A lesson should have been learned last Tuesday, when Democrats pulled off the kind of win they used to pull off on a regular basis for many years, when this country was becoming the economic and civil rights standard bearers for the world. It was amazing to watch and it demonstrated what I have been saying on this blog for many years. There is no way Republicans can win so many races without our help. Hardcore Republicans make up about 25 percent of the electorate. That means three-quarters of the electorate outnumbers them greatly.
Unfortunately, it took “electing” an asshole like Donald Trump to the presidency to learn this lesson and, based on what I have read and heard from too many unicorn progressives and Bernie Stans over the past week, many of them have not learned this lesson. Many of them think THEY actually made the difference and THEY are trying to use this new-found “power” to get a full-on progressive majority, based on their singular definition of that word. Put simply, they seem to plan to use their imagined “clout” to get more than 216 progressives just like them in the House and at least 51 of them in the Senate. They also plan to create progressive majorities in a majority of states.
If you wonder why Republicans win so much, this kind of nonsense is exactly why.
Until you make a majority of the population “progressive” and you make “progressive values” mainstream, your dream of a progressive-dominated government will continue to be a dream of the pipe variety. And from what I see, Bernie Stans and Unicorn Progressives are too intellectually lazy to even attempt to pull that off.
I know, calling them lazy seems unfair. They claim to have worked their asses off for Bernie last year. Well, they worked their asses off if the definition of that is sitting in front of a computer and Tweeting and writing about how horrible Hillary Clinton was. Other than that, they just lie about how popular Bernie was/is, even though he doesn’t even have great name recognition. Also, doing what they did to Hillary actually cost Bernie a lot of votes and went a long way to keeping Donald Trump in the election long enough to steal it. In other words, you really did nothing to help Bernie, PLUS you helped set the progressive movement back a decade or so…. again.
If you thought the best way to campaign for Bernie Sanders was to beat the hell out of Hillary Clinton, you are politically naive and, quite frankly, emotionally stunted. That level of immaturity is expected of right wingers; I would like to think left wingers have more brains than that. Maybe I’m naive, too… who the hell knows? All I know is, white liberal “political junkies” keep making the same mistakes over and over again and never learn from them. In 1980, they supported Ted Kennedy against Jimmy Carter and never wavered, even after Carter beat his ass for the nomination. Their lack of support gave us Ronald Reagan and the first Republican Senate since the 1950s and only the second since 1932. Then, in 1988, they refused to get behind Michael Dukakis for some stupid reason, and we got an extra four Reagan years. In 2000 and 2004, their stupidity gave us a double dose of Bush because they thought they had to trash Gore and Kerry in order to support Nader. Then, in 2016, they actually trashed Hillary Clinton enough to elect the only politician in history who is worse than Bush. And that doesn’t include the numerous mid-terms they undermined.
Hillary Clinton lost for one reason; turnout. And much of the reason for low turnout came from these “independent progressives,” who joined with the right wing to convince voters that Hillary would make a horrible president and that there was really no difference between Trump and Clinton, or even between Democrats and Republicans. Two lies these idiots keep telling, even though “untrue” is an understatement.
There are two viable political parties in this country and if you believe they are in any way the same, you are a fucking idiot. And you have to be blind. I mean, what the fuck are you looking at, if you see any similarities between Democrats and Republicans right now? Seriously; let’s go through some key issues and see how the two parties stand on them. Let’s see if you can spot the similarities… okay?
- Universal Health Care – (And no, the issue is not “single payer.” The issue is making sure everyone who needs to see a doctor gets treatment without having to put up the house.) Democrats passed the Affordable Care Act with pretty much ZERO Republican votes. Since then, Republicans have held more than 60 votes to repeal it and, in seven years, they have no idea how to replace it. They held several momentous votes to repeal it this year alone, and the vast majority of Republicans voted to kill it, while not one single Democrat did that
- Climate Change – A Republican is trying to pull the United States out of the Paris Climate Accords, which a Democrat helped negotiate. That Republican and a majority of his Republican mates think climate change is a hoax. Meanwhile, at least 20 cities run by Democrats have pledged to live by the Paris Accords, even if the United States pulls out.
- Support for the poor – Democrats built the welfare system, which kept millions of people alive during some very difficult times. Democrats acknowledge that the capitalist system needs a ready supply of labor to function properly, which means a safety net is necessary in our system. Republicans have virtually eliminated the safety net for most people. Since Republicans have held an inordinate amount of power, the poor have been screwed. Right now, more than three-quarters of those living below the poverty line get ZERO cash assistance. Democrats want to restore that, Republicans demonize the poor as “lazy.”
- Deficits and debt – Republicans love to talk about doing something about the deficit and the debt, but since Reagan and the GOP exploded it in the 1980s, only Democrats have actually done something about it. Prior to 1981, with Democrats in charge, the debt dropped from 120 percent of GDP after World War II to about 32 percent of GDP under Jimmy Carter. Since then, the deficit has exploded under Republicans and shrunk under Democrats. Even now, with a huge deficit, all Republicans can talk about is heavy tax breaks for corporations, whose income tax rates have already dropped by two-thirds under Republicans. Democrats have raised taxes on the rich a couple of times and they shored up Social Security when they retook Congress in the 1980s.
- Taxes and Spending – Republicans like to talk about tax cuts and they talk about taxation as if the government was confiscating your wealth. Democrats realize that building a great society costs money. Republicans cut taxes, but they only cut spending on the poor. Have you ever noticed that Republicans never talk about cutting payroll taxes? They only cut income taxes because those are the only taxes the rich pay. The rich don’t pay Social Security taxes for money over the first $127,200 (this year, and that cap only increased that much thanks to Democrats), and most of their income is “unearned,” so they don’t have to pay any other taxes on it. Democrats balance the budget and Republicans explode the deficit. Again, no comparison.
- Guns – Do I really have to explain this one? Yes, a few Democrats support the NRA to a small degree, but the Democratic Party as a whole is not afraid to take them on. On the other hand, there is not a single Republican with the balls to take on the NRA and not do their bidding. The Democratic Party passed the assault weapons ban, which worked, and the GOP allowed it to expire. Democrats proposed a universal background check bill, and Republicans killed it. Democrats have proposed a bump stocks ban, and the GOP has effectively killed it.
- Campaign finance – Democrats want to kill Citizens United. Republicans want it expanded and institutionalized because they see it as the only way to equalize finances between the two parties. If unicorn progressives would bother to look at the facts, and stop relying on professional lefties, they would find that Democrats’ biggest supporters are labor unions, trial lawyers, academics and retired people, while Republicans are supported by corrupt industries like fossil fuels and the banking industry. Everyone wants something for their donations, of course, but what unions and trial lawyers want is far more palatable than what the coal and tobacco industries want.
- Corruption – Are there a few corrupt Democrats? Of course. But the last couple of Republican Administrations, especially the ciurrent one, have featured many crony appointments, as well as appointments of hundreds of people who are simply not qualified for their positions. We currently have an occupant of the White House who is actually making money from the presidency and who has appointed family members and officers in his private corporation to positions where they can increase that company’s profits. Good luck finding a Democrat who has ever done that.
I could go on and on, but I won’t. The bottom line in all of this is, if you want progressive things to happen, Republicans will always work against you. To be an actual progressive, by now, you must feel a moral imperative to vote for and support every candidate who belongs to the Democratic Party. There is no such thing as a “GOP Lite” candidate. “Conservative” Democrats who run in red states and districts are still miles ahead of their Republican opponents. And we know this because they could win more easily if they switched parties, and yet, they stick with the Democratic Party. You may have decided you hate Joe Manchin and you might have been told by the professional left that he’s “practically a Republican,” but if you believe that, you’re not smart, you’re gullible. Manchin is running in 2018 and in very red West Virginia, he could easily win by denouncing Democrats and running as a Republican. Yet he doesn’t. And why would he? Manchin votes with Democrats about 90 percent of the time, despite the reputation the pro left has slathered on him. Yes, he sometimes sides with the GOP rhetorically because he has to win in West Virginia. But make no mistake. If you want progressives to have any power, you have to fully support Democrats of all stripes. Maxine Waters could never win in West Virginia and she gets that. That is why she will never say anything bad about Joe Manchin or any other Democrat in a red district or state.
What every actual progressive should have learned from last Tuesday is that turnout is key. In Virginia, New Jersey and several other states, Democrats won in a wave because a lot of people who don’t usually turn out decided to make an anti-Trump and anti-GOP statement. They supported all Democrats; they didn’t cherry-pick based on their rating on the “progressive purity” meter. All of us have to learn these lessons going forward:
- Democrats are the only choice for progressives right now, and we have to support all of them, regardless of our personal he feelings.
- Before we make statement regarding a candidate or an issue, evaluate the effect it may have on the Democrats as a whole.
- This is a two-party system, kind of. In reality, there is only one party that isn’t completely broken. And frankly, iff you wanted to create a third choice, then you had almost 50 years to do so. Now, it’s too late. The democracy hangs by a thread.
- Supporting ALL Democrats is a moral imperative right now because we can’t afford any more Republican “leadership.”
- Another moral imperative is to remove the Republican Party from offices at every level and force them to reform. The only way they will reform is if they lose.
Got it? I know many Bernie Stans and “progressive independents” think they’re politically savvier than most others, but really, if you don’t understand that what you have been doing has been moving the country backward, you have to be politically blind. For at least the next few election cycles, you absolutely must support Democrats over everyone else. That means putting away your fantasies about having an inordinate amount of influence over the electorate and getting full-on progressives elected to a majority everywhere. That can happen, but it will take a hall of a lot more work than you seem willing to put in. Nothing good happens in government through sheer force of will, and the last time a third party was a major factor in an election was in 1860.
Want a progressive country? Elect Democrats and relegate current Republicans to the ash heap of history. I mean, they nominated Donald Fucking Trump and they continue to support him. This week, in light of the fact that Alabama Senate Candidate Roy Moore apparently had a thing for high school girls when he was in his 30s and bedded a few who were way underage, Republicans have largely dismissed that as “no big deal.” In other words, whereas Democrats pummeled Anthony Weiner and drummed him out of office for sexting with a few young girls, Republicnas are (once again) protecting a pedophile. It’s also not the first time. If you’ll recall, one pedophile Republican named Dennis Hastert covered up pedophile Mark Foley’s sexual proclivities with House pages about a decade ago.
Politically speaking, Republicans have dismantled everything that we created to make America great over our 40 years of electoral domination and they have proven they can’t govern. What else do they have to do to create a moral imperative to vote for Democrats?
Also published on Medium.