We need to talk, progressives. Not all progressives, just the really loud ones who screw the rest of us on a regular basis.
Before I start, what I want you to do is clear your mind and open it up. I really shouldn’t have to do that, since you’re supposedly progressives, but have you seen yourselves lately? Too many “progressives” are wound up tighter than the world’s largest ball of yarn. We’re supposed to be the rational ones, remember? And yet, I’m seeing some really clueless, irrational shit coming from the left side of the aisle these days. What the hell is wrong with you people? We’re supposed to be the hope for mankind. We’re supposed to be positive. We’re progressive! The root of that word is “progress” and call me crazy, but I always thought making progress was a positive in our lives. I’m not alone. In fact, most people feel that way.
And yet, all I see from many people on the left is negativity, laziness and sloth, and a lot of us are getting sick of it. And when I say a lot of us, I mean most of us.
See, the group of liberals I’m talking to tend to be white. They tend to be mostly male. They tend to be fairly well off; not necessarily rich, but they have enough money to buy a gentrified house in a former “ghetto” and to drive an SUV to the protests they attend. You know, because they’re “activists” and all.
I know you think I’m kidding, but I’m not. I used to work at a law firm located across the street from one of the headquarters of the World Bank in Washington, DC and, every few months, a group of protesters would take out a permit and the Metro Police would warn us that the area would be blocked off for the protest. I liked to go in to work on Saturdays at times to catch up some work because there is nothing quieter in the world than a huge law firm on Saturday or Sunday. On those days, I would drive to the train station at New Carrollton, Maryland and take the Orange line in to work. When there were protests, the huge New Carrollton parking lot was a sea of SUVs and minivans, with a variety of plates from states as far-flung as Ohio, Maine and Florida, all to take the Metro to the various World Bank sites. You know, because they’re very environmentally conscious.
A couple of times, I drove all the way in to Union Station, the train station next to the Capitol and walked the two miles or so to my office, if it was a nice day, and a lot of people would be walking toward the protest, so I would ask them about the protest and the World Bank, just for the sake of conversation. What I found was that most of them had no clue what the World Bank even did, or why they were protesting. It was enlightening. I also went to a number of rallies and protests against the Iraq War, and found the same sorts of things. Not only that, but at every protest, there were a whole lot of “regulars” who were only there to sell their newsletters or get petition signatures or things like that. Yeah, a lot of progressives have a serious ADD problem.
Anyway, getting back to the rant, in all of those instances, and many others, I found very few dark or ethnically diverse faces. They were mostly bored white people, either college age kids from upper middle class families or aging ex-hippies; people of color were rare. The speakers were white, the musicians were white, yet they all pretended to speak for those who weren’t there. In my Internet and social media adventures over 21 years, I have found much the same pattern; arrogant white people assuming that they are authorized to speak for everyone else and assuming that they alone are authorized to tell everyone who’s a “true progressive” and who isn’t.
I’ve already talked about that, however. This is a direct appeal to the PUBs (Progressive Unicorn Brigade) themselves.
Shut the hell up and listen for a while.
Seriously, the far left “progressive” Eeyore act is wearing thin. You sound like a bunch of middle school kids playing the Dozens in the school playground, except that their games end at some point. This game of Dozens has gone on for 40 years and isn’t working. I know you haven’t noticed because you’re screaming too loud to notice much of anything, but since Ronald Reagan was elected way back in 1980, we progressives have been largely shut out from making policy. It’s a shame, too, since we had done so many marvelous things when we worked with Democrats during the previous half century.
I mean, this isn’t hard to figure out. Progressives worked with the Democratic Party for a half century and we got a near-permanent Democratic super-majority and from that came the New Deal, banking reform, civil rights and voting laws, Social Security, Medicare, labor and environmental laws and we were on the verge of solving the energy problem and switching to alternative energy sources, among scores of other great things. Since 1980, we have seen much of that unravel because the Republican Party has had far too much power. And they have had too much power because this small but loud group of “progressive” bomb-throwers has decided that it’s a great strategy to take on the Democrats instead of working with them.
There’s an old quote about the definition of insanity being doing the same thing repeatedly and expecting a different result. Obviously, these “progressives” have been doing this for a generation now and it’s not working, so when do you stop?
Stop telling me how horrible “some Democrats” are and comparing them to Republicans. The current incarnation of the Republican Party is so radical and fringe right wing, you have to be blind, deaf and mute to believe that comparison to be true. There isn’t a single Democrat out there who can hold a candle to any Republican when it comes to overall sloth. Not a one. Are there some Democrats out there who are a little too conservative for my taste? Sure. However, here’s some reality; replacing them with Tea Party faithful isn’t solving the problem, is it? If you’re the “political junkies” you claim to be, then you know that it’s far more difficult to defeat an incumbent, so why would you make incumbents of teabaggers?
Stop shouting at the Democratic Party and demanding that they change to suit you. If you are over the age of 12, you should know that is never going to happen. Political parties are organic; they reflect their membership. In reality, they are the ultimate (small d) democratic bodies. If you want to change them, you have to join them. I won’t deny that the Democratic Party moved to the right, but there are two reasons for that. The first is, a great many white liberals left the party behind after 1972 out of sheer petulance. The other is because the Republican Party moved so far to the right that actual conservatives who were not far right whack jobs were forced to leave the GOP and found a home in the Democratic Party.
Here’s a question for you PUBs and professional lefties; if we could get all of the reforms we did pre-1972 with a party populated with Dixiecrats, why is it suddenly so impossible to get anything done with Blue Dogs? Is that really so impossible? The answer is, it’s not. Of course, you wouldn’t know that because you people are basically the lefty version of a right winger and can’t see beyond your own nose.
Look at some of the most fervent Bernie people? For the record, I’m not speaking about all Bernie fans, just the more extreme of them. Most Bernie fans are very cool and just like Bernie himself; very fair and honest. But then, there are the most strident of the #BernieBros. These are people who use 25-year-old right wing smears to attack Hillary Clinton as “dishonest” or worse, which I’ve discussed in detail. Everything that doesn’t go their way has to be someone’s fault; they can’t even conceive of the possibility that Bernie Sanders isn’t the most popular man on the planet, because they worship the hell out of him.
Seriously, I used to laugh at the right wingers who claimed “leftists” worshipped Obama in 2008, but I don’t laugh anymore. They were right; this strain of liberals decides they like someone and treat him or her like a god or goddess, and they will defend them like a religious extremist “protecting” Jesus or Muhammad. When Obama was elected, they loved him and worshipped everything he did, but even before he took office, he did some things politicians have to do to survive, which is to reach out to the opposing side, and they turned on him almost immediately. They elected the “first black president,” but they apparently imagined they had elected Bobby Seale or Huey Newton and not the moderate politician he had to be to get anything done and to not ruin the chances of any other black politician that may follow him. For two solid years, these so-called “progressives” dogged him and the entire Democratic Party, leading us to the electoral slaughter that was 2012. And they did the same in 2012 and 2014. There are still people in this contingent of “progressives” who brag about the fact that they were able to “purge” Blue Dogs from the ranks.
Sorry, but that’s nothing to brag about.
I have a lot more, but this is long enough. More next week. It’s time we started fighting the “progressives” among us who keep mucking up the works and prevent us from making strides as a movement.