Is the U.S. Democratic Party really "democratic"? - Politics Forum.org | PoFo

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#15262628
Some question whether or if the Democratic Party in the U.S. is really democratic. Whether the name fits, or it is an oxymoron, or where that name even came from.

These are some thoughts from a conservative perspective (so likely to be rather biased), but it also includes some uncommon and useful historical insight.


They are in favor of democracy, but only when it benefits them because they're in the middle of fighting the other side.
As soon as they get in control, it's another story. Then they'll use every tool to override the democratic vote of the majority, when it does not agree.
Using courts to overturn state referendums. Purging to prevent individuals from rising too high within the organization ranks if they hold a certain prohibited opinion about anything. So the people at the bottom may hold one opinion, but the people at the top are carefully selected to have another opinion.

And of course it's easy to say you support being "democratic" when most of the media is on your side and you can shape the views of a very large part of the population, giving you a winning edge. Democrats are even worse when it comes to creating meaningless wedge issues to get votes than Republicans. If Democrats actually had to get votes based only on the real issues they were actually truly fighting for at the present moment, their party strategists know they would lose.


Now for the long and complicated history

The origins of the word "Democratic" come from a time when the Democrat were the party of the South (which had a small White population and a large Negro population from African origins). They really were rather democratic, but only in the sense of a select group of people (mainly white people, and even then only so long as they did not live in the "bumpkin" parts in the hills that were less sophisticated).
In some ways the Republicans, who ruled from the big cities in the Northeast, were much like the Democratic Party today. Their area was a huge group of people, a large number of poorer immigrants who all had the right to vote, yet the wealthy elite and people in power did not want mob rule from a direct democracy and were looking for a way to moderate the power of the common people in the form of a republican form of government (more indirect). Both political parties wanted to embrace a form of democracy yet both knew or reasoned that a full simple direct democracy could not be trusted or was not pragmatic.
During the Goldwater campaign and then Nixon campaign there was indeed a "switch", but it is more complicated than that and not so simple. Kennedy, and even all the way back to Roosevelt had begun to alienate the South. What has to be remembered is the same attitudes that applied to voting also applied to other political issues as well. Like Marx says, the structure of society is defined by its means of production. The North had a very different inherent society from the South.
Some might say that the Republican Party today is like the Democratic Party of the South, but that is not entirely true. The Republican party and conservatives still fight for republicanism. The Democratic party aims - or claims to aim - for a more direct democracy. Yet in reality it seems evident that the Democratic Party actually still embraces the old form of "Republicanism", which is in a less official way. They want direct voting for the politicians in power, but then more covertly want to use ways to obstruct or moderate the voices of the people. Modern Republicanism, on the other hand, is more directly democratic in spirit, but wants to use an official way of having a republican government structure; states rights and the concept of federalism being core to this.
That is not to say that both parties don't have dirty tricks they will use to try to tip the balance.

One could say that historical Republicans were more focused on republicanism within their state, yet wanted a somewhat more "direct democracy" in the federal government (because the Northeast had a majority of the white voting population at the time over the South) whereas modern Republicans are more focused on republicanism within the federal level of government.

old Republicans - wanted high to moderate republicanism within their state, wanted low to moderate republicanism in federal level
new Democrats - use more covert means to maintain a more "republican" system within their state, want only a low level form of moderate republicanism at the federal level

It's more complicated because modern Democrats want to expand voting to as many as possible and have a more direct democracy officially, but then have other means to "moderate" the power of those votes and create what is tantamount to a "republican" layer, so the people do not actually have so much direct power.

old Democrats - wanted moderate to high level of direct democracy (low republicanism) within their state, wanted high level of republicanism in federal level
new Republicans - want moderate to high level of direct democracy (low republicanism) within their state, wanted high level of republicanism in federal level
#15262867
The irony (or paradox) is that in some ways conservatives (or conservative areas in the U.S.; it's a different story in England) are more democratic.

I think a part of it may have to do with intelligence distribution. In a conservative area, the intelligence distribution is less spread out. To try to a oversimplify it, in a conservative area, 70% of the population is reasonably intelligent. Whereas in a Democrat area, 70% are stupid, but there exists a smaller minority who are more intelligent than those at the top in conservative areas.

However, states in the deep South are a bit different. They still have the race divide that the old Democrats had (although it is a little bit less intense than it once was). These areas not uncommonly use the same sort of tactics that modern Democrats use in their big cities, where theory often doesn't translate into reality.


I think there really are two forms of "conservative" in the U.S. The type that tends to be more "Southern" (in the Deep South), more harsh, punitive, and authoritarian; and then there's the more Libertarian conservatism. It's not just black and white. The attitudes in somewhere like Tennesse or Southern Illinois tends to be somewhere between the two. A lot of the more "Libertarian" areas in the U.S. border on political moderatism though, like many parts of Pennsylvania.

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