It is a simple fact that, if every person who isn’t a hardcore Republican and everyone who actually recognizes the destructive nature of Republican politics, especially over the past 40 years, just showed up and voted for the best possible candidate in every election, the current version of the Republican Party would have met its demise long ago.
Another simple fact; the majority of voters lean to the left of the GOP, which isn’t hard, since the current GOP would feel at home in the old Soviet Union. Republicans are about one-fourth of the electorate, which means the other three-quarters of the electorate can be reasoned to work against them.
Do you realize what that means? That means it makes no sense to even try to bring the hardcore GOP base on board with us. It means there is no need to even interact with about 90 percent of Trumpers. Isn’t that wonderful? We can ignore the worst elements of the electorate and pretend they don’t exist, primarily because they don’t really care about anything except “owning liberals,” whatever the hell that means, and we have a lot of problem that must be addressed.
It also means we can always win if everyone to the left of Josef Stalin bothers to show up and vote in every election. High turnout is always the key to getting a progressive government. Of course, the definition of “progressive” is anything that moves the country forward. It doesn’t require perfection, nor does it require a “revolution” of any kind. In fact, a revolution in a country that already has a mature democracy and in which virtually every citizen has the vote is unnecessary. Also, a country in which two-thirds of the people own a home and more than four-fifths have access to healthcare is pretty goddamned unlikely to sit still for a “revolution.” A country in which the vast majority of people over-use and overpay for their cell phones, Internet and cable TV is not ripe for a “revolution” of any kind. Think about it a minute; if you think we need a “revolution,” then why do you always lose elections? After all, there are more of us.
Somehow, a small-but-loud “political junkies” who call themselves “progressive” have convinced themselves that they’re smarter than other liberals, which means they think they’re smarter than most liberals. Yet, as smart as they think they are, most of their issue positions are both untenable and completely out-of-touch with what the vast majority of voters believe or even want. They act as if it’s a given that we can just raise taxes on “the rich” and raise enough money to solve all of this country’s problems.
Seriously, if you think we can just raise the top tax rate and collect the extra trillion or so we would need to pay for the first version of “Medicare for All” and also rid ourselves of private health insurance, you are not thinking. You are purely emotional and you don’t understand what you’re talking about.
I have to admit, I like the newest version of “Medicare-for-all,” in which it primarily covers those who want it and adds a public option to the existing ACA, which is the best way to expand access to health insurance. The latest version also doesn’t pretend we can just lock private insurers out of the system. It’s a sane and reasonable proposal that acknowledges the realities of the Medicare system.
What realties, you ask? Well, start with the fact that Medicare only pays for 80 percent of hospitalization and preventive care; the only way most older people can afford Medicare is because private insurance companies help them pick up the slack.
Let me explain… when my parents had Medicare before they passed away, they needed a private insurance component to be able to afford doctor visits, hospital visits and trips to the ER. At the same time, my father needed a hearing aid very badly, but Medicare didn’t cover them and it was not possible for them to pay for one. So, the TV was so loud, you could hear it a quarter of a mile away. Now, most Medicare plans cover hearing, vision and dentistry, including dentures, and that is only because private insurance works with Medicare and Medicaid to provide he funding for that type of coverage. Thanks to the Affordable Care Act, plus Medicaid expansion and subsidies, in addition to premiums paid to private insurance companies, the elderly are better cared for than ever before. However, if you removed private insurers from the process, the federal government would have to spend $1.5-2 trillion every year to pick up that slack.
The new version makes a shit-ton more sense than the original version of Medicare For All, which seemed to assume that the federal government could simply pay 100% of the $4 trillion that healthcare costs us every year, just by raising taxes on the very rich. It also seemed to fail to acknowledge that the current Medicare system was somehow 100% free, which is absurd. We live in a capitalist country, whether you like it or not, so thinking we can just excise private industry from any industry and nationalize anything is the stuff of vivid imagination. Thinking you can just cut off private insurance companies and do it all with taxes is the utmost in fantasy and it is also potentially dangerous. Most people have health insurance; who in their right mind would think they would all sit still while the government took away their health insurance and replaced it with “government healthcare” doesn’t understand how most people think.
As noted, one of the biggest problems progressives have is their inability to understand how voters think about things. However, another is the “Sky is Falling” syndrome, in which everything is made to seem like a crisis. Everything that happens is a tragedy, but then, when it comes time to do something, they march. “Progressives” have a pathetic record of voting, and too many of them, when push comes to shove, waste their vote on candidates who cannot win, especially third party candidates who have absolutely no chance of winning. But their worst trait? They treat every opponent, whether a Republican or Democrat as if they were the enemy. That doesn’t help their candidate; it helps Republicans.
Consider, the last two Republican presidents have been George W. Bush and Donald Trump, and both of them “won” through cheating. And if we’re being honest, the far left made it possible to win through cheating. Their rhetoric discourages voters, who want something to vote FOR, Their rhetoric also refuses to acknowledge that white liberals are no longer the Democratic base; that honor belongs to People of Color, especially Black women. It’s funny; the loudest white liberal “progressives” seem to have no clue that the Democratic Party has changed over the last 50 years and it’s no longer run by liberal white men and that’s why Black women generally can’t stand them (us).
That’s right. The heart and soul of the Democratic Party is Black women, and white liberals seem to have no clue. If you want to know why too many Republicans get elected and screw things up, well, now you know. Become self-aware; it’s the only way we will ever manage to make this nation functionally progressive again. We have to make progressive things happen and that will never occur without the help of a majority of voters, which means we will have to stop denouncing “centrists” and be aware that the people whose votes matter most don’t like us very much.
High turnout is the key, but an awareness that white men no longer run the Democratic Party is also a very important aspect of becoming successful with liberal politics.