Some argue that, “Instead of just making a lot of noise and asking for change that is too drastic to be assimilated well, we need to take over first one major Party and then the other. This is such an easy job to do if we only come together, became adept at compromise and bargaining, and began to make steady change.”
The only thing that can do that is Third Party Votes: You cannot reform either of the major Parties from within because you don’t have the money to compete with Wall Street or the War Industry which includes the so-called Industrial-Surveillance Complex and the Industrial-Prison Complex.
I understand that that is the belief of some that we must reform the Democratic Party from within, but I don’t believe you will ever accomplish that nor do I believe that its accomplishment is possible from within unless there are viable truly progressive third party options.
The last time the Democratic party was taken over was by FDR and the Party elite hated him but they couldn’t do anything about him because of his extreme popularity. They did begin their retaking of the party apparatus in 1944 when FDR was weakened by his age, health and the stress of the war. From then on it was a steady drift to the right of the political spectrum until the 1970s when enough FDR “New Dealer” democrats had died then they began a full scale reconquest of the party.
The New Democratic Party of Bill Clinton saw a full-scale return to the Neoliberalism (which is only a rehashing of the old or classical Liberalism of the 1920s) of which there was nothing “liberal,” i.e., socially liberal, in the sense it is thought of today.
Liberalism is a political philosophy or worldview founded on ideas of liberty and equality. Whereas CLASSICAL LIBERALISM emphasizes the role of liberty, SOCIAL LIBERALISM stresses the importance of equality. Liberals espouse a wide array of views depending on their understanding of these principles, but generally they support ideas and programs such as freedom of speech, freedom of the press, freedom of religion, free markets, civil rights, democratic societies, secular governments, gender equality and international cooperation.
Classical Liberalism, or Neo-liberalism, stress among the preceding with emphasis the free market ideology that Reagan embraced and that the Clintons and Obama have adopted as the main plank of their political philosophy where as the Social Liberals, in the vein that FOX (read FAKE) NEWS keeps telling us the Democrats are, emphasizes the civil rights and equality issues.
Social Liberals and Classical Liberals are rather like “oil and water” in that they very rarely mix very much for very long. Since the 1970s there has been a steady drift in the Democratic Party from the Social Liberalism of the 30s, 40s, 50s and 60s that is still thought of as liberalism toward the New Democratic Party and its embrace of Classical Liberalism.
The takeover of the Democratic Party was only possible because of the effects of the Great Depression and the influence of the Communist Party with the influence of Eugene Debs. The CIO was the most powerful labor movement in the nation as it accepted workers of all descriptions unlike the corporate lackeys in the AFL. But that was because there was a strong contingent of Communists in the CIO influencing the policies of the Congress of Industrial Organizations. It was the threat of a Communist rise to power with the political and human power of the CIO that force even FDR to take as hard a left turn as he did.
Don’t forget (assuming you have done your homework on the rise of FDR in the late 1920s and early 1930s) that the Democratic Party nomination was a very tough race. Al Smith, who had for some time been a force to be reckoned with and had been the Democratic nominee once or twice already nearly won the nomination. Assuming Smith had achieved that and won the election that Nov. American history would have taken a very different path. Smith was very conservative and FDR even ran on a conservative platform including a balanced budget plank. And the only thing that allowed the progressivism of FDR was the absolute threat of a Third Party takeover of the American Political Stage, the Communist Party.
As much as I personally wish there were more options, especially a true anti-capitalist party, today there are no external (third party) forces that can lead to a resurgence of the Social Liberalism within the Democratic Party except the possibility of the Green Party and the Jill Stein wing of that Party is the most Progressive wing it has.