As one griping ad nauseum about the vice grip of donors on politics, there are a few developments these days that point out the cognitive dissonance (or hypocricy, if you’re a cynical and ungenerous sort. I’ll let you know if i come across anyone like that.) when donors and their agendas and messages and current event worlds collide. Along with some bonus easy listening for your weekend pleasure from some earlier prophets. But, if you know any of those cynical sorts, even they might see a very faint glimmer that may even lead to breaking that chokehold, kicking and screaming, when business as usual just won’t hold any longer.
First up is the Repubs and NRA donors, which i probably don’t have to go into detail about. Advantage Dems on this one. Next up, the Weinstein kerfuffle. Outrage machine, soul searching, false equivalecy debates, etc in full force all over your front pages today. O’Reilley and Ailes, Bill Clinton, Trump, Gloria Allred and spawn, Bill Cosby, virtue-signalling, posturing, a few Dems nobly redirecting donations to causes supporting women (Hi Lizzie), blah blah. I say meh. Not because Weinstein isn’t a gross pig who deserves everything he gets and more, (and who makes some damn fine films, the eternal dilemma of the art lover and a certain Stones / Zep fan. Who was also rather goodlooking a few decades ago, so Weinstein’s sort is not unfamiliar.).
Nope, my meh comes from the fact that Weinstein is one guy, and the sacrificial lamb and tip of the iceberg here, and a rank amateur compared to some other big Dem (and Repub) donors. So i’ll take their posturing seriously when they return and refuse to accept donations from the pros at this sort of thing (other than other Big Entertainment donors sure to be flushed out of the woodwork) – that would be Big Tech. There are way too many sexual harassment and toxic workplace cultures to even go into here, but Apple, Google, Facebook, Uber, Tesla, are all right in that mix. And these aren’t just single offenders, these are entire corporate cultures, and the problem is endemic and systematic. Now Tech gives as much to Repubs as it does to Dems these days. But remember this isn’t the Repubs’ message, it’s supposed to be the Dems. And could be a big fat problem at campaign time, keep these donors and you lose another weapon to him them with. A quick cruise through the biggest recipients of Tech donor largesse from these companies and more to date, aside from the DNC, DCCC, and DSCC is Clinton, (who is over), Bernie Sanders (yep, him too), Kamala Harris, Chuck Schumer. And that’s before we even get to lobbying cash. And their agenda for the future.
There are at least two important areas, though, where tech entrepreneurs stand apart from typical liberals.
The first is on the question of what the study authors call “globalism,” or the proper balance between the interests of Americans and those of people living abroad. Tech entrepreneurs are about as globalist as Democratic donors, and far more globalist than other groups:
44 percent say trade policy should prioritize the well-being of those abroad instead of Americans, and 87 percent support free trade agreements.
56 percent favor increasing levels of immigration, which is 15 percentage points higher than Democratic voters as a whole.
53 percent disagree with the idea that the United States should pay less attention to problems overseas.
In the meantime, the Dems have a bigger problem or two now. First up,
Fueled by a string of fundraising appeals from President Trump to his supporters, the Republican Party is on track to raise more money from small-dollar contributions than it has collected in more than a decade.
Second of all, i’m really not the only one who couldn’t give a fuck about the Democratic Party as an institution. Ask Uncle Howie about the millennial brigade.
“They see in Trump the destruction of the United States as they have been taught that it was going to exist,” he told me. “The Trump election was essentially a negation of every value that young people have.” Dean believes “those kids” are the “core base now” of the Democratic Party. “The most reliable demographic of our voters are the young people across the board, across racial and ethnic lines,” he said. There’s just one big problem.
“These people are not Democrats.”
“They’re very independent-minded. They don’t like politics. And they mistrust institutions,” Dean said in his characteristically matter-of-fact style. “I think our problem as Democrats is, we’re the head of the oldest party in the West, and this party is an institution that looks incredibly unattractive; not because of our ideology, ’cause that is attractive, and that is why they always vote for Democrats. But the Democratic Party means nothing to them because it’s an institution built by people like me who’s 40 years older than them.”
Adapt or Die, Dems.