Lessons Learned?

I absolutely love it when I am proven right. However, my glee has nothing to do with my being right. I am a progressive and I want to see the country move forward. When Democrats win, we move forward; it’s really that simple. Hell; our grandparents and great grandparents figured that out in 1932, after 3 years of a Republican-caused economic depression took everything from everyone. They blamed Republicans and wouldn’t let them win another election until the 1950s. And then, when they let them in and they proceeded to cause what would be called a mild recession these days, they were banished from the federal government for another 30 years. Then came the Baby Boomer white liberals. I’ll get back to that, except to say this to millennials; if you are looking to Baby Boomer white liberals for guidance, read a history book.

Yesterday, with the victory of Democrat Doug Jones over pervert Roy Moore, most of us should have seen a sea change. As was the case after the Crash of 1929, it is clear that many voters have become tired of the current Republican Party and its shenanigans. Imagine an entire political party that wins too many elections, does absolutely nothing and then brags about it. Wait – you don’t have to imagine it; these days, it’s everywhere. Despite the fact that this is the most radical and uncompromising political entity in this country and despite the fact that everything they say and do goes against what the United States of America is supposed to be about, they occupy the White House, they run Congress and they control a supermajority of state legislatures and governorships.

Keep in mind, the GOP is a minority party. In fact, by most estimates, they control just under one-quarter of the electorate. That means we have the potential to rein in a majority of the other three-quarters and win every election. And yet, as a movement, progressives have been largely hapless. Why is that, do you think?

Well, let me start by sharing with you a Tweet I encountered this morning. It is by a white liberal and something of a “progressive icon,” James Zogby:

How does someone with a college degree, who spends so much time working around politics and analyzing politics, get the current climate so wrong? Look, I’ve spent a little time in Alabama; the people down there are so nice, it can be difficult to remember that even the nicest and sweetest of them think black people have the mark of Cain and were lucky to be slaves, that the loss of Jim Crow was a terrible tragedy and a “loss to their way of life.” I don’t want to say white supremacy has a majority down there, but the Klan barely has to hide in Alabama. Before they shifted their support to the Republican Party, they elected people like George Wallace and the Dixiecrats. In fact, the only reason they are Republican now is because the GOP encouraged them to reject the Democratic Party for passing the Civil Rights Act and the Voting Rights Act. And since when do evangelicals maintain a set of principles or even follow the teachings of Jesus Christ?

Alabama is about three-quarters white and I don’t think it’s a great exaggeration to say that more than half think white people are superior, and they feel roughly the same way about Islam that they feel about Jews, Catholics and Mormons; that they are “cultists. As for “homophobia,” a majority of Alabamans still think sodomy should earn someone a jail term, even though I’m certain many of them pretty much force their wives to engage in it on a regular basis, and they believe homosexuality is an “abomination.” And Alabama is usually among the top ten states when it comes to domestic violence, including physical abuse and rape. (Source)

So, why would anyone say about Alabama that Democrats “ought to be able to win” and expect to be taken seriously?

This is among the most destructive thought processes fat too many white liberals have. Many unicorn lefties, like the Bernie Stans, Young Turks and most of the rest of the professional left, seem to have a fantasy that they know exactly what “should” motivate everyone about everything. These white liberals benefit greatly from white privilege, yet they are taken aback when you remind them of this. They are out of touch and they have no idea how many people they alienate with their attitude. Consider; when Hillary Clinton won the Alabama primary (and numerous others) with about 78 percent of the vote, Bernie Stans didn’t congratulate her. Instead, they dismissed this primary and the others in the South as “the old confederacy,” as if Democrats in Alabama and the rest of the south don’t count.

Look at the comparison of Alabama with Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania. These purity progressives simultaneously believe they have no influence in any election, while also knowing exactly what Democrats have to do to win everywhere. It’s truly amazing.

See, more than one factor led to Trump being in a position to steal the 2016 election:

  • Russia, Trump, Stein and perhaps others, likely colluded to poison the well against Hillary Clinton;
  • Voter suppression tactics probably cost her a significant number of votes;
  • The constant refrains of “both parties are the same” and other insane rhetoric depressed turnout;
  • The constant lies and insinuations about Hillary Clinton’s honesty and integrity probably caused some to switch their votes to other candidates, or stay home.

See, unicorn lefties, you trashed Hillary Clinton for TWO SOLID YEARS. She “lost” the electoral college by less than 88,000 votes total in three swing states. You don’t get to absolve yourself of responsibility for that just because you VOTED for her, if you did. According to exit polls, 10 percent of Bernie voters went with Trump, Stein or Johnson in the General. That comes to more than 88,000 votes, I’m pretty sure.

Here’s the lesson everyone needs to learn from yesterday’s win. The only lesson.

Doug Jones is in no way a “purely progressive” candidate. He is a moderate, at best. And that is okay. That is the best Democrats will ever get from Alabama.

Let me repeat! You will NEVER get a Bernie Sanders or an Al Franken from Alabama, at least in a statewide race.

What was missing from yesterday’s election was the constant bitching from the professional left about Jones not being “pure enough.” That made a lot of difference. The same thing happened in 2008 and 2012, and we got two terms of the exceptional Barack Obama as president. In 2010 and 2014, the pro and unicorn left reverted to form and handed the federal government and a supermajority of state governments to the GOP.

That’s the lesson. We all have to support Democrats. Period. At least for a while. There is no choice. When we drop the constant (and usually unfair and false) criticism of Democrats, we win and the Republican right wing loses. Lose the purity bullshit. No Democrat will ever be pure, but the government doesn’t function under Republicans. That has to be the priority. Trying to purify the Democratic Party is a fool’s errand, especially when they’re in the minority everywhere.

Yesterday, purity politics was put aside, and we WON, in what is easily one of the top three reddest states in the union. That means, we can win everywhere.


Also published on Medium.