The Tone Deafness of the Unicorn Left

As I keep saying, there is a clear reason why liberals and progressives always come out on the short end of the stick. And we should also know and understand that reason. It’s because a small-but-really-loud strain of unicorn progressives prefer drama over reality and almost always go after Democrats for being imperfect, while largely leaving Republicans alone. You’ve heard their excuse: “everyone knows” Republicans suck; they feel like the liberal police, enforcing their version of liberality on all Democrats, including those who represent red states. They don’t understand how the political system works, and they seem perfectly okay undermining liberals in the process. And one reason voters don’t like us very much is our inability to set priorities.

But there is another reason why they undermine us. Voters don’t like them. And because they represent themselves as speaking for all liberals, it means voters don’t like any of us. And voters don’t like them/us because of our tone deafness. The loudest progressives, especially those in the professional left, seem to have no clue what the average American cares about. It’s obvious when they speak, but it’s also painfully obvious when they talk about issues. Think it’s a coincidence that they seem to be concerned with the same things as Donald Trump? It’s not. Unicorn progressives spout much the same drivel as Trumpies do. Consider their pet issues and then compare it with the hardest-core Bernie Stans. (And no, I am not talking about all Sanders primary voters.)

  • The worst Bernie Stans insist that the economy is in the shitter, when it most certainly isn’t, and they speak as if the Great Recession never ended. Note how their position on economy dovetails nicely with the Trump Dystopia.
  • Unicorn progressives think NAFTA was what led to massive numbers of jobs leaving the U.S., despite the fact that experts who have studied it say otherwise. Note how well their complaints about economy dovetail nicely with Trump’s view of trade.
  • Unicorn progressives whine about “Obamacare” almost as much as Trump and they demand that we just scrap it and replace it with “single payer,” with a stridency that matches that of the Deplorables class. Note how their “get rid of Obamacare” view tends to dovetail nicely with that of the Trumpies.
  • Unicorn progressives think the most important issues of our time are the minimum wage and student debt. They’re important, of course, but the most important? Hardly. And there are many ways to fix those. Again, the stridency of demanding $15 and “free college” matches the stridency of the Trumpies step by step.

Completely by coincidence (I started writing this Friday), a comment was received last night by a supposed “progressive” who took issue with my contention that anger is wasted in politics. I normally wouldn’t repeat such nonsense, but I hear this kind of shit from the unicorn left almost daily. Read this and weep:

[T]he reason Dems keep losing is because they keep following the same DLC playbook. you cannot take $150 million from Wall Street executives who have been dismantling this country for thirty years and then run for president saying you’ll be tough on those criminals and expect that to resonate. you cannot cause complete turmoil in Yemen and Syria and fund the ‘rebels’ there in order to overthrow a foreign leader and run your pipeline.

you can’t get caught saying one has to have a private and public position and expect people to trust you.

people love to say Bernie isn’t a Democrat and talks bad about them — as if there’s nothing bad to be said.

this post is waaaay off the mark. there is not enough anger.

(Note: I did not edit the above, just cut and pasted as-is.) First of all, I used to do a lot of work inside the Democratic Party and I dealt with the DLC idiots when I was there, and they haven’t had much sway in almost 20 years. In fact, Obama’s win basically killed them. Hillary Clinton didn’t give those types the time of day and she basically kissed the Sanders campaign’s ass in the end.

Second, the $150 million figure came straight from his ass. Also, in a campaign where more than $2 billion was spent, $150 million would be a drop in the bucket, even if it wasn’t pulled straight from a rectum. And let’s be clear here: we’re talking about a race where Democrats were led by Hillary Clinton, who might troll “Wall Street” for money in a post-Citizens United world, against a GOP-led by a man who IS “Wall Street” money. He is entering office more corrupt than any president in history was when they left office. If you think this is a concern of most voters, well… tone deaf.

Third, anyone who thinks the Democratic Party in the United States caused the “turmoil” in Yemen and Syria is not just tone-deaf, but ignorant of history. We were asked into Yemen to help curtail terrorist activity that was killing their people. And Syria? Damascus has been “terrorism central” for decades and Assad is the most lethal dictator in history and his opposition is ISIL. Oh, yeah; and if you think this is the kind of thing the average voter makes a voting decision on, well, all I can say is, “Dipshit, meet the American voter.” Most voters want the government to handle foreign affairs; they don’t comb the papers and obsess over the goings-on in Yemen. I mean, were unicorn progressives around during the Iraq War? Americans obsessed over our troops, and didn’t care that 2.5 million people were forced to flee the country. And perhaps they haven’t heard, but the only thing they care about when they think of Aleppo is making sure the refugees don’t come here and kill them. Again, tone-deafness.

And finally, almost everyone has a public and a private position on virtually everything. It’s human nature. Someone may have a public position that women should always have the right to terminate their pregnancy and a private position that they can’t be with a woman who would do that. Most people who publicly pushed for a $15 minimum wage were privately hopeful to get $11 or $12. In other words, only tone-deaf people think the public and the private should always be exactly the same. Oh yeah, and all politicians say one thing for one audience and something else to another. It’s human nature. Duh.

As for anger, no one from the left has ever gotten anything simply by being angry. Leave that to the right. Let them be irrational.

It’s as if we progressives are sitting on the deck of the Titanic, and some of us seem to be more concerned with the quality of the wallpaper than with the fact that the ship is about to sink into icy water. I wonder how many unicorn progressives realize just how offensive the use of phrases like “low-information voter” and “voted against their own interests” are to the average voter? There is no magical bit of information that makes a voter “just enough information.” In fact, Id say too many voters have too much information these days. And NO ONE ever votes against their interests. Again, there’s the tone-defness. Just because you don’t understand their actual interests doesn’t mean they’re voting against their interests.

What’s wrong with government these days is that it’s being run by a radicalized major political party that insists on getting its way, even though its way is opposed by most of the public. They thrive on brinksmanship. They shut down the government to try to kill Obamacare, which is already established law. Fully 144 House Republicans voted to not pay our bills and to default on our debt back in October. They won’t consider any changes to gun laws, even when 92% of Americans approve of them. They have yet to pass a meaningful bill that would create jobs, and they keep making cuts that result in even greater job losses, at a time when we are trying to recover from the worst economic downturn since the Depression. They demanded that SNAP cuts be included in a farm bill that is absolutely necessary. They passed a sequester that everyone thought they were too smart to pass.

And, as things are about to get even worse, we have a unicorn progressive sector of the liberal who will argue till the day is done that Hillary Clinton wasn’t “good enough” and who will blame the Democratic Party killed itself because non-Democrats trashed the Party continually for the better part of two years. And they insist that the reason Democrats don’t win is because they don’t cater to the far left enough, even though Clinton and the DNC adopted almost all of Bernie Sanders’ agenda. They also think the average American voter cares deeply about everything they care about the most and nothing else. And they don’t understand why a Democrat in a red state or district has to be more “conservative than one who represents Los Angeles or New York.

Tone-deafness. It’s why we lose.

5 comments

  1. I love your blog. Every time I read one of your blog posts, I cheer and think yes, yes, yes! And then I read the comments sections. You post about not being angry, and then in response to comments that are 95% in agreement with your blog, you are downright mean and vitriolic about whatever 5% or 1% of the comment that you disagree with, and you call the person stupid. You don’t affirm people when they agree with you, you only chastise them (and not kindly) for stuff they may have been wrong about. I’m only posting this because I agree with your message and think it is important. I’d like to see it become more widespread, but I feel like often when someone reaches out in the comments and wants to more or less join your team, you drive them away if their comment wasn’t 100% perfect. You rarely respond to anything you agree with. So it seems to me that you have a fair bit of a unicorn mentality, yourself.

    Anyway, I’m serious about loving your blog. I’m serious about thinking you are mostly right. You can chastise me meanly, and I will go away, too, but I do think your message is really important, so please consider trying for a little more kindness (and progressive unification) in your response to comments.

    1. I don’t respond to comments very often, first of all. I normally delete posts that are about me, personally, but I decided to let this one slide. Not because you claim to love the blog, but because it needs a response.

      I’m not angry. At all. However, how many times can we progressives suffer a sinking feeling every time there is an election and not have a desire to change things? I never get mean, EVER. My desire with this blog is to get people to think. My responses are never personal and they have everything to do with the point the person is attempting to make. On the other hand, the REASON progressives are always losing is because we do stupid things, so what good does being “kind” to people whose ideas are the very reason we keep having to put up with the radical GOP running the show? One reason we keep losing is because we see wrong thinking and we pat them on the head and let them continue saying stupid things. After all, everyone is entitled to their opinion, right?

      Yes, everyone IS entitled to their opinion. Everyone, including the people who disagree. Go figure, right? I’m sick and tired of this idea that everyone with an opinion is a cute little snowflake whose opinion can’t be challenged. The unicorn progressives make up 5-10% of the entire progressive movement. They’re just white and have the means to get noticed more. But THEY are demanding the other 95% of progressives join them and adopt their positions on issues, which is absurd. If uniting progressives means giving in to them, well, that’s not realistic. We do need to unite, but it is THEY who have to join us. And I know this because their methods have continually cost us elections. They are why Reagan and both Bushes were elected. THEY are the reason turnout that used to always be 60% in presidential years and 50% in midterms is usually 50% and 37% these days. I expect the right wing to be anti-Democratic Party. When the far left does the same thing, it causes people to stay home. The GOP’s main strategy is to drive down turnout because it’s the only way they can win. When our side does the same, guess who it helps…

      Progressive unification has to be the goal, but it has to be in a direction that causes us to win elections. And no; I will not be “kind” to people who are quite literally sabotaging the progressive movement and have been for decades now. I mean, if I have to be nice and kind to someone who didn’t realize that Hillary Clinton had to win this year in order to unify progressives, the progressive movement is doomed. It’s not happening.

      When someone reads what I wrote and then makes a stupid comment, I will not treat them as a gentle little snowflake, pat them on the head and give them a cookie. It’s been almost a HALF CENTURY of losing to deplorables and it’s because of these people. At what point to ALL liberals and progressives say, “enough” and demand that we all be smarter, politically?

      I am not mean to anyone. But when they’re wrong, it needs to be pointed out and corrected. Period.

  2. To recapitulate in my own terms: The Republican Slime Machine invested a billion dollars over thirty years into the project of gutting the Clintons. The Bernie People then picked up some of the lies, which served as useful cudgels in beating up their opponents in the primaries. All the Republicans had to do next was to point and scream “EVEN THE COMMIES THINK SHE’S A CROOK!” and their work was done.

    Tone deaf and politically inept, to the extreme.

    1. Not only did they pick up the lies, they also allowed more lies to be poured into their ears courtesy of Russia via Wikileaks.

      The even bigger irony of this is that the GOP, which not very long ago despised Wikileaks and was disgusted by Putin, now cannot stop praising these two.

Tell me what you're thinking!