I have some across posts all over social media and in my email from so-called hardcore progressives who have propagated one or more variations of the following:
- Complaints that Hillary Clinton has too many flaws to vote for her.
- Suggested that voting for Hillary is hard because there will be too many investigations.
- Suggested that the Democrats are as beholden to moneyed interests as Republicans.
- Complained that the Democratic Party is pushing too hard for “conservative Democrats” and “Blue Dogs.”
- Suggested that we could survive a Trump presidency and even use that as a springboard to greater things in 2020 and beyond.
- That voting for Jill Stein or Gary Johnson “sends a message” to someone (they’re hazy on who, exactly, will receive this message).
If you have taken any one of the above positions, you’re really not progressive. Oh, I know, you can call yourself anything you wish and you are free to believe whatever nonsense you wish. However, I also get to call your claim of “progressive” as nonsense and I also get to note that none of the points made above indicates that you understand politics. In fact, if you have said anythig resembling the above, you’re rather dopey. Let’s take each one of these one at a time.
Let’s take each one of these one at a time, shall we?
Too many flaws?
What are they? People say this a lot, but the fact of the matter is, there has never been a candidate with no flaws. And given that Hillary Clinton may be the most-investigated presidential candidate in history AND she has been cleared in every investigation, the statement about “flaws” is just ridiculous. At no time in history has any canddiate lacked flaws and that includes Bernie Sanders and Barack Obama. I don’t think either one would mind me saying that because they have regard for the truth. Let’s go back a little. These same white “progressives” only supported Obama because he was black, which makes them nearly as racist as those who refused to vote for him because he was black.
To make matters worse, they targeted Democrats with more vigor than devoted to Republicans, despite the fact that there isn’t a problem that we have today that can’t be laid at the feet of the GOP. Income inequality is a hallmark of Republican politics. One key reason students graduate with too much debt is because the GOP keeps cutting support for education. The repeal of Glass-Steagall came about because of a bill crafted by Republicans. The reason we needed the Affordable Care Act was because Republicans refused to fix the health insurance system. I could go on.
If you go back farther, these people supported Ralph Nader and chose to attack the Democrats because of their political naïveté. (no irony there…) If Naderites had worked with Al Gore in 2000 instead of against him, the Green Party could have gotten the five percent of the vote they coveted AND we could have been spared two terms of Bush. For some reason, unicorn progressives believe that, in order to be for one candidate, they have to attack the candidate who is closest to them ideologically, which is ridiculous, of course.
The bottom line is, the best viable candidate in every election in history has been flawed. Yes, that includes FDR, who was a fiscal conservative who didn’t think we could apply Keynesian economic theories until he was forced to do so in World War II. Then, suddenly, he figured out that you have to spend your way out of a depression or recession.
That Hillary is flawed is not an issue to anyone but a ridiculous person.
Too many investigations?
If we leave Congress in the hands of Republicans, yes, there will be too many investigations, jJust as there were too many investigations when her husband was president. But how is that her fault? If all liberals, including the white ones, could band together to defeat as many Republicans as possible, they couldn’t hold that many investigations. We hold the power in our hands to stop this nonsense. If our side hadn’t undermined Obama and attacked Democrats mercilessly in 2010 and 2014, there would be no prospect of “too many investigations” right now. We allowed the GOP to take the reins of power by targeting Blue Dogs.
Democrats are like Republicans when it comes to money?
On what planet are Democrats and Republicans equal in any way right now? Your imagination is running wild if you think there is any similarity whatsoever. Democrats have to raise copious amounts of money now because of Citizens United, which came about primarily because unicorn progressives helped Bush win twice and then, right after this decision was made, they undermined Democrats and helped Republicans take over Congress. However, you can’t even begin to equivocate between the two major parties when it comes to where their money comes from. Democrats get a hell of a lot more small donations than Republicans, by far. But look at the current presidential race. Go here and follow along. This is a list of financial sectors and how much money goes to each major party:
Business Sector Democrats% Republicans%
Agribusiness. 12.3% 87.5%
Energy/Natural Resources. 9.8%. 90.0%
Finance/Ins/Real Estate. 38.7%. 61.2%
Construction. 21.2%. 76.5%
Misc. Business. 41.5%. 58.1%
Transportation. 13.7%. 86.1%
Labor. 98.6%. 1.4%
Technology. 76.8%. 22.9%
See the difference? If not, you’re not paying attention.
And what about the oil and gas industry. Here is a chart with the breakdown of how much oil and gas concerns support each party. It’s hard to see any blue in the chart, and the few streaks of blue there are, are dwarfed by the red. In other words, your constant whining about Hillary and the Democrats supporting fracking is misplaced. And that’s putting it kindly.
Pushing too hard for Blue Dogs?
See, here’s the deal. There are 435 congressional districts in this country. That means it takes 218 seats to have a majority. And since nothing can be done in Congress without a majority, we have to be part of a majority if we’re to get anything progressive done. I don’t care if you hate “Blue Dogs,” the only chance of getting progressive policies done is to elect a Democratic majority. If you don’t understand that, then turn in your “political junkie” card. The Republican Party is the anti-progressive party. Every fiber of their being is to stop the country from doing anything progressive.
There are actually two problems here. We can’t even elect 218 progressive congresscritters. It’s just not possible right now, if for no other reason than we have been under the undue influence of the far right GOP for the last 36 years plus. There is also the dilemma that, for the last 48 years, progressives have done little to nothing to promote a strong progressive agenda. And no; screaming “income inequality” at the top of your lungs is not an agenda. In fact, it often resembles Tourette’s. For a half century, white liberals have largely spent their political capital demanding unicorns and tilting at windmills.
In 1991, the House Progressive Caucus was formed in the House of Representatives with 6 Democrats. In 1993, it had 71 members. At its peak, it had 86 members. Now, a quarter-century after its creation, there are 70 members. As you can see, while the CPC is the largest caucus in the House, it is nowhere near 218, never has been and never will be. Of course, if they were part of a majority, that would be okay. In the 111th Congress, which unicorn progressives tagged as “disappointing,” even though the House, led by Nancy Pelosi, passed 375 bills that were later blocked by Senate Republicans, more than three-quarters of Committee chairs were members of the CPC. Yes, that’s right; with a Democratic caucus with a bunch of Blue Dogs in it, progressives controlled the agenda.
By the way, despite your fantasies, Blue Dogs aren’t so bad. Not only are they the best we can hope for in districts that are majority Republican, but most of them voted with Democrats 90% of the time or more. Only one voted with Democrats less than 80% of the time, and that voted alongside Democrats 70% of the time. In 2010 and 2014, we lost almost all Blue Dogs, which would have been terrific, had they all been replaced with progressives. However, every single Blue Dog who lost, lost to a Tea Party Republican. Sorry, but replacing Blue Dogs who “only” vote with Democrats 80%+ of the time with people who vote with Democrats as close to zero percent of the time doesn’t seem very progressive. Also, no Blue Dog ever blocked a piece of Democratic legislation and not one voted against cloture.
If you’re still complaining about Blue Dogs and “conservative Democrats” at this point in the 2016 election, you’re clueless. First of all, all primaries have happened, so you’re not replacing the Blue Dog with a progressive. And I guarantee that every single Republican running against a conservative Democrat is far more right wing than the person you’re complaining about. So, why are white liberals complaining so much? If you really want progressives to control the agenda, Democrats (not progressives) have to be able to elect committee chairs and the Speaker.
Survive a Trump presidency?
This is the most insane notion ever. It’s as if the Bush presidency never happened. Does no one remember the Bush years? Massive debt, two completely FUBAR wars, the worst terrorist attack on our shores in history? The only thing that saved Bush was that his daddy knew a lot of people, so he was able to hire people who could at least supply a veneer of competence, even if it was mostly fake. Yet, we suffered through two recessions, with the second one the deepest one we’ve suffered through since the 1930s. Bush and the GOP let the mortgage bubble grow and grow until it crashed.
Trump would be far worse than even Bush. His ego is much larger than Bush’s, and that’s saying something. He refuses to hire anyone who is smarter than him to work for him. In fact, one basic philosophy is based on the belief that, if you want to look smart, surround yourself with dummies.
Given that we barely survived a Bush presidency, what makes you think a Trump presidency wouldn’t be worse? And why would any so-called “progressive” subject the country to that possibility based on an irrational belief that the only way we can have a progressive country is if the country sinks into the abyss? Why would any liberal want another Great Depression? We want those on the bottom to be able to pull themselves out of poverty, we want the sick to be able to see a doctor without having to lose everything and we want our kids to grow up in a better world. If you think the only way to get that done is by making life worse for the people we supposedly care about, you must be a sadist. And that’s being kind.
Sending a message?
Seriously, if you think you “send a message” when you vote for a candidate with no chance of winning, you’re delusional. What “message” did Ralph Nader send when he played “spoiler” and handed the 2000 and 2004 elections to George W. Bush? What message was sent by Ross Perot in 1992 and 1996? The answer is “nothing.” How about Anderson in 1980? For that matter, what message did Ted Kennedy send when he lost the Democratic nomination in 1980? The only “message” sent when you lose an election is that you’re a loser. The very idea a few million votes for Jill Stein or (worse) Gary Johnson “sends a message” is pure fantasy. If Hillary Clinton wins and the Democrats win Congressional majorities, Democrats will set the agenda and they’ll let us help. If she wins and the GOP continues to hold Congress, the GOP will control most of the agenda and progressives will never have a say. And if Trump wins the presidency, he will set the agenda. That is just a fact. No one is going to look back and say, “You know what? We have to do something for those nice Jill Stein or Gary Johnson voters.” Just as George Wallace won six states and 46 electoral votes in 1968 and had no say in the Nixon Administration, no one will be anxious to make sure that Stein and Johnson voters are taken care of because… Really, do I have to write this out loud? What rational reason would the winners of any election have to cater to the needs of the voters for the fourth-place finisher?
The way you send a message is by winning.
I know everyone is sick to death of the phrase, “this is the most important election of our lifetime,” but this year, it’s true. If we are ever going to do progressive things, white liberals need to grow the hell up. If you don’t understand why all of the above notions are stupid, you’re the reason we lose. Congratulations.