The left will never reform the Democratic Party and should stop trying

The left will never reform the Democratic Party and should stop trying November 5, 2016
Image: Gage Skidmore / Creative Commons
Image: Gage Skidmore / Creative Commons

With the election only a few days away, voters are seeing the final push from left-leaning liberals urging the radical left to hold their nose and vote for Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton. The argument goes that she is far better than Donald Trump and that once elected the left can work on reforms.

This is the perfect strategy in theory, but in practice is a waste of the left’s time, and will result in zero reformations. The Democratic Party is beyond reform, as witnessed by anyone who watched the party’s elite work overtime ensuring Bernie Sanders never received the nomination. Or, anyone who has watched the party over the past decades.

Beyond the party’s elite, however, lies a larger problem for the left. Liberals become complacent when they win elections and stop fighting for reforms.

Groups such as the Community Party USA and the Democratic Socialists of America have made the decision to operate within the confines of the party, hoping to push through socialist programs and policies, while still conceding that they must do so within the confines of capitalism. In doing so, they claim they can begin to reform the capitalist system with aims of creating a socialist economy via progression.

Just like the Clinton strategy, in theory, this is sound, in practice it is futile.

If Clinton wins in November, many electorally active liberals will go back to a life free of everyday politics, they will watch as the Fight for $15 continues to earn victories around the country while ignoring the work of the Green Party or the Socialist Party USA who both argue that while $15 is better, wages should be tied to the living wage, or better, workers should be able to control the means of production.

Yet, liberals won’t help in that fight. Their electoral complacency will give Clinton an illusionary mandate in liberal politics. Her center-right policy reforms will be championed by the liberal masses and will make the radical left’s fight even harder. It won’t be for another four years that the left will see a chance to shake up the politically docile as another conservative threat rises to the top in order to unseat Clinton. Repeating the cycle of faux-liberal revolution in which they are going to change the world and fight for the working class, until the day after election day when they go back to thinking the Democrats will just solve all their problems.

This is what keeps parties like the Green and Socialist Party USA from endorsing Democratic candidates. They understand that revolutionary politics must be revolutionary on all fronts. If you give into the demands of the elitist’s parties, you create a complacent voter base that doesn’t fight for social justice.

The idea of reforming the Democratic Party may seem appealing, and it may even seem easier than building a third party or a revolutionary party, but it will prove to only be the revolutionaries demise. Counter-revolutionary parties will fight all revolutionary insurgents. If voters didn’t learn this by watching Sanders, they may never learn it. Yet, it’s a message the left must continue to spread. A rejection of two-party politics, taking away their numbers, rejecting them at the polls will be the only way to reform politics in the United States. The voter’s voice is their vote, and until they begin to use it wisely, their voice will continue to be silenced.

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