Diagnosis for Democracy
Insights into the State of Our Union
A Blog by Rob Tenery, MD


The Democrats Might Want to Move to the Right

By Rob Tenery, MD on May 1, 2017

There are a number of Democrats who are looking to Bernie Sanders as an important voice in rebuilding their Party after its loss in the 2016 elections. None of the pundits in the major media gave him a serious chance of winning the Democratic nomination. However, Sanders surprising showing in the state primaries demonstrated that the Democratic electorate is becoming increasingly liberal, since more voters are becoming dependent on the government entitlement programs, which feed into his socialist mantra. Add to that a younger population that is being indoctrinated by many of the higher education institutions that preach parity at all costs. The socialist voice is on the rise.

 “If you’re focused on policy ideas over party labels you might welcome the inclusion of his (Sanders) voice, and frankly other voices too, at a time when the Democratic Party is under intense attack and working on the path forward," said Lynda Tran, a Democratic strategist. 

Although Sanders backed Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.) in this year’s DNC chairmanship contest, he has joined with eventual winner Tom Perez for a unity tour dubbed ‘Come Together and Fight Back,’ appearing at rallies in seven states over six days. 

In the democratic socialistic system, Sanders proposes that most major industries would still be privately owned, but would have to stand on their own without handouts from the government. The tax burden previously funneled by the corporations would be used to improve the lives of the citizens instead, by enabling the government to fund improvements to public services. One can make an argument that this form of governance would benefit this country’s infrastructure, but what would it do to the entrepreneurial spirit and work ethic that has built this country?

The contrast between capitalism versus socialism is more a conflict between the principles of individualism versus collectivism, which long predates the rise of Bernie Sanders. Outlined in his eBook, Objectivism, author, Craig Biddle, lays out the conflict in America when he raises the question, “does the individual’s life belong to him, or does it belong to the group, the community, society, or the state?”

Biddle contrasts that with individualism, where the individual has the inalienable rights to live as he sees fit and act on his own judgment, while pursuing the values of his own choosing, as set forth by the founders of this country. Whereas, under collectivism, the individual’s life and choices belong to society, which serve the ‘greater good’ rather than the good of a given individual.

Virtually, no society exists in a pure state as the capitalistic states move to the left to appease the needs of those who have less and demand more. While the socialist states with pure collectivism move to the right in order to encourage entrepreneurial incentives.

Examples of how socialism works are demonstrated in the countries of Venezuela and Denmark. The riots, food shortages and runaway inflation in oil-rich Venezuela serve as a prime example that socialism doesn’t work there, even when blessed unlimited resources. Denmark is a low-poverty, low-inequality, high-income, high-tax, high-welfare, high-innovation, high-employment country that has generous time off for vacations and newborns and has a relatively high amount of leisure time for workers. “The US could easily move in the Danish direction, and it would be a big improvement for poor and working people if it did so,” claims Matt Bruenig, posting on Demos on October 20, 2015.

Both Venezuela and Denmark are dominated by singular races and religions.* The United States is a true melting pot of immigrants from different races, religions and ethnic backgrounds who came here seeking opportunity and freedom. Opportunity to succeed and freedom to speak, work and pray as they choose. Thus, the move toward parity in the United States squelches the entrepreneurial spirit, while encouraging dependency. This is counter to capitalism as set forth by the authors of the Constitution**. Despite what Bernie Sanders and his ardent followers claim, neither of these socialist countries can claim to be world leaders?  

Currently, the Democratic Party platform appears to center on stopping and delaying the Donald Trump agenda. With DNC Chair Tom Perez, Sen. Chuck Schumer, Sen. Elizabeth Warren, Rep. Maxine Waters and the mayors of the self-proclaimed sanctuary cities, leading this disparate group, they seem to have no cohesive message to rally around.

There may be hope for those moderate Democrats that supported John Kennedy and Lyndon Johnson in the ‘60s. In his article, Centrist Democrats Struggle to Draft a Survival Strategy, published on Mar 15, 2017, Alex Roarty  of the McClatchy Washington Bureau reported: In a Denver hotel, 30 conservative Democrats plotted a potential path forward for their party – an effort to devise a strategy that might help them avoid total annihilation in red states across America. Called together by former Alaska Sen. Mark Begich, he told those in attendance “You can’t get the majorities back without independent and centrist Democrats. You just can’t.”

Similar to the division seen in the Republican Party with the populists, led by Trump, the RHINOS and the Tea Party, the Democrats have the remaining progressives and the democratic socialists that are wrestling for control. The far-left liberal agenda lost in the last three Congressional and Gubernatorial elections. If the DNC doesn’t wake up, and move toward a more moderate agenda, their Party may fall even further behind.

 * Ethnic population breakdown between Denmark and the United States is substantially different and will factor into a potentially different outcome if the United States follows Denmark’s path to socialism. Denmark’s population is 95.5% white, while 71.1% in the U.S, and falling. The black population is 0.41% in Denmark versus 12.86% in the U.S. The Hispanic population is 2.22% in Denmark.

 ** This country was established on the principle of capitalism--- the ability for those who are willing to work harder to advance their status. Private ownership where the profits derived from that property are directed back to the owner(s), except for taxes. These principles laid down by our forefathers still holds true today, but are being threatened as never before.





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