Okay, so I was listening to the podcast of today’s Stephanie Miller Show (Good bye, Chris LaVoie, you will be missed!) and some white liberal who bragged about being affiliated with Occupy called in because he took offense at the notion that people like him were going to “take their ball and go home” if Bernie Sanders didn’t win the nomination. He denied that he or any other liberal would do such a thing, gave us a solid HARUMPH and proceeded to do exactly that. But that made me chuckle. His explanation for it pissed me off because people like him are THE REASON progressives and liberals can’t get anything done in this government.
He explained that he and others just like him (meaning white, college-educated know-it-alls who don’t really like democracy very much) were tired of the Democratic Party taking their vote for granted, and not doing anything for them in return. Seriously, he actually said that.
Permit me to cut some serious crap with this one.
First of all, the last time white “progressives” were the actual base of the Democratic Party was the late 1960s. Black people are the Democratic base, as are Latinos, women, gays and immigrants. You see, in order to be part of a party’s base, they have to be able to count on you for votes. See, the way this whole “base” thing works is, you have to be such a regular voter that losing you will cost them the election. You guys are NEVER a reliable vote for Democrats, which is exactly (ironically) why the Democratic Party doesn’t play to the white “progressive” base.
Let’s look back, shall we?
In 2014 and 2010, you people went full-bore against any Democrat who wasn’t a full-on white “progressive” and handed two mid-term elections to Republican majorities. You supported Democrats in 2008 and look what happened; they came within a hair’s breadth of winning their first supermajority since 1970. Of course, the minute after Obama won, the white “progressive” wing abandoned him and did nothing but complain, and you offered him tepid support in 2012, at best.
Before that, they undermined Kerry in 2004 and Gore in 2000 and gave us two terms of Bush. They refused to support Clinton and he only won because it was the one election where the GOP “base” stayed home, which is why they have never stopped kissing their “base’s” ass in the 23 years since. In 1988, they abandoned Dukakis, in 1984, they abandoned Mondale and in 1980, they pushed Kennedy really hard, despite the fact that even Teddy couldn’t explain why he was even running. In 1976, they abandoned Carter, and he barely beat a Republican stiff, Gerald Ford, in the first election after Watergate.
And when it comes to mid-term elections, forget about it. These white “progressives” have almost never supported Democrats except in 2006. They imagine that every candidate who runs is recruited by some central party mechanism and they imagine that a far lefty can win any seat, including in a district that is 52% Republican.
Here’s the deal, white “progressives.”
We live in a democratic system, and a majority of the people make the decisions. While you imagine that someone at the DNC pushes a button and manufactures a candidate and brings it votes, that’s not how politics works. It works by recruiting the best possible candidate given the population in a district and/or a state, which will rarely produce the same sort of candidate who can win in, say, Harlem or Compton.
If you want white “progressives” to have a say, you have to become indispensable to the Party that is closest to you ideologically, but limit that to VIABLE candidates. Republicans vote for their party faithfully and habitually. They turn out at a minimum of 85% in pretty much every election. On the other hand, white “progressives” rarely turn out and vote for Democrats, nor do they support them. And as politicians and parties have to go where the votes are, they don’t go to you.
The fact is, we would love to have petulant white “progressives” as part of the Democratic base, but you have to earn it. Yes, I’m sorry; you get that wrong, too. It’s not a politician’s job to earn your vote by acceding to a list of demands. Your vote is a tool that each of us uses to help choose the VIABLE candidate who is most likely to listen to our side when it’s time to govern.
I am so sick of the petulance of the white “progressive.” Get over yourself; the system isn’t here to serve YOU, it’s here so that you can serve everyone. I know you people won’t realize it, but when you take your ball and go home, you pretty much screw all the poor, the immigrants, people of color, minorities and women; all of the groups you claim to care about so deeply. So stop it.