The “Real Progressive” Joke

Earlier this week, I was attacked by some self-righteous (white) “progressive” who told me I wasn’t a “real progressive” because I refused to accept their candidate for president in 2020. (As something of a relief, this time it wasn’t Bernie. Small victories.)

There are many reasons why I call these idiots “unicorn progressives,” and that term is not a compliment. The progressive “movement” has been stalled for decades, meaning it hasn’t “moved” for a long time. The last progressive victory was the Affordable Care Act and, to be honest, white liberals damn near killed that with their negativity.

And that’s the point, folks. There is a certain strain of white liberals who use their white privilege to assert their superiority over all other liberals, which requires negativity. They and they alone are qualified to decide who is a “real progressive” and who isn’t. Worse, they and they alone declare which issues are “most important” at any given time. This, despite the fact that they seem unaware of what is actually happening at any given time.

Let me take this opportunity to clue unicorn progressives in:

  • Medicare for All sounds great, but saving the Affordable Care Act from the Trump-ublicans is more immediate and necessary and adding a public insurance option would be just as effective and a hell of a lot cheaper. “Single-payer” is not an answer for this country, unless you can figure out how to raise taxes enough to cover the debt we already have AND the $3 trillion we spend on healthcare every year. I’m not saying it’s impossible to do, but in a country full of people who think their taxes are already too high, well, good luck. And before you claim my $3 trillion number is too high, remember that Medicare only covers 80% and someone will have to cover the other 20%. Also, Medicare doesn’t cover a lot of healthcare.
  • It is a function of your white privilege to think “free college” is a major issue in this country at this moment in time. The issue is neither the cost or quality of education, but the debt that’s incurred. Restoring financial aid programs to their original purpose, restoring education funding to the states and encouraging students to only borrow what they need would all go a long way toward reducing the debt burden. Put it this way, the first (less successful) time I went to college, the college bookstore only sold books and virtually every student I knew had a job. Now, it has a Lancome counter and an Apple Store built-in and far fewer students work. That indicates students may be borrowing too much. Either way, with black men dying from bullets shot by police and brown children thrown in baby jails, “free college” shouldn’t even be on a “real progressive’s” radar.
  • “Income inequality” is another useless trope that will never be solved by the government. Unicorn progressives must learn that the average working stiff who is struggling with three jobs just to make ends meet is absolutely not thinking about how much the CEO of their company makes compared to them. As long as an employee is making enough to cover the bills, live in a decent home and a running car, and have enough left over to take the family on vacation, they don’t care how much money millionaires and billionaires make. In other words, the unicorn progressives obsession over the gap between rich and poor is based on their white privilege.

Look; no one is actually “progressive” just because they have all the “correct” positions on issues because they and their tribe have fallen for the lines of a left-wing con. The root of the word is “progress” and, whether you notice it or not, unicorn progressives, we have been moving backward since your strain of white liberals decided they knew more about politics than anyone else.

Consider:

We used to provide welfare for the poor, but that ended 20 years ago because white liberals weren’t paying attention; they were too busy trashing Bill Clinton rather than supporting him. It used to be possible for one family member to work full time and for another to stay home and take care of the kids; that’s now impossible without at least two incomes, which means child care is necessary, and we provide no help for that.

Black people are still oppressed and society is still segregated by race 50 years after Martin Luther King, Jr. and Bobby Kennedy died for that cause. And we allowed a xenophobic asshole to be elected “president” because unicorn progressive decided the Democratic candidate, who has spent her entire adult life advocating for kids and women and doing things for people who can’t do for themselves, because she “wasn’t progressive enough.” What the hell would Hillary Clinton have to do to become a “real progressive”? Does she have to attend pointless marches, wear tie-dye and Birkenstocks and pretend to be a hippie?

Let’s face facts;

The white “progressives” who decide who can and cannot be a member of their club are acting based on their white privilege. Know how you can tell? Most of them will deny it when you remind them of their white privilege. I can’t tell you how many arguments I’ve gotten into from “real progressives” who deny they have white privilege, as if that’s deniable. One of them even told me they couldn’t have white privilege because they grew up working class, thus proving they didn’t even know what it is.

If you are white, you have it. If you are white, you will never experience being targeted by retail store security personnel because they assume your whiteness means you will probably steal. You will never be assumed a suspect in a crime based on the color of your skin. You will never be stopped by police in your own neighborhood because you don’t look like you belong there. When you come back from a foreign country, there’s a 50-50 chance customs officials will just wave you right through without even looking at your passport. And, as white people, you don’t have to teach your children special techniques to keep from being shot by police when you’re stopped while driving to a friend’s house.

Black people are not just the voting base of the current Democratic Party, they are its heart and soul. The Democratic voting base consists of Latinos, recent immigrants, LGBTQ and, most importantly, women of color. And yet, unicorn progressives think they’re still in charge of the Party.

When “real progressives” promote old white men over women, the actual base is insulted. When they supported Barack Obama, the base was elated, but when it turned out the unicorns only supported Obama as a poke in the eye to the right wing, they were disappointed. And when they started working against Obama because he turned out to be a raging moderate and not their caricature of a late ’60s Black Panther, they were again insulted. To this day, these “real progressives” insult the shit out of Obama and both Clintons, even though all three were easily the most progressive presidents in the history of the republic.

I am a proud white liberal. I also realize that I am not in charge of the progressive movement anymore. People like Kamala Harris, Julian Castro, and Cory Booker lead the movement now and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is happily picking up the mantle for the future. I am also aware, unlike many “real progressives,” that this is not 1968 and absurd terms like “establishment Democrat” and “corporate Democrat” are archaic in the extreme and have no place in the politics of the 21st Century.

If you think the only “real progressives” think the same way on every issue, you’re not a visionary, but an idiot. First of all, people in the center lead far more progress than those on the far left and far right. That’s because the vast majority of people in any society occupy some point in the political center.

Right now, at this point in time, the only thing everyone on the left has to agree to is that the far right has done enough damage and to get as many as possible out of government. If you are still preoccupied with “moving the Democratic Party to the left,” take off your white privilege blinders and join the real world. There are no unicorns and progress does not mean advocating for your ideals and trashing everyone who doesn’t share them. That’s just absurd.

One last thing; there will be a very large field in the Democratic primaries this time, and I urge all white liberals to choose their favorite and support the hell out of them, WITHOUT trashing anyone the others. Trashing other Democrats doesn’t get more votes for your chosen candidate and, since no one knows who will win the nomination as of now, you may end up damaging the eventual nominee. Just like you did in 2016, when you though trashing Hillary would be good for Bernie. And look what we have in then White House. Learn a lesson from that.


Also published on Medium.

Comments

The “Real Progressive” Joke — 1 Comment

  1. A bunch of good point in this article.

    My favorite to emphasize is:

    “Republicans (currently “the far right”) has done way more than enough damage. Time to focus on getting each and every one of them out of government.”

    The beauty of that is it moves the whole country back to the middle politically, which is the best way to move things to the left.