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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

I’m disappointed in the Democrats

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Dong Woo Im
Posters hung up in the Campus Center. Photo by Dong Woo Im / Mass Media Staff.

Unfortunately for us all, the United States is a two-party system. Despite not being enshrined in the all-encompassing Constitution, as is usually the case with parts of our government that are “too hard to change,” the two-party system is nearly as old as America. According to History.com, the Democrat-Republican divide emerged in the early 19th century; Andrew Jackson, having lost his first presidential race, created the Democratic party to advance slavery into the newly-developing West. [1] Most people know the Democrats today to stand opposed to its values of the 19th and 20th century—but really, have things changed all that much?

The Democratic party positions itself as staunchly opposed to racism. The past few years—and, I would argue, the past few hundred—have proven otherwise. Democrats enjoy the support they currently do thanks to Americans of color, and Black Americans specifically, proven by a study published in the Journal of Statistics and Public Policy. [2] Of course, the Democrats are farther along on the whole racism issue than the Republicans, whose policy seems to still be “whatever will make poor people poorer.” However, few Democrats, if any, are willing to do what needs to be done for Black and Brown Americans. Only a select few of the most left-leaning Democrats support movements like Defund the Police, Black Lives Matter or Land Back—the bare minimum a politician could do to support Americans of color.  

Worse still is the Democratic party’s constant rebuking of its own leftist members—and, to no one’s surprise, it’s always non-white congresspeople who bear the brunt. Even in 2019, Democrats and Republicans alike were outraged by comments Ilhan Omar made about Israel in 2012, comments that are still being weaponized against her over a decade later. [3] The language of Omar’s original 2012 tweet was flawed; she had said that Israel was “hypnotizing” the world, a commonly used antisemitic trope. However, Omar apologized for this language in no uncertain terms, and her intentions were sound: Israel does indeed enjoy widespread support from some of the biggest countries in the world, America included, and Omar meant to criticize the way that global superpowers turn a blind eye to Israel’s constant oppression of Palestinians.

Omar isn’t the only one to face condemnation for being pro-Palestine. Rashida Tlaib—who, notably, is the only Palestinian-American member of congress—was censured in a bipartisan effort to silence her comments on Israel. Tlaib’s criticism of Biden and calls for a ceasefire included the phrase, “from the river to the sea,” commonly decried as supporting terrorism. It’s no coincidence that a nonviolent phrase calling for freedom from oppression is portrayed this way—anyone who even “looks Muslim” can’t so much as sneeze without being recognized as a terrorist organization by the U.S. And of course, censuring Tlaib over this single phrase in a single tweet was far more important than doing anything about the millions of Palestinians being bombed in Gaza. By contrast, Max Miller, a white congressman from Ohio, was not censured when he said Palestine was a “territory” that “we’re going to turn into a parking lot.” [4] 

I’m disappointed in our UMass Boston College Democrats, too. The most action I’ve seen from them is an ice cream social celebrating Joe Biden’s birthday. Face the facts: Biden is deeply unpopular, and anyone who’s spent more than a few seconds online can see it. Biden’s approval rating has dipped to 41 percent, according to the Pew Research Center. [5] Across the country, Republicans are calling for his impeachment, and anyone left of Joe Manchin can see that Biden is a glorified Republican desperately trying to appeal to Obama’s voter base. Instead of throwing their support behind anyone but Biden—God forbid someone as progressive as Bernie Sanders—the UMBCD is too busy reposting Biden’s Super Bowl tweets and making fun of Trump. On the other side of the aisle, the College Republicans are busy posting flyers involving students in conservative campaigns and organizing charity events.

The behavior from the Democratic party is inexcusable. In their effort to constantly be more bipartisan than the Republicans—to take the higher road, as it were—they’ve let Republicans drag them farther and farther right. The history of the Democrats is not one of steadfast morality: It’s one of being pushed around by conservatives before Black Americans pull the party back.

 

SOURCES: 

[1] https://www.history.com/news/two-party-system-american-politics  

[2] https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/2330443X.2013.856147 

[3] https://www.cnn.com/2019/02/11/politics/ilhan-omar-aipac-backlash/index.html  

[4] https://www.vox.com/politics/2023/11/9/23953902/rashida-tlaib-censure-palestine-statement  

[5] https://www.pewresearch.org/politics/2022/01/25/views-of-joe-biden/  

About the Contributors
Elijah Horwath, Opinions Editor
Dong Woo Im, Photographer