Progressives are Skeptical of Politicians?
Good! That might just save Democracy.
The continuous loop that is the Presidential campaign cycle are generating a steady stream of controversy. No, it’s not about discussions of affirmative ideas, vision, or policies that escape cable news punditry. Vigorous dialog about such matters make everyone smarter but that doesn’t promote ratings.
Instead, the horrific developments revolve around how the Intellectual Left refuses to immediately bend their knees to the next wave of rising stars of the Democratic Party.
What would motivate the Intellectual Left to denounce the legitimate heirs to the Iron Throne and attack them so relentlessly? This skepticism of those deemed infallible by the Democratic Party Powers-That-Be seems to be sourced from nefarious intentions and character flaws. Must be racism. After all, they rejected Hillary after voting for Obama….twice. Oh wait. That doesn’t make sense. Let’s try again.
Oh, I know. Clearly, they’re all sexists because they can’t handle powerful women like Nina Turner, Jill Stein, Natalie Jackson or Susan Sarandon. Uh…Oops.
Sorry, it’s gotta be that Russian disinformation campaign that no one can quite prove exists but they’re certain that it infiltrates brains and programs them into purity. And nothing can possibly stop Putin’s robots from manipulating the Intellectual Left into questioning the Progressive credentials of the next wave of young, diverse, relatable, and Highly Intersectional pragmatists hand-picked by the Democratic Party wizards because they know how to make change!
Why does the Intellectual Left constantly demand to look behind the neatly sculpted package and scrutinize under the hood? All politics is identity politics, dammit, and if they’d just toe the party line then we’d have Representative Ossoff writing a bill to end racism that President Clinton would proudly sign into law. But, no, the Intellectual Left had to spoil everything for women, children, African-Americans, Latinos, LGBTQs, and Muslims by viciously attacking the diverse imagery meticulously produced by The Party.
Thankfully, #TheResistance is courageously fighting back against the Kamala Deza campaign and Putin is now surrounded by modern day McCarthy warriors in pink knit hats. Victory must be at hand because Putin never responds to their mean tweets directly — that coward sets up sock accounts he’s not fooling anyone. And look at this. The Pink Hated Battalion already threatened retaliation with WAR! on Russia to one of Putin’s minions and his response was…….crickets!
On another front, the #PutinBot movement has achieved critical mass and Putin will need to find another platform to wage his WAR! They’ve all mass reported Putin and probably even reported him for SPAM! And they’re far too Patriotic and wise to let Louise Mensch exploit their irrational fears of the rise of Soviet Yugoslavia by grifting them more than a few times. This MUST finally mean unconditional surrender by Russia for stealing our Democracy instead of another advance down the slippery slope to WWIII.
But, hold on, maybe it wasn’t the Russians, after all, who mind-melded the Intellectual Left into being skeptical of candidates seeking to represent them in their Govt? This anti-American “make politicians earn your vote” movement seems to predate Putin’s evil campaign to make Hillary lose the election.
The genesis of the idea of scrutinizing candidates for elected office before you pledge your vote was at the Founding of the United States of America.
The Founders believed that a well-informed electorate preserves our fragile democracy and benefits American society as a whole. William H. Cabell, asserted in 1808 that education “constitutes one of the great pillars on which the civil liberties of a nation depend” and Puliter Prize winner Alan Taylor contends that “uneducated voters make us vulnerable to reckless demagogues.” Damn, according to the guys who pioneered Democracy, it seems that Democracy may not have been stolen by Putin but by those who demand that you vote for their party’s candidates without skepticism. Yikes!
More recently. Vice President Joe Biden, a man of high integrity and every Dem’s Favorite Uncle, indicated that it’s our duty as citizens to look deep within the details of a politician’s platform to understand what they value. It’s hard to look deeper than one’s budget:
“Don’t tell me what you value. Show me your budget and I will tell you what you value!”
- Joe Biden
This is quite a departure from “Vote Blue….no matter who.”
And then there’s this from candidate Hillary Clinton who, in 2015, deadpanned “‘I’m hitting the road to earn your vote!” Actually, it looks like she was dead serious at the time but we all know that her GPS must’ve routed her around I-70, I-80-, and I-90 because she missed the Midwest. Regardless, it’s important to note that she does concur with our Founders and the Vice President that voters SHOULD be skeptical of candidates for elected office to preserve our Democracy and that she would EARN our votes. And she underscored her support for informed voting late in the campaign by demanding that we all Vote our Consciences.
So let’s circle back to Kamala Harris and Cory Booker for a moment. Quick google searches indicate that Senator Harris does have a problematic past in her time as Attorney General of California and Senator of California:
- She failed to support Single Payer (a key issue for Progressives) in California
- She refused to prosecute bank criminals for mortgage fraud — settling for an optical win with a fine that amounted to lunch money.
- She never explained why she failed to prosecute Steve Mnuchin despite catching him red handed wrongly seizing homes from 80,000 Californians. Instead of doing time, Mnunchin is now our Treasury Secretary
- She supports expanding civil asset forfeiture for drug offenders and those awaiting charges for other crimes. This makes her “tough on crime” like the most authoritarian of Republicans.
- She fought hard to restrict transgender rights.
Now, let’s look at Senator Cory Booker. It certainly appears that there are solid reasons to scrutinize Sen Booker as a candidate for President of the United States:
- Only Mitch McConnell received more campaign cash from Wall Street. Now Wall Street isn’t an inherently evil institution. But we don’t need them directing our politicians. https://www.cnbc.com/2014/10/23/cory-booker-mitch-mcconnell-get-the-most-wall-st-campaign-cash.html
- He inexplicably voted against a bill that lower the cost of medicine by importing it from Canada — blaming substandard drug regulation in Canada. But there is no indication that Canadian drug regulation any more dangerous than those of the USA. His ties to Big Pharma are well documented
- He called criticism of Private Equity’s role in Govt “nauseating” in an passionate defense of the Romney-esqe “Corporations are People, Too!” element of the Republican Party. Was he hedging (pun intended) his bets or being responsible to his sponsors?
- He is a legend as Mayor of Newark by constantly tweeting with citizens about cats stuck in trees, pot holes, and snow plowing. But many legitimate questions remain unanswered.
Skepticism of potential candidates for public office is, indeed, healthy. In recent months, Senator Booker has backed Bernie Sanders’ drug importation bill, introduced a bill for national marijuana legalization, and promised to put a “pause” on fund raising from Big Pharma. Positive responses to critical feedback from a potential employee is a very positive trait. I salute Cory for this, hope he holds to his evolved positions, and I’d like to see other politicians follow suit — perhaps even Senator Harris.
However, many in the Democratic Party establishment consider these points of contention to be unwarranted “attacks” on the infallible due to the nefarious intent of racists. sexists, Russians, and other evil elements of society. But no one is without flaws. And when somebody applies for a job, a thorough background check is necessary before making the hiring decision. We don’t consider stress interviews, reference checks, criminal background checks, and even drug screening to be unfair by a potential employer. The intrusiveness of screening applicants increases dramatically as the position becomes more senior. No position is more senior than President.
And, now, Obama’s inner circle has anointed Deval Patrick of Bain Capital:
Valerie Jarrett, Obama’s close adviser and friend, says that a President Patrick is what “my heart desires.”
“If you were to poll 100 notable Obama alumni, the only two people who would win that 2020 straw poll right now are [Joe] Biden and Patrick,” said one former senior White House aide.
Despite his role in vulture capitalism, it’s possible that Patrick might be a decent candidate. Obama rarely endorses until necessary so this reference does carry significant clout. But, like the others, healthy skepticism of candidates by the citizenry is required. I look forward to hearing much more from Patrick should be choose to move forward.
As I said before, in order to preserve our Democracy, we all need to rise above the politics of personality and challenge those who seek to represent our place at the table on the issues. Don’t let anyone lecture you how telling a politician what you want is a “purity test’ that enables the other side. If you don’t tell a politician what you want, then they won’t know.
I am a long way from deciding on a candidate in any upcoming election. My criticisms are meant to spark vigorous dialog on the issues and this makes everyone smarter. I look forward to Senator Harris, Senator Booker, Gov Patrick or anyone one else planning on tossing their hat in the ring to persuade me that they are the right choice.
So, Brian Fallon, you have this backward, Brian Fallon. Voters scrutinizing politicians is the solution. You are the problem.
My vote is valuable. Earn it!