Tilting at Unicorns

The Solution is Simple

Since Tuesday night, I have to admit, I have been somewhat distraught. That’s not like me, really.  It is just politics, after all. However, this election is not like other elections. I don’t just mean because Donald Trump won the presidency. That’s pretty bad, for sure, but what has me distraught is the unicorn progressive and professional left’s reaction. Whereas the progressive movement must sit back for a bit and regroup and think about how we proceed going forward, I am reading and hearing talk of basically doing the same things they’ve been doing for 40 years and even doubling down on it.

Seriously, I have progressive friends who are talking about primarying certain Democrats in 2018 and professional lefties are already proposing Democratic presidential candidates for 2020. Still others are proposing that we get rid of the Electoral College and another contingent is recommending that we use this “opportunity” to propose a single-payer plan to replace Obamacare. And in what must be the dumbest thing I have ever read in my life, a group of Bernie Stans is suggesting that progressives reach out to Trump voters and offer assistance. I would give you the link, but I don’t want you to have to wash obsessively. I mean, I hope I’m wrong about Trump, but I’m not going to help him until I know what he plans to do. if he actually tries to do what he said during the campaign, he’ll get nothing but opposition from me.

None of the above is what we need at all. Not even close. I mean, what has to happen before the loudest portion of the progressive movement actually sits back and reassesses what we have been doing for the last 40 years and tries to change it? We have been losing everything for that long; why have these people not noticed? It’s like watching Sisyphus, for crap’s sake. I would think that the election of Donald Trump – a sure sign that the Republican Party is effectively dead – would serve as a wake-up call for even the professional left. Apparently not.

Let me be clear. The progressive movement in this country is almost as dead as the GOP. In fact, our side is the only thing that is keeping them alive. And it’s because the loudest segment of the movement thinks they know everything there is to know about politics because they can rattle off names and districts and some voting records. Unfortunately, with all of the details they have apparently taught themselves, they apparently crowded out the big picture, which is far more important. The big picture, in fact, is the only thing that matters. The big picture is what gives Americans a good job, an affordable mortgage or rent and a job that pays enough to meet the bills that have to be paid every month. It is the big picture that created a highly educated populace and makes sure that everyone in the country is treated fairly and that opportunity is available, regardless of your skin color or who you love.

In the big picture, what the government does really matter. And we have effectively ceded control of the government to neoconservatives for the last four decades. Every time we seem to be waking up, our loudest contingent falls back to sleep and start dreaming again. And blaming people; the wrong people. I can’t tell you how many lefties I have seen have spent the last few days blaming the Democratic Party for losing. The sick part is, almost all of these people have spent most of the last two years attacking Hillary Clinton, calling her a crook, or a robot, or a war monger, or untrustworthy. They have spent the better part of two years attacking her with the same bullshit charges that have been floated by the far right for almost 30 years. Many of these people were Bernie Sanders stalwarts and, while Bernie himself didn’t really attack her very much, except to say she was part of the establishment (gasp!), his followers were brutal. Many of them refused to support Clinton at all, and continued to attack her because, well, Jill Stein. And we all know what a great “progressive” Jill Stein is, right? Almost as good as Ralph Nader, right?

Let me get this straight…

You have an election in which Hillary Clinton lost because of low turnout. In other words, if more people had turned out, she would have won more states and thus, the presidency.  Okay, are you with me so far? Good.

  • She had the full-on support of The Democratic Party (so much support that the Bernie Stans complained about it mightily), and even Bernie Sanders gave his undying support after it was clear he had lost the nomination. She had the support of every major Democrat in the country; not a single prominent Democrat failed to support her. Not a single one. Okay, we have that.
  • On the other hand, the Bernie Stans and the professional left trashed Hillary Clinton for the better part of two years. And when I say “trashed,” I mean mercilessly. There is not a single name they did not use during primary season. The loudest of them refused to support Hillary under any circumstances because she was supposedly untrustworthy. In fact, it became a “fact” that voters took to heart. The biggest complaint cited about her was that they weren’t sure they could trust her. Even the professional lefties, like Michael Moore, never got around to supporting Hillary Clinton. The most they  would say was that they were going to vote for her because she wasn’t Trump. It’s really hard to find anything in the professional left media that gives unqualified support to Hillary Clinton.

Therefore, someone who’s pushing this bullshit about “it’s the Democrats’ fault” needs to explain to me how the element of the politics that gave her their full-throated support is the reason a whole lot of people stayed away from the polls, while the far left, who trashed the shit out of her for two solid years and never supported her, deserve no blame whatsoever. That just puzzles me. It makes no sense. How can full-throated support for a candidate cause her to lose?

I don’t understand this notion that, in order to support the most liberal candidate, you have to attack the other one during the primary. Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton were on the same side; there was nothing to be gained and everything to lose (as is obvious) when you attack others on the same side. I mean, how many times does this have to happen before you get it? It’s why Gore lost. It’s why Kerry lost. It’s even why Dukakis and Carter lost. You don’t get to trash the candidate who is closest to you ideologically incessantly and then act surprised and blame other people when they lose. it has an effect.

To a great many people in this country, voting is difficult. It requires going out on a work day and taking a few hours off from a job at which they already don’t make much. And that’s IF the boss lets them have the time off. It’s cold, they may have to take the kids and face a long line. It’s not an easy decision for many people. One side is screaming at them that the Democratic candidate sucks because they have nothing good to say about their own candidate in most cases. Why would you think that LIBERALS screaming the same goddamn thing would motivate them to lost some of their pay, perhaps take three buses and then wait for three hours in a line to vote for the Democrat? In what way does that make any sense to you?

It’s time we learned a few things.

  1. The GOP’s main strategy – the reason they say so many outrageous things – is because they want to drive down turnout.
  2. When Republicans say “Democrats suck,” swing voters don’t listen because they know the GOP is crazy.
  3. When liberals say “Democrats suck,” they listen a little more because they think we’re less crazy.
  4. When both sides are saying the same de-motivating things, a lot of voters decide it’s too much trouble to vote, especially if everyone is saying both candidates suck.
  5. When turnout is high, Republicans can’t win.

“The Democrats” are not the problem. “The unicorn progressives” are a big problem.

The solution to our problem is simple. Stop trashing Democrats and aim hard at the GOP. Encourage people to vote and stop discouraging them. Do that, we win.

8 comments

  1. I think you overstate the role of far left pundits on the state of mind of the people who didn’t show up to the voting polls. These were obviously people less interested in the politics, and these people also don’t usually spend time scouring the internet reading progressive blogs. They take their opinion from the cable TV and mainstream online news outlets. And the facebook echo-chamber.

    1. You don’t even understand how extremely contradictory your statement is.

      The problem IS the echo chamber. The mistake you make is in thinking that progressives have no input into that echo chamber. Why would you even think that righties AND lefties screaming, “Hillary is a liar” at the top of their lungs wouldn’t make it into the echo chamber? Why do you think everyone knows what Fox News thinks about everything? The most popular show on Fox gets about 2.5 million viewers. That’s about 10% of the size of the combined audience of the network news programs and far lower than even CBS This Morning or Morning Edition or ATC. The reason everyone knows all about Fox is because of the echo chamber.

      Get a clue; most people don’t decide whether or not to vote based on what a pundit tells them to do. They get an overall feeling. People didn’t “trust” Hillary Clinton, despite the fact that there was no reason to not trust her, really. But with the cacophony of voices from the right AND THE LEFT telling us she was “untrustworthy,” why would they bother to vote?

      I mean, this shit keeps happening, and we keep losing and progressives try to excuse themselves. Well, FUCK, dude, if what you say doesn’t have any meaning and doesn’t affect anything, why do you even bother? I mean, if you are SO convinced that no one listens to anyone on the left, then it should be no problem shutting the fuck up, right?

      Unbelievable.

  2. I quite agree with you, Milt, the Progressive Movement is dead for a generation.

    Oh, sure, we will continue to be vexed by the textbook Marxists and the special pleading of the chronic whiners but an organized (sort of) group of left leaning self styled radicals as a force in American politics? Not hardly.

    The Trumpsters will club these people like baby harp seals for the next eight years while the Democrats will have their hands full keeping the lights on in party central – they will have neither the energy nor the inclination to lift a finger to protect the very people who knifed them in the kidneys, and if they are wise will not welcome a small army of proven traitors back into their stronghold.

    Which is very sad because, as a life long leftist (of the non radical variety, which makes me no leftist at all in the eyes of the stupids) I would very much like to see implementation of many reforms of the kind over which the Progressives flap their pie holes. This unfortunate outcome is the repeated consequence of the Progressive Movement as a whole being tragically ineffective despite the high intelligence and education and good intentions of many (most?) individual progressives.

  3. Yeah, well, the problem with your argument is that those “progressives” would not consider getting a regular Democrat elected to be a win. That would be a loss to them. So why are you asking them to get behind this?

    1. Because there are two viable parties in the country and the alternative is batshit crazy. The country just gets worse with Republicans in charge. Being progressive is about making PROGRESS. It’s not about having the perfect position on issue and waiting around for the perfect candidate. Democrats make progress and Republicans make regress.

      This isn’t difficult to figure out. Put down the unicorn and join most liberals and progressives in the real world.

    2. Just stop it, please.

      Did you even read the damned article? And also, Milt has been saying this for years. And he’s right. Those “progressives” had better learn to get behind a “Regular” Democrat, because that’s the only way they will EVER get what they want. And if they don’t get that a “Regular” Democrat is still light-years ahead of a “Regular” Republican–especially how the Republicans are now–then they are bloody fools.

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