Rewriting the American Left: The modern political climate

By
Guest Writer

May 9, 2013

There is no serious “liberal agenda” in America, because there is no mainstream American Left.

This may come as a shock to those who see our sitting president as an ultra-socialist Muslim or Lenin follower, but the record high closing of the Dow Jones Industrial Average on Tuesday proves that the Democratic Party has indeed fallen short of any sweeping Marxist takeover of the United States.

Auto industry bailouts have saved corporations any socialist would have let die, with General Motors quickly returning to profitability and having paid back its Chapter 11 loans as of 2010. Top tax rates in the United States actually remain lower than they were under the Reagan administration so beloved by conservatives, even before loopholes and offshore tax havens are factored into the equation. Even under this purported leftist president, the climate for big business is looking pretty forgiving.

Even the much maligned Affordable Care Act, also known as “Obamacare,” falls short of true socialism. While the better part of the developed world enjoys the security of single-payer coverage, the reforms now beginning to take effect do little more than enforce a higher standard of service for private insurance companies and expand Medicaid access. The lack of single-payer shouldn’t be surprising, considering the bill’s provisions resemble those of conservative Heritage Foundation proposals dating back to 1989.

Despite accusations of the president being a pacifist in addition to a socialist, a serious look at his foreign policy makes his Nobel Peace Prize reception downright baffling. In spite of the U.S. withdrawal from Iraq, Obama’s military policy has been the same old neoconservative angle, albeit with a more calculated approach. In these past four years, we’ve seen United States influence in the Libyan and Syrian civil wars, a continued presence in Afghanistan, drone strikes killing Pakistani civilians, and unflinching support for Israel.

The Obama Doctrine follows a pattern mostly upheld by every president, Democratic and Republican alike, since World War II. Meanwhile, none of the once-promised changes concerning indefinite detention at Guantanamo Bay or the Patriot Act have come to fruition.

Upon any serious scrutiny, it becomes clear that Obama and most Democrats are not communists, socialists, pacifists, or leftists at all, but rather a coalition of business friendly centrists willing to fight for baby steps to advance lower and middle class interests. So where does the myth of the radical Democratic Party originate? Clearly this is an effective rhetorical strategy on the part of an ever more conservative Republican Party.

This party once saw Eisenhower say of those who would call for an end to Social Security and unemployment benefits: “Their number is negligible, and they are stupid.” Despite becoming the face of Machiavellian political corruption, Richard Nixon signed off on the creation of the EPA. Fast forward to today, and we see a GOP bent on the massive deregulation and destruction of the social safety net. Such reactionary policies demand an intricate spinning of yarns, and thus we have the myth of the radical Democrat.

The convoluted United States political system prevents any simple answers for those of us who would like to see a genuine left wing in the mix, but it’s reasonable to ask that the general populace see through the lies and acknowledge that there is no American Left to speak of.

John Sosnowski is a senior majoring in English writing and can be contacted at jsosnows@lhup.edu

 
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