A year ago, progressive researchers published “Autopsy: The Democratic Party in Crisis.” At the time, a cover story in The Nation said that the report is “an unemotional dissection of why the Democrats failed so miserably, and it warns that the party must change profoundly or else remain a loser.”
Now an important update, “Democratic Autopsy: One Year Later,” evaluates how well the Democratic Party has done in charting a new course. The Nation has just published advance excerpts.
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Here are a few of the new findings:
** “The Democratic Party still isn’t offering a bold vision that can excite young adults, a demographic known for not voting much…. The Democratic leadership is still using a 1990s-era playbook of technocratic half-measures that don’t inspire -- or bring out to the polls -- America’s youth.”
** “The party could dramatically boost voter participation by mobilizing around progressive proposals that are broadly popular, such as higher taxes on the wealthy, Medicare for All, a $15 minimum wage, stronger environmental protections, public transportation and criminal justice reform.”
** “Corporate power continues to dominate the party…. A crucial disconnect remains between rhetoric about corporate influence and subservience to it.”
** “The depressed turnout that cost Hillary Clinton the 2016 election was due to both voter suppression efforts by Republicans and the Democratic Party’s own inability to mobilize its base. The party has made some progress on both counts.”
** “Few Democrats in Congress are willing to strongly challenge the unaccountable military budget, which soaks up most discretionary spending that could be redirected toward the party’s proclaimed domestic agenda.”
** “Democrats often denounce the GOP for immoral and extremist domestic policies favoring the powerful. The party’s failure to challenge such foreign policies is a moral and political tragedy…. On matters of war and peace -- for instance, the 17-year war in Afghanistan and the Trump team’s extremely one-sided Israel-Palestine policy -- top Democrats have offered few alternative policies.”
** “Efforts to democratize the Democratic Party made some progress in August 2018 when the full DNC voted to bar superdelegates from voting for the presidential nominee on the first ballot.”
** “To get closer to living up to its name, the Democratic Party should rely on a broad base of small donors and refuse donations from corporations, particularly those with interests adverse to the party’s platform.”
We hope you’ll take a few minutes now to look at the advance excerpts of “Autopsy: One Year Later."
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>> The Nation: Democratic Autopsy: One Year Later
>> “Autopsy: The Democratic Party in Crisis” (October 2017)