Peter Camejo wrote The Avocado Declaration in 2004. It details how a prime function of the Democratic Party is to siphon genuine protest and activism into the party, where it is rendered inert. This has been going on for quite some time. After all, the Democratic Party simultaneously backstabbed and co-opted the then-thriving Populist Party of the 1890’s.
It is quite likely the Republican Party will splinter after Trump gets stomped. Such a process will take much longer to happen in the Democratic Party, if it happens at all, primarily because the Democratic Party is way more skilled at inviting dissent into the party where it is diffused and becomes harmless. Republicans invited Tea Party crazies in only to find that not only could they not control them, the crazies may well destroy their party. The Democratic Party wouldn’t have made that mistake.
Every now and then a crazy gets let loose and the Democratic Party happily tries to round-up the dissent. I say, remember France in 2002. Sarkozy vs Le Pen. Multiple parties who loathed Sarkozy teamed up to get him elected because they saw the genuinely fascist threat from Le Pen. Sarkozy demolished Le Pen and the other parties then attacked Sarkozy, and quite successfully too. They were not co-opted by any of it. It was a short-term alliance for mutual interest, nothing more.
The Democratic Party, as Camejo explains, basically is good cop to the Republican Party bad cop. They need each other and quite often have similar aims and goals.
The Republican Party has historically acted as the open advocate for a platform which benefits the rule of wealth and corporate domination. They argue ideologically for policies benefiting the corporate rulers. The Republicans seek to convince the middle classes and labor to support the rule of the wealthy with the argument that “What’s good for General Motors is good for the country,” that what benefits corporations is also going to benefit regular people.
The Democratic Party is different. They act as a “broker” negotiating and selling influence among broad layers of the people to support the objectives of corporate rule. The Democratic Party’s core group of elected officials is rooted in careerists seeking self-promotion by offering to the corporate rulers their ability to control and deliver mass support. And to the people they offer some concessions, modifications on the platform of the Republican Party. One important value of the Democratic Party to the corporate world is that it makes the Republican Party possible through the maintenance of the stability that is essential for “business as usual.” It does this by preventing a genuine mass opposition from developing. Together the two parties offer one of the best frameworks possible with which to rule a people that otherwise would begin to move society towards the rule of the people (i.e. democracy).
Together the two parties have made ballot access increasingly difficult, defended indirect elections such as the Electoral College, insisted on winner-take-all voting to block the appearance of alternative voices and opposed proportional representation to prevent the development of a representative democracy and the flowering of choices. Both parties support the undemocratic structure of the U.S. Senate and the Electoral College, which are not based on one person, one vote, but instead favor the more conservative regions of the nation.
Elections are based primarily on money. By gerrymandering and accumulating huge war chests –payoffs for doing favors for their rich “friends”– most officeholders face no real challenge at the ballot box and are re-elected. In the races that are “competitive,” repeatedly the contests are reduced to two individuals seeking corporate financial backing. Whoever wins the battle for money wins the election. Districts are gerrymandered into “safe” districts for one or the other party. Gerrymandering lowers the public’s interest and involvement while maintaining the fiction of “democracy” and “free elections.” The news media goes along with this, typically focusing on the presidential election and a handful of other races, denying most challengers the opportunity to get their message out to the public.