The title of this post says it all. Politics is about getting the most votes, which means making the most people feel positive about taking your position or backing your candidate. That takes guts and confidence, and more progressives have to not only have it, but demonstrate it. You see, it doesn’t matter who Democrats nominate for anything, the sad fact is, the far right wing fringe batshit crazy GOP will attack them for it. Again, that’s just fact. If you’re worried about Hillary winning and not being able to survive attacks from the GOP, well, that’s just silly. And if you worry about attacks the GOP might make on Bernie if he wins, then you’re being silly, too. With full support from us, either one can win everything. Support is key.
No one in the Republican Party right now should be able to beat either Democratic nominee because the support for the Democratic candidate should be so overwhelming that it can’t work. Look at their field, people; the only two not-completely-batshit candidates they have are incredibly weak and cater to teabaggers. If we do our jobs, none of them should stand a chance.
It’s almost as if a particular strain of “progressives” feels like they have to worry about every election when, in fact, they are the main reason Democrats lose. Republicans don’t actually beat Democrats, progressives beat Democrats. I mean, of course the GOP will attack the Democratic nominee. Everyone expects that, so obviously that is not the reason Republicans win. Republicans’ main strategy is to drive down turnout and their faithful show up at every election at a 90-95% clip, so obviously, the GOP’s aren’t bringing people over via their ideas. Seriously, folks; they have been pushing the same agenda since 1980;
- Lower taxes on the rich, so that people who are deluded enough to believe are work makes people rich will believe they’ll pay less in taxes when that happens.
- Maintain the “drug war,” so that we can put more of “those people” away and support police in everything they do, no matter what.
- Make abortion illegal and take away a woman’s right to full autonomy.
- Force everyone to accept their version of “God.”
- Cut spending on everything except those things that might cost you votes.
- Don’t make any laws that might make buying a gun more difficult than buying a pack of gum.
- Sat negative things about gays and immigrants, even if you don’t attack Blacks and Latinos.
Seriously; which of their “ideas” is so appealing to the average voter, really? Which one of the above do you imagine just turns on tons of voters and makes them want to vote Republican? We all know for a fact that non-voters have been deciding elections in recent decades, so why would anyone think the GOP is winning elections based on anything they actually do? Again, their main goal is not to win but to make sure Democrats lose.
What are you so afraid of when it comes to the right wing, anyway? Apparently, their goal of intimidation is working, because one major argument coming from both Democratic candidates’ followers is that the other candidate can’t possibly survive the inevitable onslaught.
Only one “onslaught” should be worrisome to anyone, and that’s the circular firing squad that is featured in every election, in which certain groups of “progressives” choose to attack or fail to support every Democrat, no matter what. The constant equivocation and the demand that every Democrat be unicorn-perfect is what kills us, not anything the GOP does. Bernie can survive GOP cries of “socialist” and the inevitable attacks on his liberalism. What he can’t survive is Democrats refusing to support him because they had their heart set on Hillary. And we know for a fact that Hillary can survive the GOP attacks because she’s been doing so since she was Arkansas First Lady and working at the Rose Law Firm. What she can’t survive, necessarily, is the belief expressed by many on the far left, that she’s less than a perfect “progressive,” based on their definition of the term. You want to know what’s really “not progressive”? Allowing Republicans win any election these days, even if it’s for dog catcher in rural Arkansas. If you’re one of those who attacked Alison Lundergan Grimes in 2014 because she “dissed Obama,” you need a new hobby. Obama had a 23% approval rating in Kentucky and she was running against a heavily funded Mitch McConnell; what the hell did you expect? She probably wasn’t going to win, anyway, but the outcry from so-called “progressives” cinched her loss. Ironically, the worst attacks on her came from “progressives” who’d been “dissing” Obama for years. See, if Obama can handle Democrats disagreeing with him and give them a wink and a smile, why the hell can’t you? That’s what politics is, folks.
In the last 36 years, Republicans have controlled the government for all but four of them. Both times, progressives abandoned Democrats and handed the government back to the GOP. The “Republican Revolution” did not happen because of the “Contract on America” (I know, it’s supposed to be “for,” sue me). It happened because progressives had a hissy fit and handed the government back because Bill Clinton didn’t perform miracles and reverse everything the GOP had done the previous 12 years. The same thing happened in 2010. What was the “great idea” that caused Republicans to win in 2010? Two years earlier, Obama and Democrats saved the economy and got through a major change in the health insurance system; why would anyone characterize them as a “disappointment”?
Nothing Republicans do matters at all. They attacked Al Gore in 2000, but it was the Nader attacks that made the election close enough to steal. In 2004, they Swiftboated John Kerry, but that’s not why he lost; he lost because Nader went after him and because the progressive movement refused to get behind him and denounce the smears.
It’s time progressives showed some intestinal fortitude. Stop being butthurt every time someone doesn’t praise your favorite candidate. Stop worrying about what the right wing does because their intention is to drive down turnout; of course they’re going to be negative and try to attack. Who cares? No one listens to them. Same with Fox News. I know you imagine that Fox has all of this power, but the same people watch them religiously every day and have for years, and if you look, they have never really had any influence. For that matter, at the peak of his popularity in 1992, Rush Limbaugh’s chosen candidates, first Pat Buchanan and then George H.W. Bush, both lost really badly. The right wing isn’t smarter, politically, except that they show up and vote for Republicans every time, including the Trump voters, who think the current GOP is too “liberal.”
See the difference? They show up and vote Republican because defeating Democrats is important to them. Meanwhile, a large number of progressives attack Democrats for not being perfect enough, and they have decided that defeating the most radically right wing party in U.S. History just isn’t important enough.
Progressives fighting Democrats is actually far more influential because it feeds the Republican strategy, which is to drive down turnout. When you act intimidated, or you join them in attacking Democrats, you are actually doing more damage than they could ever do. So stop freaking out and worrying about them. Worry more about your own rhetoric and what it’s doing to the only party of the two majors that isn’t batshit crazy.