After every post where I suggest that getting a Democratic majority is phenomenally easy, I get lots of “fan mail” from professional lefties who promise me it’s easier said than done.
As usual, they’re wrong.
There are two things that must happen, if we are to get rid of the GOP most places and to get them the hell out of leadership positions in the federal government, including the White House.
First, we have to vote in every election. That means every election, not just the ones where we choose the president. There are many reasons why Donald Trump is sitting in the White House as the most incompetent and corrupt “president” in US history, but the biggest reason is low turnout. Yes, they like to cheat, but the fact of the matter is, you can’t cheat when turnout is really high. Republican right-wingers only make up about 23 percent of the electorate, so we have a lot to choose from the other 77 percent.
The second thing we have to do is to sell a progressive message to the electorate as a whole. That is something we rarely do. As white liberals, too many of us assume that every position we take is so obviously right that every other non-right-winger in the country should understand it and agree with it as soon as they hear it. We have to stop assuming and start selling. Don’t just think our positions on certain issues are so obvious that anyone who is against us is just stupid; sometimes out positions on issues are seen as stupid. We also have to lose the habit of hating on “centrists,” as if there is something immoral and hateful about taking a position in the center of the electorate. The fact is, MOST voters occupy some territory in the middle of the electorate; some of the most progressive politicians in the country are actually quite progressive, if you would bother to look.
This last thing is why we had to pass the Affordable Care Act without a public option. The original bill, called “The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act,” would have created an excellent healthcare financing system with a “robust public option,” but while white liberal “progressives” were bickering over whether or not the “public option” was sufficient, the GOP successfully amended the public option out of the bill. The right wing on its own couldn’t have killed the public option without the acquiescence of the white liberal wing. However, with a contingent of white liberals demanding the replacement of all private insurance with a public component they called “Medicare for All,” there was no reasonable chance of ever passing an ACA with a “robust public option.” For one thing, there were several versions of a “public option,” which just served to exacerbate the confusion. It’s bad politics to give something a name and not be consistent with the definition, which is what happened when the pro left helped kill the public option.
Good politics requires us to be consistent on everything, and to not sow confusion in our advocacy. For example, professional lefties and unicorn progressives like to equate universal healthcare and single-payer, when they are not the same at all. They push the notion to a fault, in that they assume that every universal health system in the world is a single-payer system. I mentioned this in a previous post from the last day or two, and one commenter challenged me to show him which systems were not single payer. I replied by reminding him that I had already done that in the post he was commenting on. If you use the old WHO ranking of healthcare outcomes in developed countries, in which we were #37, only two of the 36 countries with better health outcomes had a single-payer system.
Two things; vote like your life depended on it, which it kind of does, and encourage much higher turnout through positivity and support for Democratic candidates. Do those two things, and the GOP doesn’t stand a chance. That’s how we get a progressive government.