Justice Democrats: Cenk Uygur, The Young Turks, Progressives Launch Party Takeover

Scott Hough

"From now on there will be a new wing of the Democratic Party," The Young Turks co-founder Cenk Uygur explained during the opening of the nightly two-hour TYT YouTube program this evening. "It will be the Justice Democrats."

The host explained that this new group will represent voters and not corporate donors. He used a conversation between TYT reporter Jordan Chariton and former representative Barney Frank during the 2016 presidential race where Frank was reported to have asked Chariton if grassroots Democrats really expected the leadership not take at least some money offered by corporate donors.

Others involved in the Justice Democrats platform include Kyle Kulinski of Secular Talk and two senior advisers to U.S. Senator from Vermont Bernie Sanders during his presidential run and their teams.

Speaking to American workers, Cenk Uygur explained that while productivity is at all time highs, all wages have been stagnant since about 1980, when, as the host explained, the Democratic Party was taken over by corporations. Uygur voiced his view that this is not "an accident" and that corporations have been "rigging the system" ever since.

"We're going to upend that," Uygur stated seriously.

Leading into his announcement of the new Justice Democrats initiative, the TYT host shot down the views of some that, historically, the Democratic Party is "weak" and "ineffectual." Uygur explained that, at one time, the Democratic Party actually represented voters.

Examples of successes by strong progressives were held up, including former President Franklin D. Roosevelt and social security and the work of Democrats like former President Lyndon Johnson to introduce Medicare and Medicaid. Uygur noted that political outsiders with strong progressive views, such as Martin Luther King, largely responsible for the Civil Rights Act and the Voting Rights Act, and Ralph Nader, responsible for millions of lives saved as a result of his mandate that seat belts be made mandatory in all cars.

As an example of how powerful progressive Democrats were in the United States at one time, Cenk Uygur described former President Richard Nixon's move to create the Environmental Protection Agency and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration being a result of a strong, unified progressive voice in the country.

The TYT co-founder described a "hostile takeover" of the Democratic Party occurring as a result of Lewis Powell and his "Powell Memorandum" that laid out a plan for turning control of the U.S. Supreme Court to conservative business interests. After former President Nixon appointed Powell to the Supreme Court, he voted in favor of changes in legislation that allowed corporate interests to inject money into politics for the first time. Uygur described corporations immediately taking control of the Republican party in a non-hostile takeover, with Democrats following, not far behind.

"That has lead to disaster and ruin," Cenk Uygur said of the corporate takeover of the Democratic Party.

The progressive used Barney Frank's words toward a need in the Democratic Party to take at least 20 percent of money donated by corporations. Uygur takes issue with this viewpoint, seeing it as a tactic of the corporations; playing right into their hands. Of course, Democrats are going to lose if they agree to play the corporate money game, when Republicans have received 80 percent of corporate donations, Uygur reasoned.

"You have agreed to and take part in a system where you are paid to lose," Uygur explained of Barney Frank's view.

Cenk Uygur stated that the Justice Democrats initiative has taken its purpose from Martin Luther King, which was to not only improve the plight of African-Americans, but to "save the soul" of the Democratic Party. Justice Democrats do not represent corporations or donors, but instead "just us." The group seeks economic justice, social justice, racial justice, and "plain old justice, justice."

Uygur and the founders of the Justice Democrats are asking those who support their strong progressive platform to sign up at the new JusticeDemocrats.com website and nominate community leaders they feel should be among the leadership of this new wing of the Democratic Party to run in 2018 Congressional races. Self-nomination is permitted, but Uygur encouraged viewers to nominate who they believe will do that best job in their community.

"Hell, no," is what Cenk Uygur had to say to establishment Democrats unwilling to unify behind the Justice Democrats platform, instead looking for "compliance" from grassroots voters and unification behind a losing corporate agenda. Uygur explained the plan of the Justice Democrats to run primaries against establishment Democrats who do not unify behind the progressive platform.

"You are on notice," the TYT-host informed establishment Democrats. He issued a warning to Democrats who get "cute" and attempt to sell their votes to an increasingly literate electorate on progressive social issues, while voting in favor of legislation benefiting corporations and donors.

[Featured Image by Spencer Platt/Getty Images]