Seven Stories Press just released Ted Rall’s new book, “Political Suicide: The Fight for the Soul of the Democratic Party.” Rall is a graphic novelist, a syndicated columnist and the author of many books of art and prose, including biographies of Edward Snowden, Bernie Sanders and Pope Francis. You’ve probably seen his political cartoons, which are often published in urban weeklies.
“Political Suicide” uses the graphic novel form to trace the history of the Democratic Party’s rightward movement over the last few decades, and how its leadership has worked to suppress the party’s progressive wing.
Ted & I talked on June 27th for my podcast, “Voice for Nature & Peace.” You can listen to the full conversation here. What follows are two extended excerpts, edited for clarity.
Kollibri: There’s often been a discussion about the Democrats: “How come they don’t win as much as they should? How come people like Trump are able to win?” It often comes down to this argument of, “Is it incompetence or is it corruption?” And your book comes down pretty solidly on the side of corruption.
Ted: Yes. The question is: Is it a plan? Is it a conspiracy or is it a system? I think it’s more a system that ends up creating systemic corruption. That’s my conclusion. Obviously, it’s impossible to know without being a fly on the wall in the room where it happened. But, since we’re not, you kind of have to draw the conclusion that these are people who know what they’re doing, but they don’t know why.
I think they sort of have articles of religious faith within the DNC. For example, the whole centrist/triangulation thing. You know: “If you go too far to the left you just can’t win.” But there’s no real data to support that it. It may be true but [they need to] prove it. They haven’t been winning much with their current approach. This is not a party that sweeps a lot of elections.
There are more registered Democrats than registered Republicans. So by definition, if everybody votes in roughly equal numbers, Democrats should win most of the time. But they don’t, so obviously what’s happening is that Democrats are less motivated to vote than Republicans. So the question is, “Why is that?”