In a recent Brainerd Dispatch there was a letter about the importance of replacing Trump and about a Democratic Party still disoriented in response to the 2016 election, and without a clear unifying message.

The writer preferred finding a "moderate" Democrat instead of what he called "some angry socialist" candidate. That seemed to me to be based on some misunderstandings of the last half century of American politics.

First, I might say that the terms "moderate" or "middle of the road" might sound appealing until you ask about direction. What road are we really on and where is that road taking us?

The reality is that from the 1980s on, the direction of this nation was hijacked by a radical form of capitalism, sometimes called unfettered free-market capitalism and later under the rubric of neoliberal economics. In the 1980s the Chamber of Commerce decided to become more involved in politics, eventually dominating it and establishing a government that catered to business and the wealthy. The governing metrics changed from the humane metrics of a healthy democracy to the economic metrics of profit and growth.

Those forces constructed a road and provided a bus to move us toward their economic goals. They said it was a democracy because we could change the driver and the mechanics through elections. However, what we discovered is that we could not change the direction of the road. No deviation was allowed.

That road has taken us to the disaster we now have.

What was categorized as "angry socialist" solutions is actually a return to a balanced democracy in which the citizens, and not the big money, make the decisions and in which capitalism is once again brought back under control to serve the goals of a humane democracy, and balance is once again restored.

Bob Passi

Baxter