As the Republican Party prepares to disenfranchise millions of people of color, students, and poor people, this November, it would be healthy to remind ourselves that the GOP’s Democratic partners do precisely the same in their primaries, preventing anyone remotely liberal from winning national elections… ultimately leading to “President Trump.”

Here’s voter suppression expert, the BBC’s Greg Palast (excerpted from his 2017 interview with Jordan Chariton):

“The immediate issue here is a million black and brown and Asian-Americans losing their votes… In my book, ‘The Best Democracy Money Can Buy,’ I also go after the Democrats. The difference is (and what’s sad is) it doesn’t matter whether it’s Republicans or Democrats, it’s always the same people — poor people, students, and others — who lose their vote, because almost all Democratic vote theft is not to steal elections from the Republicans, but to steal primaries…

“And as you saw, some of the worst cases of vote suppression, as they call it, I’ve ever seen was in California during the (2016) primary — California, it’s not Mississippi! But it was California, where I’ve actually never seen that many votes thrown away in any election in any state in America. The Democratic Party literally refused to count over one million ballots cast in that primary. And that’s why I question the victory of Hillary Clinton over Bernie Sanders.”


Just think about it: If Democrats didn’t rig their primaries to ensure that the most conservative and corrupt (and least electable) candidates emerge “victorious,” Donald Trump wouldn’t even be president, right now (polls in 2016 showed Bernie Sanders beating Trump by double-digits, well outside of the margin of error — the same polls which showed that Sec. Clinton’s lead was a mere 3-4 points, even less in crucial swing states).

If Democrats didn’t routinely rig their primaries for neoconservative corporatists, Donald Trump wouldn’t stand such an excellent chance of getting reelected, this year — even during a pandemic, with the economy cratering — simply because his opposite number in the Democratic Party is every bit as bad, or worse, only with no popular backing (that’s Trump’s advantage: his base is actually excited about his candidacy after the last four wasted years of faux-opposition and Russiagating nonsense; whereas Biden’s base is demoralized and angry that a genocidal, racist, rapist, Wall Street patsy is our “only alternative” to the incumbent).

But it’s not just about winning. This should also be a matter of principle: If the center-left (liberal elites, disproportionately white) actually gave a damn about voter suppression, they wouldn’t simply ignore the way the Democratic Party routinely disenfranchises millions of Americans — disproportionately people of color, students, and the poor — in their primaries.

It’s caged-children redux: When Obama caged thousands of children at the border and deported more human beings than all 20th-century presidents combined, the mainstream left was silent.

The same thing goes for the left’s abdication during Obama’s entire presidency: When he pushed the far-right’s agenda further than any president in U.S. history — expanding the GWOT; normalizing assassination, torture, and the vacuum surveillance of everyone’s communications; spreading fracking across the globe; becoming the #1 president in U.S. history for oil production, etc. — the mainstream, including most liberals, dozed.

But if we’re going to ultimately defeat the forces of white supremacy and neo-fascism — if we’re going to have any hope of doing so — then we have to oppose both right-wings of our so-called duopoly… because championing one pack of warmongering, white-supremacist neo-fascists over another hasn’t accomplished anything outside of dooming the biosphere, in all likelihood, and permanently retiring the rule of law.

James O’Donnell
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