Thomas Frank 2-Pack
First Program: What's the Matter with the Democratic Party?
Franklin Delano Roosevelt must be flipping in his grave as many of his cherished New Deal programs have come under assault from not just Republicans, but from his own Democratic Party. Democrats in the 1990s picked up and adopted Ronald Reagan’s right-wing agenda of deregulation, tax cuts for the rich, so-called free trade deals, crime bills, mass incarceration and cutting programs for the poor. Democrats abandoned the working class and in particular turned its back on unions. They cuddled up and embraced hedge fund managers and celebrities in their mansions in Malibu and the Hamptons. They watched as wages went flat, people lost their homes and inequality mushroomed to obscene levels. Campaign rhetoric aside, Hillary Clinton will most likely continue with business as usual unless she is pushed hard to adopt a truly progressive agenda.
Second Program: Hey Liberal, Listen Up
The ironies, agonies and hypocrisies in the U.S. political system are in high-relief during a presidential election year. The role of big money undermines the integrity of one person, one vote. The state of the electoral infrastructure is a national embarrassment, long lines, broken machines and purges of voters without their knowledge. In addition the primaries have made abundantly clear: a two-party monopoly snuffs out populist uprisings and credible third party challenges. Working class people are propagandized into voting against their own interests. Indeed, what has happened to the Democrats, the so-called party of the people? Why is the Democratic Party where movements for progressive social change go to die?
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