by Jake Johnson, Common Dreams
…Simultaneously, however, despite liberals’ professed disdain for political doctrines, a new ideology arose in the place of the New Deal tradition, an ideology that would ultimately come to infect both of America’s major political parties: Neoliberalism.
And with the rise of neoliberalism came an aversion to the politics and projects of the left, including its persistent support for the working class, its focus on rising income inequality, and its opposition to the entrenched free market consensus.
Bill Clinton, the embodiment of neoliberalism’s rise to prominence, insisted that it was necessary to end “the era of big government” and to embrace the “third way,” a path that would navigate smoothly between the competing visions of conservatism and pro-labor progressivism with the ostensible goal of transcending partisan squabbles altogether.
And while many on the left were enthusiastic about the election of Barack Obama, he has insisted all along that he, himself, is no leftist — no break from the trends set into motion by Bill Clinton. Rather, as he noted in 2009, he falls firmly in the camp of the neoliberals.
“I am a New Democrat,” President Obama declared, a statement that should have done away with any illusions, still harbored by some, that the president is a leftist at heart — that is, if some of his key appointments had failed to do away with them already.
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