The Democratic Party has become everything it once was against.
Let's get one thing straight right at the start: criticizing the Democratic Party and its ruling elites is not the same as "supporting Trump."
The either-or accusation is a classic propaganda technique to silence dissent. During the Vietnam War, for example, anyone dissenting against the official narratives supporting the war was accused of "supporting the Communists." In other words, criticizing the Powers That Be or their narrative is treason.
This either-or choice was designed to silence dissent by eliminating the possibility that domestic critics had valid reasons to disagree with the war that had nothing to do with Communism and everything to do with America.
Now we hear the same propaganda technique being wielded by Democrats: any criticism of the Democratic Party is "supporting Trump."
Hogwash. Any institution that can't accept achingly obvious critiques is doomed. Resilient, confident people and organizations welcome fair criticism, as honest criticism (i.e. intended to improve performance and understanding) is essential to the process of successful adaptation to changing conditions.
So now that we've got that straightened out--criticism isn't necessarily support for "the other side," it stands or falls on its own merits--let's nail down why the Democratic Party didn't live up to expectations in the election.
And we're not talking about the presidential race, in which the Democrats scored a substantial advantage in the popular vote--we're talking to the entire election results: state legislatures, the House of Representatives and the Senate.
The Democrats picked up two senate seats and eight in the House, three of which were vacant. Democrats lost the majority in the Senate in 2014 and in the House in 2010, so the the 2016 election was a continuation of a trend begun six years ago.
Why has the nation turned away from the Democratic Party? Perhaps one reason is that the Democratic Party has become everything it once was against.
George McGovern's 1972 campaign slogan was Come home, America. The current version of the Democratic Party never met a globalist treaty or agenda that it didn't approve.
The Democratic Party turned anti-war after Lyndon Johnson's withdrawal from the 1968 race; the current version of the Democratic Party has embraced endless war via proxies, drones and Special Forces--they support interventions and unlimited violence in other nations, as long as American combat deaths are few and far between.
In years past, the Democratic Party presented itself as the party of "the working people" against the business interests of banks and corporations. The current version of the Democratic Party has embraced big banks, financiers, billionaires and corporations, cozying up to Big Money for hundreds of millions in campaign contributions and Super-PAC funding.
Former President Bill Clinton and his wife Hillary earned $230 million between 2001 (when they left the White House) and 2015. How The Clintons Have Made $230 Million Since Leaving The White House (Forbes). Their foundation has collected some $2 billion, and the foundation's track record of large donations from non-U.S. players and its modest charitable effectiveness has opened questions about pay-for-play.
As for supporting "the working people"--Hillary's comment about "deplorables" summed up the unspoken view of the Democratic Party elites.
The Democratic Party has become everything that it once loathed: elitist, globalist, interventionist, self-serving, warmongering and overflowing with hubris.
To avoid looking at their reflection honestly, humans project their own failures and destructive traits onto others, blaming others for their own faults. They justify their self-serving actions, and deny responsibility for their clearly self-destructive behaviors.
This describes the Democratic Party elites to a T. It's all Trump's fault, or the Russian hackers, or the "deplorables"--anyone but themselves.
Not that long ago, the Republican Party was being dragged toward a shallow grave -- a party drained of ideas and ideals. Trump's campaign bypassed the Republican Party's self-serving, hubris-soaked elites, and whether the party will survive the internecine warfare between the Trump camp and the Old Guard remains an open question.
If the Democratic Party clings to elitism, indignation, denial and self-justification, it will be digging its own shallow grave beside the one awaiting the Republican Party should it fail to embrace practical, affordable solutions to the stagnation of opportunity and rising inequality.