AdviceArts and Culture

The Democratic Party is Dead to Me

Sign Up for the Dopest Events Newsletter in the Bay Area

photo by Dan Chambers/Special to S.F. Examiner

This originally appeared in my Broke-Ass City column in the SF Examiner. I wrote it the morning after the election. I still feel that the Democratic party is sabotaging itself by not taking hard left populist turn.  

As I write this, it is a beautiful day in San Francisco. It’s in the mid-60s and will probably reach the 70s. This is gorgeous weather — possibly perfect — but it doesn’t matter. There is a dark and inconsolable cloud hovering over this city like a funeral veil.

On election night, I was at El Rio. We watched the TVs and drank and soft-laughed, trying to push away the gnawing feeling that tragedy was waiting for us just around the corner. And it was, with a bludgeon the size of nearly 60 million scared and angry white voters. I was about to order a drink when I looked up and saw nothing on the screen.

Best Newsletter Ever!

Join our weekly newsletter so we can send you awesome freebies, weird events, incredible articles, and gold doubloons (note: one of these is not true).

“Hey, why’s the TV off?” I asked Pete Kane.

“It’s over,” he responded. “They turned it off.”

“Wait, what do you mean?” I couldn’t quite process it. “Are you fucking with me?”

“I wouldn’t joke about this”

I felt my face fall from confusion to desolation and I crumpled, weeping into Pete’s chest as he hugged me. I don’t cry very often, especially not in public, but there I was, gushing a river in the middle of El Rio while the low hum of heartbreak passed through the crowd.

This whole time, we thought the 2016 Election was the end of the Republican Party when, in actuality, it’s the end of the Democratic one. Those of us who fought hard and banged and yelled, mean as hell for Bernie Sanders … well, we got took. When finally there was a candidate who was sick of the corporate shill job that is the Democratic Party, the DNC did all it could to bury him. They obfuscated his message because it was Hillary’s turn, goddamnit, and they didn’t build this system to work for them just so that a socialist Jew from Vermont could actually deliver on the promises they’d been breaking for all these years.

Looking back now, it’s like it was pulled straight from Dostoevsky’s “Grand Inquisitor.”

They sabotaged Bernie and then made us feel bad about it, selling us on apocalyptic damnation, in order to scare us into line. They got us like the suckers we are, but apparently just didn’t do a good enough job.

This was not a case of the “Silent Majority.” No, this was the unsilent one. The loud, obnoxious one. The onerous one. The terrifying one. The one that represents the dark side of all these truths that we hold to be self-evident. Because it is devastatingly clear that we are not all created equal, not in the eyes of this country, not in the eyes of nearly 60 million people who voted to elect a man who grabs women by the pussy while calling Mexicans rapists. This is who the fuck we are as a country, and it is harrowing. I can barely look myself in the mirror.

I didn’t stand there in El Rio, weeping into Pete Kane’s shirt, because I gave a shit about Hillary Clinton. I cried for us. I cried for those of us who knew better but went along with it anyway. I cried for those of us who towed the party line out of fear instead of principal. I cried for all my brothers and sisters who are queer, or black, or Latino, or Muslim, or Jewish, or anything but chickenshit, scared white people. I cried because I realized that this election wasn’t about democracy or making the world a better place; it was about who could do a better job of scaring citizens into voting.

And the Democratic machine couldn’t even do that right.

So, I’m done. I’m out. You lost us, many many of us. I don’t mean I’m done fighting for justice, equality and equity — hell no. I’m done with the Democratic Party, if there still is one. And now that I’m done crying, it’s time to pick up the pieces and keep pushing. There’s a whole lot of ugliness on the horizon, and we’ve got work to do.

And one last thing: Fuck you, Donald Trump.

Like this article? Make sure to sign up for our mailing list so you never miss a goddamn thing!
Previous post

Best Safe and Legal Abortion Options in NYC

Next post

You Can't Spell San Francisco Without a Few Exes

Broke-Ass Stuart - Editor In Cheap

Broke-Ass Stuart - Editor In Cheap

Stuart Schuffman, aka Broke-Ass Stuart, is a travel writer, poet, TV host, activist, and general shit-stirrer. His website is one of the most influential arts & culture sites in the San Francisco Bay Area and his freelance writing has been featured in Lonely Planet, Conde Nast Traveler, The Bold Italic, and too many other outlets to remember. His weekly column, Broke-Ass City, appears every other Thursday in the San Francisco Examiner. Stuart’s writing has been translated into four languages. In 2011 Stuart created and hosted the travel show Young, Broke, and Beautiful on IFC and in 2015 he ran for Mayor of San Francisco and got nearly 20k votes.

He's been called "an Underground legend": SF Chronicle , "an SF cult hero": SF Bay Guardian, and "the chief of cheap": Time Out New York.


  1. Landstander
    March 3, 2017 at 1:10 pm

    It’s a lot easier to take over the Democratic party than to start a new one. And the job is half done thanks in large part to Bernie Sanders. I can’t imagine why you’d give up when the progressive wing is finally, finally winning.

  2. Sarah Roark
    March 5, 2017 at 4:14 pm

    Well, we may be dead to you, but you’re not dead to us.

    Speaking as a Democrat, I intend to keep on working hard as ever, first to stop Trump and his ilk (because incipient cryptofascism is kind of an emergency) — then to rebuild an America that will become the progressive nation I still believe it can be.

  3. Permanent NSA Furlough
    March 10, 2017 at 10:04 am

    A new party needs to arise. Reforming the Dems or Repubs is not possible. America can do so much better than the current offerings, and those in power will not relinquish it, so it needs to be taken.

  4. Jscott Sarrio
    March 12, 2017 at 6:05 am

    Lol. YOu are so clueless. Even Bernie could not beat TRump. The Democratic Party lost because it’s a party of hate and intolerance. Open your eyes.

  5. Yarrick68
    May 1, 2017 at 11:44 pm

    Anyone that thought, as the OP did, that the GOP was about to die has no clue about American politics. The Democratic party has been in decline since the 80’s and there is a good chance this is not rock bottom. The Democrats will lose seats in 2018 no matter what Trump does, the party is in that bad of shape. The GOP is getting close to being able to pass Constitutional Amendments along party lines with just a bit more control of a few states. Then the fun really begins.