What is it about so-called “political junkies” that makes them watch “the news” and “follow politics” constantly, and yet get nothing out of it? How is it possible to be a “political activist” for upwards of 40-50 years and not even notice that the two major parties have changed drastically and are practically polar opposites from where they were back in the 1960s?
If you think you can sit in front of your computer at this point in time and rail about “Blue Dogs” and “DINOs” as if this was 1968, you need to give up your drug of choice (politics) and look around for perspective. If you think “Medicare For All” is an absolute political winner, your head is so far in the political bubble, you have lost contact with the real world. And if you think the only solution to students graduating from college with too much debt is tuition-free college, you really need to get out more.
Not only that, but there are TWO viable major parties out there right now, and one of them reflexively blocks everything they see as even remotely “liberal.” One political party nominated, elected and continues to support a fat orange narcissist for president, and they do nothing to hold him accountable for anything. The idea that we have the absolute luxury of cleaning our own house while the other party runs the government into the ground is just seriously twisted. Once Democrats have permanent majorities in Congress and most state legislatures and governor’s mansions, then we can start picking off the worst players. You know, like 2-3 of the worst Senators (once Democrats have at least 75 seats) and maybe a dozen or so of the worst congressional representatives (once Democrats have at least 350 seats), but not everyone who doesn’t share your pure vision of an America where the rich pay for everything and the poor pay for nothing.
Come on, people. Politics is a process. There are no shortcuts and wishes do not equal votes. You can want “free college” and “free healthcare” all you want, but unless you elect a majority who are at least willing to listen to us about things we care about, all you’re doing is talking. You’re not an “activist,” you’re a blowhard.
And please stop with the “unity” bullshit. I mean this sincerely, primarily because of the way the unicorn progressives see the term “unity.” Democrats are fully and strongly united on the only issue that actually matters at this point in time, and that is getting rid of the current incarnation of the GOP. If you expect total unanimity on every issue, that will never happen, but it doesn’t have to. Republicans are in lockstep on everything; if you think that’s a good thing, you’re kinda dumb. If you think that would work for those of us on the left, again, you’ve been in the bubble too long. The far right controls about 20-24% of the electorate; we have the potential to control the other three quarters, but only if we don’t dismiss people who aren’t “exactly like us.”
There seems to be a sense among the unicorn types that “Democrat” and “progressive” are synonyms. That has never been the case. The vast majority of progressives are Democrats, but it has never been true that the majority of Democrats are progressive. There are moderate Democrats and there are conservative Democrats. There used to be right wing Democrats, but they all left the Democratic Party almost a half century ago and became Republicans. I’m sure there may be a few strays still registered Democratic because they’re too lazy to head to the registrar to change it, but they always vote Republican because that’s what a lockstep party does.
The strength of the Democratic Party is its diversity and I don’t just mean ethnic diversity. I’m also talking about diversity of thought and political diversity. And as a lifelong liberal, I embrace that. Let’s be real here; in politics, the only way we can get to where we need to go is by winning elections, and the only way to win elections is by voting with a majority. While a lot of “political junkies” don’t seem to grasp this, there are not enough liberals out there to win anything without help. And if we’re talking about white liberals, the number is even more grim. Most liberals in this country are people of color. The number of white liberals probably represents 5-8% of the electorate, which means, we’re not winning anything at all without help.
And now you know why it’s so distressing to see so many white liberals act as if they should be in charge of the Democratic Party. We are not in charge of the Democratic Party. White liberals used to own the Democratic Party, but they largely abandoned the Party about 50 years ago, when they had their first hissy fit and helped elect Nixon and declare themselves “progressive independents.”
It’s even more distressing to see otherwise well-meaning white liberals try to take over the party as if they have a birthright to it. “Your Revolution” is not the Democratic Party’s base. The Party’s base consists of Blacks. Latinos, LGBTQ people, and immigrants, and the heart and soul of the current Democratic Party is Black women. Therefore, when a group of white liberals forms a group (many of whom aren’t even registered Democrats) and makes demands of the Democratic Party and declares themselves the “base,” the level of insult to the actual base of the party is incalculable. “The Democratic Party” doesn’t take minorities and women for granted, the white liberal pseudo-base does.
When white liberal “political junkies” try to take over a party whose heart and soul is represented by Black women and Latinas, I am personally embarrassed. Get a clue, unicorn progressives. Please.
Also published on Medium.