Political Suicide: The Fight for the Soul of the Democratic Party

Seven Stories. Jun. 2020. 224p. ISBN 9781609809942. pap. $18.95. POL SCI
Prolific cartoonist Rall (How Trump Stole 2020) opens this passionate argument that the democratic establishment works to undermine progressive causes in June 2016, with the release of 20,000 emails exposing the Democratic National Committee’s (DNC) bias toward Hillary Clinton over Bernie Sanders. After explaining various DNC attempts to undermine the Sanders campaign, Rall details the history of progressive U.S. politics, beginning with Socialist Party presidential candidate Eugene Debbs in 1912 and surveying the failed presidential runs of Ted Kennedy, Jesse Jackson, Howard Dean, and Ralph Nader. Rall lays out specific progressive policy and argues that most Americans actually agree with these ideas but reject candidates from outside the norm owing to the educational system and media propagating the idea that only traditional candidates from within the establishment could ever hope to win an election. Finally, he touches on policies enacted by the Trump administration—including the response to the Coronavirus pandemic—and concludes that, “the fight for the soul of the Democratic party may well wind up determining the fate of humanity.”
VERDICT Rall combines prose, photographs, and single-panel political cartoons in this carefully researched, fervent plea for a reorganization of the current political system.
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