why the whole Trump scare thing worked on them. They will fall in line if it is for the good of the whole.

From the early signs, it appears that the DNC will keep pushing the Trump line, hoping to scare the slaves back into their cages, while staring them down and continuing to walk towards the right with no concessions to the progressives. They have shown no signs of altering their path even slightly. Classic domination move.

But there are alternatives. The abusive husband, the DNC, is saying to the wife-slave, the people, "You have nowhere else to go. No one else will love you," but the Sanders campaign proved that to be another lie. In 2016 there is no way to convincingly argue that the two-party system is the only way to go, or that outsiders don't stand a chance. Widespread internet access means that mainstream media's blackout on non-establishment candidates is no longer the debilitating handicap that it used to be back in the days of Ralph Nader.

Sanders' campaign showed us two important things. One was that candidates don't need the billions of dollars in free mainstream media publicity in order to win elections. The total mainstream media blackout of the majority of the Sanders campaign impeded his success somewhat, but in some ways, it played into his hands as the non-establishment candidate.

After all, if the establishment media refused to cover him, that was proof that he wasn't an establishment candidate, right?

So, if you can win without either of these two things -- mainstream media coverage and an establishment party endorsement -- then you can win as a third party.

Progressives can stare right back at the DNC and refuse to be scared into turning. What have we got to lose at this point? The Democratic party has already proven that it's evolve-or-die time for its life as a major political party. Finally, the slave gets to choose. Do we make them evolve? Or do we kill them off forever with a new progressive party? Two delicious prospects.

Mmm, can you taste that? That's the taste of power. We, the people, have it back.

[Photo by Gustavo Caballero/Getty Images]