Why Democrats underachieve

One might think the Democrats would win every election, and not just win but win big.

One might think the Dems would gather nearly every vote from the poor and middle-income, the gays, blacks, browns, yellows, reds, Jews, Muslims, immigrants, the elderly, the sick, the educated, and those who care about the environment, women’s right to an abortion, and America’s democracy.

After all, the Dems are the party that invented and tries to protect and expand Medicare, Social Security, and ACA (Obamacare). They want to raise the minimum wage, give unions a greater voice, and support equal housing legislation.

They also passed the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Economic Opportunity Act of 1964. They support free preschool programs for disadvantaged children (Head Start) and volunteer teachers in schools in poor areas (the AmeriCorps VISTA program).

They support more accessible voting for the poor.

Premium Photo | Puzzled dark skinned woman spreads her arms without understanding what is being done.Additionally, the Democrats passed and support:

    • The Wilderness Act, protecting 9 million acres of forestland;
    • The Voting Rights Act banned practices intended to deny African-Americans the right to vote;
    • The Elementary and Secondary Education Act provides federal funding for public schools;
    • The Older Americans Act created home and community-based services for older Americans;
    • The Immigration and Nationality Act ending immigration quotas based on ethnicity;
    • The Freedom of Information Act making government records more easily available to the people; and
    • The Housing and Urban Development Act for construction of low-income housing.

And they enacted laws strengthening the anti-pollution Air and Water Quality Acts; raised standards ensuring the safety of consumer products; and created the National Endowment for the Arts and Humanities.

The GOP either has opposed all of the above or supported some of it reluctantly. They promise to cut Social Security benefits and/or raise FICA taxes. They repeatedly try to deport the “Dreamers,” children who were brought to the US before the age of 16 and don’t have lawful immigration status. They try to eliminate abortion, even under the most extenuating circumstances.

They also promise to cut Medicare and Medicaid and have tried, for six years, to eliminate Obamacare.

The current Democratic administration added to the list of Democrats’ accomplishments;

1) $1.2 trillion to rebuild America’s infrastructure
2) $1.9 trillion COVID relief deal
3) Halt on federal executions
4) Rejoined the international Paris Climate Accord
5) Mandated converting the federal fleet to zero-emission vehicles.
6) Support for transgender service members
7) Reduced unemployment
8) Strengthened QUAD, the alliance of the U.S., India, Australia, and Japan.
9) Student loan debt relief
10) Strengthened NATO.
11) Sanctioned Russia for its invasion of Ukraine
12) Fought Saudi’s oil prices by releasing180 million barrels
of oil from the country’s Strategic Oil Reserves.
13) Pardoned anyone convicted of a federal marijuana charge

The above should help the middle- and lower-income classes and/or aid America’s security. The GOP opposed all of it.

On the other side, the GOP’s main accomplishment is a tax cut for the rich and belated support for the creation of the COVID vaccine (while simultaneously denying the need for a vaccine).

The GOP is led lockstep by a convicted tax cheat, the head of the scam operation known as “Trump University,” an unceasing liar, a conspiracy theorist, and a sympathizer with white supremacists, Nazis, QAnon, and traitors who tried to overthrow the U.S government.

His false and damaging claims about a “stolen” election repeatedly have been rebutted by facts from all sides, though unfortunately parroted by many in the GOP..

He has expressed bigotry against blacks, browns, yellows, reds, Jews, Muslims, gays, Mexicans, and women who are not “beautiful” enough to suit him.

He has cheated on three wives, groped many women, paid hush money to hookers, and disseminated anti-vaccine, anti-virus lies that cost hundreds of thousands of Americans their lives.

No matter what measure one uses, Donald Trump is a bad human being, a psychopath, and a danger to America. That is reality.

Based on the above, one might expect the Democrats to trounce the Republicans in every election. After all, there are far more poor and middle-income people, brown, black, yellow, and red people, far more Jewish, Muslim, and gay people, and far more people who favor abortion than wealthy, white supremacist, right-wing, Christian, male bigots.

Yet, the Republicans are projected to do well in the mid-term elections and beyond.


There are several reasons having to do with individual issues and with the strange way our founders created the American “minority-vote-wins” voting system. But the one overriding reason is Gap Psychology.

Gap Psychology describes your human desire to widen the income/wealth/power Gap below you and to narrow the Gap above you.

Because of Gap Psychology, the middle classes despise the poor even more than the rich do.

While the rich see the poor as a minimal threat — the Gap is too wide to worry much about — the middle sees the poor as an existential danger.

Sometimes, the Gap between the poor and the middle is so narrow as to be almost invisible. For example, some in the middle are outraged about poor children receiving a college scholarship to a school unaffordable for a middle-income family.

The issue of “fairness” — fairness in education, hiring, and all types of government aid — hangs heavily over the middle-income mind. While the middle may be mildly concerned about the massive tax breaks the rich receive, they are outraged by the small preferences the poor may receive.

A narrowing of the Gap below you is far more frightening than a widening of the Gap above you.

Many in the middle live in neighborhoods that abut poor, crime-ridden areas. They see the poor as dangerous criminals living right next door. That Gap is perceived as narrow.

The poor, of course, live among the poor and despise them. It’s a form of self-loathing related to denial of the truth. Most poor don’t think of themselves as poor but rather “unlucky.” It is those around them who are deservedly “poor” and so should not receive aid.

These people seek a leader who will not lift the poor but rather will punish them and push them down. Lifting the poor would narrow the Gap vs. the “unlucky,” which is the last thing the “unlucky” want.

The poor and middle do not hate the rich. They admire the rich and aspire to be rich. If they cannot be rich, they want to be like the rich, and in that way, narrow the psychological Gap between them and the rich.

Far from being a negative, Donald Trump’s wealth is an election advantage in that it attracts his MAGA followers. They live his extravagant life through him. They resent those who would bring their hero down.

Never mind his many failings, he is their rich guy, their protector.

The cliched example is the poor man who wins a lottery and goes broke while trying to emulate the rich. No one tries to emulate the poor.

Common sense might dictate that the massive population advantage of the poor and middle-income/wealth/power groups vs. the rich would mean the GOP — the party of the rich — never would win an election.

And that would be true if people voted logically and in their own self-interest.

But people do not act logically; they act emotionally, with fear and hatred being our strongest emotions.

The Republican leadership has nurtured the idea that only the GOP can be trusted to keep “them” (the poor, the blacks, browns, gays, etc.) down, so the various Gaps between the middle and poor will be maintained or widened.

The GOP message is: “You don’t need to worry that the blacks will climb up over you. We’ll protect you.

“Don’t worry that the gays will absorb your children. We’ll protect you.

“Don’t worry that the browns will take your job and rape your women. We’ll build a wall.

“Don’t worry that the Jews will take over and rule you. Our white supremacists will fight them for you.”

So when Marjorie Taylor Greene says Nancy Pelosi should be killed, otherwise decent middle-class and poor people overlook the obvious evil. They feel comforted that someone will protect them against those they fear.

Fear and hatred. You can’t have one without the other. They are our twin, primary survival emotions. It was the duo Hitler and Mussolini used to influence the mob.

Think of the Democrats as the strict mother, who tells you not to drink, smoke, or take drugs but instead to eat healthful foods, exercise, and avoid bad company.

The GOP is the affable corner gang leader, who tells you to join up, and he’ll get you all the alcohol, tobacco, and drugs you want, and all you need do is help him rob someone.

I suspect that most Americans understand intellectually that a coup is wrong, Trump is wrong, the GOP is wrong, and the election was not stolen. I suspect that most Americans know intellectually that the white supremacists and the Nazis, and Marjorie Taylor Greene are wrong.

I suspect that most Southerners always knew slavery was wrong.

But fear, hatred, and Gap Psychology are powerful drugs. It looks like America needs first to succumb to the temptation of addiction before reason takes over, if it ever does.

Meanwhile, the Dems underachieve because the poor and middle-income people succumb to Gap Psychology in their desire to be protected from pain. Ironically, they will feel the pain of right-wing rule.

We may not get what we need; we may not get what we deserve; we may not get what we want, but we get what we vote for.

Rodger Malcolm Mitchell
Monetary Sovereignty

Twitter: @rodgermitchell Search #monetarysovereignty
Facebook: Rodger Malcolm Mitchell


The Sole Purpose of Government Is to Improve and Protect the Lives of the People.


20 thoughts on “Why Democrats underachieve

  1. As time progresses, keep an eye out for whether the Trumpers are gaining or losing seats/elections. It use to be everything went back and forth with power and control. Now we can no longer say, “We’ll be back, just wait and see.” If the Trumpers win, then lieing liars win; we start sliding off Titanic’s deck.
    As of right now all the polsters and political scientists are saying it’s too-close-to-call. Yeh I’d say we should be afraid of the Trump threat. But more than that, we may be looking at Democracy’s final, biggest test in trying to make 19th Century, scarcity economics workable in the 21st Century. Maybe Evolution got tired of waiting and has been using Trump as a tool. For sure time is running out; we must choose scarcity or Monetary Sovereignty, oblivion or world peace.


  2. When a blaze ignited Ohio’s Cuyahoga River on June 22, 1969, it wasn’t the first—or worst—time the notoriously filthy waterway had caught fire. But national media outlets seized on it as a stark example of the abysmal state of the nation’s waters after decades of unchecked industrial and sewage pollution.

    Coming at a time of growing public concern over the environment, the fire was one of many issues that spurred Congress to pass ambitious and bipartisan landmark legislation. In the 50 years since the Clean Water Act (CWA) became law, the health of U.S. rivers, lakes and streams has improved. On the Cuyahoga, insects, fish and birds that are sensitive to pollution have returned, as have kayakers and recreational fishers.

    But the CWA is under attack in the court system by people who would weaken it, and there are multiple sources of pollution that the current law doesn’t adequately address. The National Resources Defense Council reports that as of 2019, more than 80 percent of bays and estuaries and around 55 percent of rivers and streams harbored unsafe levels of at least one pollutant. For the sake of our health and economic prosperity, we need stronger protections for our waterways—and we need our courts to uphold the CWA against its current challenges.

    A major question in the court debate is what bodies of water the CWA covers. The objective of the law “is to restore and maintain the chemical, physical, and biological integrity of the Nation’s waters” and to eliminate the “discharge of pollutants into the navigable waters.”

    The Environmental Protection Agency and the Army Corps of Engineers, which administer the CWA, have always interpreted those mandates broadly.

    But the Trump administration issued rules in 2020 that left out many wetlands and smaller streams under the reasoning that they were not navigable and therefore were not subject to pollution limits.

    Although the Biden administration has proposed rules that would restore protections to small streams and wetlands, a Supreme Court case on the docket for this fall could undermine them.

    In Sackett v. EPA, the petitioners argue that wetlands on their property—and by extension millions of acres of other wetlands—are not covered by the law. But these wetlands connect with other, navigable waters, and as 12 scientific societies have stated in an amicus brief, that argument “rejects hydrological reality.”

    Water in a river cannot be adequately protected unless we also protect the many sources that feed into it. The Supreme Court therefore must follow the science and rule in favor of the EPA. This ongoing legal wrangling also underscores the need for Congress to strengthen the CWA using the best available science.


  3. Sure, one political party is worse than the other, but the choice between Democrat or Republican is still a false dichotomy. I can’t support either one.


    1. Life isn’t perfect. We repeatedly are faced with deciding among less-than-ideal alternatives.

      Do you have the perfect job? If not, will you quit and refuse to work until the perfect job shows up?

      Are your wife, children, relatives, and friends all perfect people? If not, will you refuse to engage with any who do not meet your standards?

      Do you drive a perfect car? If not, will you walk until the perfect car is available?

      Each political party has at least a few good ideas, so you should choose the one that comes closer to your ideal, just as you do with jobs, cars, and friends.

      If you don’t vote you simply have decided to let other people make your decision for you.


    2. Yes Rick, they are two sides of the same coin and both servants to Wall Street, the corporatocracy, and the rest of the oligarchs. The Dems stopped being the party of the people along time ago, at least back to Clinton who did so much damage to the working class. The democrat elites such as polosi and Shumer are pro-war, anti-union, pro-sensorship, and neo-liberals as they promote a fascist society for us to live in. I haven’t voted for a Republican or Democrat in years. The only person who ever tried to help me was Ralph Nader, who they smeared and belittled, using the corrupted main stream media to do the dirty work. It boggles my mind that such a brilliant man as Mr. Mitchell is such a shill for the democratic party. As you can see by his list in this piece, he gas lights on all of these items that are flawed on purpose and deceptive to make it look like the Dems are actually doing something besides war. As much as I don’t like Trump, it is so overwhelmingly clear that Biden has done way, way more evil in his 47 years than Trump. It boggles the mind how easily people are brainwashed and even do the bidding of the very people who so utterly control them.


  4. Would our ‘not-good-with-numbers’ population ever be able to manage a proportional representation election with STV [Single Transferable Vote] like the Irish have for the last hundred years?

    “STV has also been described as the most proportional system as it elects candidates without the need for parties which can distort proportionality.  The system tends to handicap extreme candidates because, to gain preferences and so improve their chance of election, candidates need to canvass voters beyond their own circle of supporters, and so need to moderate their views. Conversely, widely respected candidates can win election with relatively few first preferences by benefiting from strong subordinate preference support.”



    1. There are several possible voting systems that would be “fairer” or “more representative” than the convoluted systems used in the U.S.

      You can blame our sainted founders for that. To bribe some states into joining the union, they gave less-populated states outsized voting influence. Thus the ridiculous U.S. Senate which is totally unrelated to fairness, proportionality, or to any other measure related to democracy.

      Further, the electoral college was created by the rich to make sure the rabble populace didn’t have too much voice.

      The real questions are: What is “fair” and what is “representative”?

      Is majority rule fair? I could show you why it isn’t.
      Is plurality rule fair? Not usually.
      What if neither is representative? They aren’t.

      Tossing darts would be as good as the minority-rule systems we now have, but coming up with a fair AND representative system is quite difficult.

      It all begins with the fact that we are not a country, but rather 50 countries (states), and each is divided into multiple fiefdoms (counties, cities, etc.) Each state is not uniform.

      As a former Illinoian, I can tell you that the Chicago area is a different world from central and southern Illinois. The former comes closer to Manhattan and the latter is more like rural Alabama.

      The Chicago suburbs are markedly different from the city, and even the north, south, and west sides of Chicago are substantially unalike.

      Perhaps America simply is geographically too big to have a fair, representative voting system, and like everywhere else in the world, always will have minority-rules voting, and no matter whatever system we adopt, it will not, as Lincoln feared, “long endure.”

      Trump has shown us what failure looks like, i.e. an immoral, dictatorial leadership. Did he provide a valuable lesson that we learn?


  5. The Democratic and Republican parties aren’t just imperfect; they are both horrible. Both are beholden to corporate and Wall Street power, and neither works in the interests of Americans. Voting for either one is acquiescing to one of two terrible choices. A vote for the lesser of two evils is still a vote for evil.


    1. By the way, am I correct that you don’t care, one way or another, whether:
      Medicare benefits are cut
      Social Security benefits are cut
      FICA is increased
      Obamacare benefits are cut
      Millions of Americans can’t afford any health care insurance
      Dreamers are deported
      Global warming continues to increase
      Air, water, and land pollution increases
      We have political leaders who tell people vaccination is unnecessary
      National parks are used for oil drilling and mining
      Gay, black, yellow, red, Jewish, and Muslim people are discriminated against in education, business, housing, and the law.
      Refugees fleeing oppression are barred admittance to the U.S.
      Women are allowed to have abortions.
      Voting is made more difficult for all but white, Christian males.
      Children are taught about slavery, the Holocaust, and America’s history of bigotry
      The Supreme Court adopts the Catholic religion’s viewpoints on marriage, abortion, and women’s rights.
      The rich receive more tax breaks than do the rest.

      Your study tells you both parties are the same on all these positions, and in any event, you don’t care about any of them. Right?


      1. “Your study tells you both parties are the same on all these positions”
        No, that’s neither what I said nor what I think.
        There are differences between the two parties, and those differences are significant.
        There are also significant differences between being burned alive and slowly strangled, but I still prefer neither one.

        “Thank you. By not voting, you just made my vote more. . .”
        I didn’t say I don’t vote; I said, ‘the choice between Democrat or Republican is still a false dichotomy. I can’t support either one.’

        I really enjoy reading your blog Rodger. I learn a lot from it. I try to keep an open mind, and I try not project my biases on you.

        I’ll just keep on reading what you write.


        1. It’s no use Rick, the truth cannot be seen by people who cannot look objectively at what has become a cult. I can’t even muster up the energy to present the mountain of lies that have been served up by the dems. Biden has been on record for years as wanting to reduce or even abolish medicare if he could. We know what Delaware represents. We know he banged the drum as loud as anyone for the Iraq war. We know, he brags about it, that he wrote the racist Crime Bill, we know that he humiliated Anita Hill, We know that he never saw a war he didn’t like, we know what he, Obama, Victoria Newland and the cabal did in 2014 when they cou’d sp the Ukraine government in support of nazi’s who went on to kill upwards to 15,000 Russian speaking Ukranians in the Donbas, we know that he lied and didn’t give people the $2,000 he ran on for covid relief, we know- he brags- that he helped write the Patriot Act which put the surveillance state on steroids, we know what happened with Hunter Biden and Burisma and how daddy got the attorney general fired, and on and on. How can anyone support this monster.


          1. I see you had to delve into the past to find enough mud to toss at the Dems. Anita Hill? You had to go back to something Clinton supposedly did to Anita Hill, but fail to mention the thoroughly crooked right-winger Clarence Thomas (one of the two right-wing rapists on SCOTUS).

            The problem is that the GOP is great at hating Biden and the liberals, but hatred all they have. They have proposed no real solutions to anything. They don’t even have a platform.

            Of course, the Dems are far from perfect. Who said they are? One can throw stones at any political party.

            But the Dems did pass some very good legislation in the past 2 years despite the GOP recalcitrance and Biden’s slimmest of margins in Congress, and despite two DINOs (You know who they are).

            Meanwhile, the GOP has done nothing but throw mud, and try to get rid of Obamacare, issue vague hints about cutting Medicare and Social Security, deny election results, deny global warming, deny COVID (leading to hundreds of thousands of American deaths), deny vaccinations, deny masks and deny America’s history of bigotry, with Trump today’s #1 bigot.

            And why would anyone worry about Trump’s stealing of government secret documents while telling us how much he loves Kim and admires Putin?

            The GOP gave tax breaks to the rich and raised duties on Chinese goods, which contributed to inflation. And despite popular wisdom, federal spending never, never, never has caused inflation but instead prevented a COVID depression. (Read: https://mythfighter.com/2022/09/14/the-one-step-that-immediately-would-cure-inflation-and-no-it-isnt-raising-interest-rates/). COVID is the primary cause of all the shortages that led to inflation.

            Oh, I almost forget a small thing like trying to overthrow the U.S. government via an armed coup and Trump’s unholy alliance with white supremacists, Nazis, and his spreading conspiracy theories from QAnon. And did I mention that right-wing fool who was fined a BILLION dollars for lying about a school shooting?

            And please don’t get me started on Marjorie Taylor Greene and other GOP heroines of her ilk.

            Even the Libertarians, who lean right (as I formerly did), are disgusted with today’s GOP. (See: https://reason.com/2022/11/11/maybe-republicans-need-a-policy-agenda-after-all/?utm_medium=email).

            So yes, there is a choice. The GOP is the single worst major U.S. political party in my lifetime, and I’ve live a long time.

            So yes, like all political parties, the Dems have skeletons in the closet, but today’s GOP is an utter disaster.


  6. They both are a disaster, as Biden leads us into what could be a nuclear confrontation with not one country but two. One thing the Dems and Pubs never quibble about is war. Both parties are imperialists, and those wars aren’t for you or me. Wake up, this government, both sides, are bought and paid for. They are one big party, and you’re not in it.


  7. You have been so conditioned that you argue against me as if I support Trump or any Republican, even though I have made it clear that I have nothing but disdain for Trump and the Republican party. I have never voted Republican my entire adult life, some 50 years. You see, that is your default. You can’t help yourself. I can see what a monstrous man Trump is, but you seem to have no clue about the fact that Biden is the same demon. Your denial is stunning. A man of your brilliance. I just don’t get it.


    1. And you, my friend, see only black or white, not shades of gray. Today’s GOP is deepest ebony. Today’s Democrats are gray. Every political party in history. has been some shade of gray. There are differences. The world is not black or white.


  8. Again you default to the same old tired argument and completely miss the point. Republican voters spend all of their time villifying the dems and the dems do the same thing. They are both right, while hile the two party leaders break champaign behind closed doors. LOL the Obama’s love the Bush’s and to take it a step further Obama proudly claims to be a Reagan democrat. It’s all theater my friend. I could go on and on but for what? I’m done, you can have the last word if you like.
    I do like your work when it comes to economics and thank you for that, it is much appreciated.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s