Over the last couple of weeks, I’ve noticed a parade of “progressives” touting the website for “Project VoteSmart,” in all sorts of media. I’ve heard them on the radio, I’ve seen them on TV, and I have been personally contacted on Twitter and Facebook about it, as if I hadn’t already used their data extensively on my blog(s) for many years. Hell; they even paid to advertise on my old blog, “The Daily Weasel.”
The fact that these “progressives” are coming out of the woodwork to remind everyone of this fascinating “new” website is strange for several reasons. First of all, the implication is that no one knows about “VoteSmart,” which is absurd. Sure, some young millennial types may not know about it, but most liberals and others who care about voting know to go straight to VoteSmart, when a candidate’s voting record matters.
And that leads to the second reading this latest push is bizarre. In this election, in the current political climate, we’re finally at a point where it really doesn’t matter what anyone’s voting record is on any issue. We know what the Democratic Party stands for and we know that the Republican Party stands for nothing good at all. At this point in time, if you are liberal or progressive at all, you have no choice but to vote for Democrats in this election and for at least the next 4-5 elections.
In the best of times, evaluating voting records is only a minor factor in a voting decision, anyway. I mean, how do you evaluate a Democrat’s voting record when Congress has been ruled by the current version of the GOP for the last eight years, anyway? I mean, Boehner, Ryan and McConnell had as a major platform plank stopping everything Democrats and Obama wanted to do. So, what would an examination of their voting record tell you? The answer, of course, is nothing. Oh, sure, you can point and scream about how they voted according to your personal belief system, but since you will probably be against everything the GOP does, your evaluation of their “voting record” really isn’t valid, is it?
Again, unless the Democrat voting for a certain bill you don’t like actually made a difference in whether or not the bill was passed, any evaluation as part of their “voting record” is completely and utterly pointless. In other words, if 230 Republicans and four Democrats voted for a bill, your whining about the four Democrats is completely ineffective and shows you to be remarkably clueless. Yes, I said “clueless.”
This year’s election is a critical one for the future of democracy in the United States. If you think I’m exaggerating that, you haven’t been paying attention. The Republican Party has been cheating for years, and they have spent the last half century trying to encourage people to not vote. And they have largely been successful because of the professional left and the unicorn left in general. Every time you whine about “Blue Dogs,” you show yourself to be ignorant of how politics works, and you also encourage people to stay home from the polls. Every time you scream at the top of your lungs that the “system is broken,” you encourage more people to stay home and not vote. Every time you declare the system is rigged, more people stay home.
The current version of the Republican Party is a menace. They are destroying the country and they are destroying the world. It is only possible to change the direction of this country’s politics through a majority, and at some point, ALL liberals, including the white ones, have to figure out that we don’t have the numbers to get shit done without aligning with moderates who can at least listen to us and who are willing to help us get part of our agenda done. But more importantly, the GOP has put the United States into the position of being a “can’t do” nation. They are turning us from a superpower into an “also ran.”
In this election, and for at least the next 5-6 election cycles, we have ONE GOAL with our vote, and that is to oust the current version of the Republican Party out of government. Screw voting records, screw who’s “progressive enough. We need Democrats to win everything. That will force the GOP to either reconstitute into something that isn’t anti-American values or force another political party to take its place. I’m not advocating for a one-party system forever, just until there is a second political party that puts the country ahead of party.
Also published on Medium.