North Texas Daily

Justice Democrats only support unjustified idealism

Justice Democrats only support unjustified idealism

Justice Democrats only support unjustified idealism
March 02
10:00 2017

The Editorial Board

On Jan. 23, Cenk Uygur of “The Young Turks,” Kyle Kulinski of “Secular Talk” and former Bernie Sanders staffers Zack Exley and Saikat Chakrabarti founded the Justice Democrats. The movement is their attempt at a progressive, left-wing “take over [of] Congress” in 2018, which mirrors the right-wing Tea Party movement.

According to “The Young Turks,” the YouTube podcast which announced the coalition, their purpose is “to support and advance policy platforms that have stalled within the Democratic Party.” They have stated that their candidates “will not be funded by corporate donors,” but “by the people.”

On the day of the announcement, Uygur expressed his belief that all Democratic victories were “made possible by strong progressives.” He said that, as of late, “Democrats haven’t lined up with the party’s ideals” and that their loss in the recent presidential election was caused by a “hostile takeover” from multinational corporations.

In Uygur and Kulinski’s version of the Justice Democrats’ platform, the coalition says that “the corporate, establishment wing of the [Democratic Party] is responsible” for the party’s current division. This reasoning comes from the betrayal of Bernie Sanders at the Democratic National Convention this past summer, who was not chosen for the candidacy in favor of Hillary Clinton.

They believe this decision was fueled by Super PAC donors to the party, who they think “should be banned” with a “constitutional amendment.”

According to the Center for Responsive Politics, Super PACs are “relatively new” kinds of political action committees, able to “raise unlimited sums of money from corporations, unions, associations and individuals” and spend those sums to “advocate for or against” candidates. Last year alone, Super PACs made total independent expenditures of $1,104,481,008 – according to data reported on Feb. 26.

In addition to their plans to ban this trend, Justice Democrats also want to “re-regulate Wall Street,” rectify the economic system for the middle class benefits, make universal healthcare a mainstay and deplete poverty by “making minimum wage a living one.”

While we support the idea of the opposition party experiencing reform – as the past few months since the election have been one media circus after another – the idea of liberals having their own Tea Party is far from a good thing. It could destroy the very thing they are trying to protect. 

For starters, Uygur and his team have inadvertently created their own Super PAC – the exact kind of organization they plan on banning. By ironically using “The Young Turks” as the coalition’s mouthpiece and main source of revenue, Uygur’s YouTube channel will have to rely on other like-minded organizations to fund their plot to seize control of the Democratic Party. Because logically, any organization needs proper funding to achieve success, and even the Justice Democrats support “strong unions,” which can directly appeal to any candidate’s wallet.

Furthermore, the singular nature of splitting away from a party, just to supercede where it came from, isn’t the recipe for reform in the American system. It only creates more division, and a sure win for Republicans if the Democratic Party were to split. 

A fledgling group trying to secede from another only increases the negative image of the party as a whole. Uygur’s group isn’t just separatist, but they also flaunt the type of liberal idealism that Republicans often criticize Democrats for. It doesn’t help that Hillary Clinton continues to act like a sore loser, tweeting to President Trump this week about what he should be doing to fix problems and offering no solutions.

Although Bernie Sanders was quick to rail on Trump for his first Address to the Nation – encouraging his own supporters to “continue the fight” against excessive military spending and the lack of climate change solutions – he’s still one man in a party that’s nowhere near as vocal as its rivals.

The Justice Democrats aspire to have a convention for Article V of the Constitution, which calls for the alteration of the Constitution through the ratification of amendments. While their reasons for  a convention are implausible, holding a convention is where a correct solution lies for everyone.

The Justice Democrats should be less focused on splitting away and more about using Article V to create their own party. In doing so, it wouldn’t taint the Democratic Party any further, and they could use their brand of liberalism to discuss issues to the Democratic Party and influence beneficial reform. That way, everyone in either of these parties could help one another and foster a positive change in Washington, D.C as a whole.

Making the Justice Democrats was certainly a poor choice, but it isn’t too late for them to rearrange their selfish objectives.

Featured Illustration: Samuel Wiggins

About Author

Preston Mitchell

Preston Mitchell

Preston served as the Opinion Editor of the North Texas Daily from July 2016 to July 2017, and is a UNT graduate of integrative studies.

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  1. D. Trump
    D. Trump March 02, 15:46


    Reply to this comment
  2. Devin M.
    Devin M. March 03, 09:11

    The first half of your article is spot on. The second half, not so much. The Justice Democrats aren’t trying to secede from the Democratic Party. They are trying a hostile takeover. Their goal is to infiltrate the party and force them to move to more progressive policies. I agree that leaving the party would be a bad idea, but this is the exact opposite goal of the Justice Democrats. Please do more research.

    Reply to this comment
  3. JimiTaco
    JimiTaco March 03, 13:37

    This piece really missed the point; Justice Democrats are not a separate party, they are not looking to secede. The Justice Dems are TAKING OVER the Democratic party. It’s not about forming a Progressive wing of a right-of-center Democratic party, it’s about taking the Democratic party back for the people, and resisting the influence of big donors.
    This is not a tea party movement; we are principled, we are informed, and we are angry.

    Reply to this comment
  4. Anonymous
    Anonymous March 04, 05:54

    “Making the Justice Democrats was certainly a poor choice.”

    Sorry, but there’s no evidence of this. Not in this article or anywhere else. If the author honestly thinks the initiative resembles a super PAC, he or she simply hasn’t invested enough effort into understanding the movement. Does an ordinary european citizen really have to come to this website to school an american journalist on the difference between a super PAC and a grassroots funded political movement? Hint: no donations from for-profit institutions allowed. Bonus hint: lower likelihood of politicians doing favors to for-profit institutions. Put it to you this way: 1 + 1. Amounts to? Well done, 2. Now what might 2 be? Might it be: politicians working for people, not for-profit institutions. Rocket science, I know. Well, good luck over there in Texas.

    Reply to this comment
  5. justice dem
    justice dem March 04, 11:39

    You don’t get it… Or maybe you do and you’re scared the people are rising against the corporate tide. The voter turnout was so low in the last election because none of the candidates represented the interest of the people. Why bother voting for corrupt or corrupter? These movements (justicedems and brand new congress) are by the people for the people. None of the supporters like the way we have to do it, but we understand that the only chance we have to change the system from within. We can no longer sit on the outside and expect our voices to be heard. Regardless of your ideology if your candidate is taking vast sums of money from billionaires and corporations they represent them not you. The poisoned water in Flint and around the country is solid evidence of profits over people. I will no longer be voting for any candidate that has not signed a pledge to refuse corporate/ billionaire donations and would even vote across party lines to support someone who has versus a corporate puppet.

    Reply to this comment
  6. Davey Lee
    Davey Lee March 05, 10:15

    The cause of the Justice Democrats is just, and their strategy borders on genius.

    The Justice Democrat movement was created by those who acknowledge that you can’t fight corruption with corruption. Justice Dems are sick and tired of Corporate Puppets of both political parties who solicit the votes of the people yet who choose to serve as the voice of their donors instead of representing the interests of their Constituency.

    The genius of their strategy is to cleanse the government of bribery and corruption by purging the Democrat Party of the Corporate Dems who have infiltered and overtaken the party who claims by their very name to be the Party of the Demos.

    In essence, the Justice Democrat movement is an aggressive takeover of the Democrat Party from within in order to transform the Democrat Party into the Party of the Demos instead of being the Party of the Donors.

    In launching such an effort, the Justice Dems are offering Third Party Liberals such as myself (I have voted Green Party for several election cycles) and their own disenfranchised Progressive base (Berniecrats), an opportunity to affect social change from within the Democrat Party by purging the DP of its corrupt Corporate baggage and replacing such with Candidates who are of the people and who are for the people.

    Will this effort work? Who knows until we try.

    I am just thankful that there are actually those within the Democrat Party who are making an effort to affect social change instead of continuing to settle for corruption within their own ranks.

    This effort is way past overdue and is more than welcome in the circles of social minded Liberals such as myself.

    Reply to this comment
  7. Stu
    Stu March 13, 22:27

    “Furthermore, the singular nature of splitting away from a party, just to supercede where it came from, isn’t the recipe for reform in the American system. It only creates more division, and a sure win for Republicans if the Democratic Party were to split. ”

    Ever hear of the Tea Party? What did the tea party do?

    Reply to this comment
  8. james
    james March 13, 23:15

    Sounds like a corporate democrat wrote this. Justice democrats are fighting the corruption that money has brought into the politics. 2018 couldn’t come any sooner, we will shock the world.

    Reply to this comment
  9. Fish
    Fish March 21, 02:30

    Swing and a miss editorial board. As has already been mentioned, JD is not about a new party or fracturing the Democratic Party but taking it back from the big monied interests that have taken it. The centrist corporatist dems are weak and ineffectual at everything other than their own self preservation. I used to wonder why they wouldn’t say what their progressive constituents were saying when it came to fighting for or against major issues, why they didn’t stick their necks out or fight back when being attacked by the opposition party. I now know they will never fight back as long as they are receiving that sweet sweet big donor money. In just 2 months, JD has had 250k sign up and over 40k of those have donated over 1 million dollars. Over 8000 people have been nominated to run and about 40 have so far have survived the extensive vetting process and are now being trained to run for office. This is going to happen…..we are coming!!

    Reply to this comment
  10. RonDuckson
    RonDuckson March 30, 16:40

    Why not talk about populism my man? Trump was all about that! Bernie too! What do you think these cats are gonna be basing their party on? Populism my man! This strategy appeals to bot DEMS and REPS in the nation.
    When Hillary lost this past election, it was not because the Vote was split between Hillary and Jill, it was because populism won out! You cant expect thoughtful dudes to fall in line with the corruption they witnessed this previous election season. A vote for Jill was a vote for Jill. I even suspect some votes for Hillary were Votes Against Trump. On the other hand votes for Trump were definitely votes for Trump. Hillary lost the county by county. She may have taken the popular vote, but that is because large cities tend to Vote blue. With our slow moving electoral system, if the electoral college was more closely monitored and cities had more votes then she would have won. That’s not the system the election went by player. The DNC knew that and decided to run her anyways, knowing damn well that Bernie would have been a better appeal to the rust belt and major cities. Shame!
    Now we have a takeover of the Democratic party full of populists. That is only going to severe to strengthen the party going forward my man. There isn’t going to be a split in Democrats, there is going to be a purge.

    Reply to this comment
  11. SteveG177
    SteveG177 April 18, 19:26

    The Tea Party, which this is the rough equivalent of, was completely and massively successful. It lost a handful of winnable races in 2010 and 2012, and the media laughed and laughed at them. By 2014, they had taken over the entire Republican Party, and the party had total control of the government at all levels by 2016. The movement built up an army of support. It didn’t split anything, it didn’t lead to wins for the other party, it didn’t contribute to the party’s negative image (not to its own voters), it was very successful.

    Reply to this comment

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