The Shady Evolution of the Democratic Party

This recent clip from journalist Michael Rotenshtern goes over the history of the Democratic Party of the United States, explaining it to an international audience. The clip is interesting because it acknowledges the complexity of the party in ways rarely done in the United States, while pointing to its biggest weakness: corruption.

During the US Civil War and its aftermath, Democrats were the conservative of the two major parties. Republicans were abolitionists and advocates for small farmers and northern industrial capitalists, while the Democrats were the party of southern plantation owners and corrupt urban machines. Interestingly, Karl Marx endorsed Abraham Lincoln in the 1864 Presidential Election and wrote articles for the New York Tribune, a Republican Party aligned newspaper.

The flip of the two major parties started with Roosevelt and his populist economic reforms and alliance with labor unions, but most especially escalated with the Civil Rights Movement. As the US political landscape was redrawn, the right-wing US south flipped, the corrupt urban machines did not.

The notorious scandals of the Clinton machine and the Biden family fit in with the atmosphere of pessimism and cynicism one finds in many Democratic Party circles. In the era of Trump, many of the most ardent supporters for George W. Bush’s invasion of Iraq have become Democrats. Democrats call their opponents racist, but Republicans have significantly gained support among Black and Latino Americans.

The video clip puts Biden’s odd comment about the 2024 election “I have no idea if there will be a Republican Party. Do you” into context.

It appears the Democrats are very much becoming the ruling party of the mainstream American establishment after a bizarre evolution since the age of Thomas Jefferson. This clip certainly has educational value, even for an American audience.

Leave a Reply