My man interest with this blog is to move the progressive movement forward. That doesn’t mean we all have to agree on everything, it just means we have to all agree that society has to move us in a good direction. This is why I sometimes engage in some “tough love” with my fellow liberals, especially the white ones. Much of the way we operate leaves us out in the cold and has for a very long time.
One of the main problems we have as liberals is our tendency to develop really high ideals without also developing a viable method for getting there. In other words, we have a lot of great ideas, but no way to actually implement them. And believe me, I know it’s impossible to get anything progressive done while Republicans control the government, but doesn’t that point to the biggest problem we have?
I mean, job one in every election – and I mean every election – should be to make sure Democrats win every election, everywhere. There are two viable political parties in this country and one of them has as a base a portion of the electorate whose only concern has to do with “owning liberals.” I’m serious; can you articulate a single cogent issue position advocated by the Republican far right? No, because they have no sense of responsibility to the American people, they have virtually no morals, and they don’t have n idea how to govern. I suppose you could say they’re good at politics, since they seem to know how to win, but if you look more closely, you will find that most of their success is more a result of our ineptitude than anything they do.
For example, I blame the progressive “movement” for the result of the 2016 election as much as I do anyone. I don’t fault them for supporting Bernie Sanders; I liked Bernie, although I never thought he had a chance to win. He makes a great contrast with Donald Trump, or even George W. Bush, but he never had a chance for the nomination, let alone the presidency. And no, it wasn’t because the DNC rigged it all for Hillary; it was because the one thing the progressive movement has never really had was the support of a majority of the American people. And it’s our fault; we assume that everyone thinks the way we do, even though we don’t d anything to advocate for a progressive message in much of anything. That is why I say, the progressive movement has shown itself to be politically inept. We blame “the Democrats” for everything, but the fact of the matter is, we are the biggest obstacle to Democratic Party-run government, despite the fact that we know the only party who will even listen to what we have to say.
In 2016, by March we already knew the only two viable presidential candidates were Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. Those were the two choices, and the choice couldn’t have been more stark. And yet, white liberals still acted as if they had all sorts of options. Here is some of the bullshit they pulled:
- They disrupted the Democratic National Convention with constant protests.
- Bernie Sanders, even though it was clear he was going to lose the nomination by March 15, refused to concede and he tried his damnedest to wrest the convention away from Hillary.
- The professional left constantly complained about Hillary and called her a “corporatist” and a “warmonger,” even though they had no viable alternatives to vote for and win.
- The Bernie Stans constantly regurgitated refuted right wing smears from the 1990s and they smeared her with calling her dishonest and corrupt, sans any evidence whatsoever.
When “both sides” are calling her dishonest and crooked, and she really only “lost” by about 77,000 votes in three key swing states, it’s impossible to deny responsibility if you spent two years trashing Hillary in service to Bernie.
And let’s be clear about something. Trashing other Democrats in the primaries doesn’t actually serve your favorite candidate, anyway. Democratic voters choose the nominee, not the leadership of the DNC. And I’m pretty sure so-called “progressives” trashing Hillary swung very few votes to Bernie, anyway.
As a matter of fact, white liberals’ tendency to trash Hillary in favor of Bernie can be seen as both misogynist (of course) and as… racist.
You see, Hillary won the nomination because Black people voted for her. People of Color voted for her in huge numbers. Therefore, every “progressive” who trashed Hillary was insulting them by insinuating that their vote was “stupid.” In fact, after the first “Super Tuesday” on March 1, Hillary cleaned Bernie’s clock, winning several states with 80 percent of the Democratic vote. Those wins, mostly in the Deep South, were dismissed by Bernie Stans as insignificant because they were in the “old Confederacy,” and insinuating they didn’t count as much as the win Bernie eked out in Michigan. Not a thought was given that the primary wins in the South were actually more significant because they were from the Democratic base, which is Black people, especially Black women.
White liberals have to get it through our thick skulls; this is not 1969 and, for the most part, white liberals gave up on the Democratic Party almost 50 years ago. No one threw them out; they walked out and became “progressive independents,” at roughly the same time the Democratic Party was saying “bye bye” to the far right Dixiecrats. Somehow, many “progressives” apparently thought their domination of the Party in the 1950s and 1960s was such that they could just jump back in whenever they wanted and take over again.
And now, white liberals, you understand white privilege. Yes, I know a lot of you deny such privilege, but the ability tp delude yourself into believing you have choices in elections is actually a manifestation of that privilege. And it’s why such disregard for everyone else in the Democratic Party, especially its People of Color base, is seen as racism by so many. White liberals can whine and cry about how horribly Republican right wingers treat People of Color all we want, but until we recognize the value of black and brown people inside the only political party we can consider voting for, we aren’t really that much better than they are.
Be hypercritical and stop writing off the people who really lead the Democratic Party, who are People of Color, especially Black women. When you accuse the Democratic Party of being “the establishment,” you are calling Black women “establishment.” Since everyone knows white liberals like Bernie Stans use that term as a pejorative, it’s easy to see why People of Color have developed a mistrust of white “progressives.”