Liberal Fragility Lashes Out
What Do Democrats and the KKK Have in Common?
You’ve seen that picture of Michael Flynn at a dinner with Vladimir Putin, and who’s at the table!? Jill Stein! Burn, Green Party!
And the Clintons attended Trump’s wedding. I would be interested to see if the intelligence community is also investigating Stein’s campaign for collusion with Russia. If so, the photo is indeed a burn of the highest degree.
It’s kind of like saying the Democrats created the KKK. They were at the same figurative table of the KKK for the majority of the KKK’s existence — that’s not to say that they have a lot in common at the present moment.
Except the need to lash out after losing what they thought should belong to them.
I’m perplexed by this need to ostracize progressives. How does it help in the fight against Trump?
Will more people be convinced to re-join the Democrats if they are bashed and blamed for Trump? Is that going to help Democrats in 2018 and 2020?
When it comes to stopping Trump’s policies, who is more useful to have on your team — rabid progressives who are intensely grassroots, or pallid Conservatives who want Gorsuch, an end to public healthcare, school choice, and the expansion of fossil fuel use? And who is more useful in stopping the fucking Nazis?
I can anticipate that people might say that Stein voters put Trump in office, and by extension, every horrible thing Trump does is their fault. So they deserve to shamed. So they won’t do it again.
That attitude seems antithetical to democracy. And, since Trump won by such a small margin, couldn’t any subgroup be responsible? What about the voters who went from Democrat to full-on Trump voters?
And why, at this point, does any of this help?
‘Not a Time for Protest!’
- Protests are designed to be inconvenient, or they wouldn’t work.
- When was a good time for protest? Last election? The one before? Kerry/Bush? Gore/Bush?
- You can’t concede to power in hopes that power will, of its own volition, weaken itself to strengthen you. If progressives keep giving Democrats all their votes no matter how progressive the Party actually is, why would the Party choose to move to the left? That’s just as dumb as voting for a millionaire because you’re poor.
In a nutshell, this is how the election seemed to me: when there was an Ebola outbreak, the CDC didn’t stop investigating infectious disease altogether. Some people address the emergency and some people work toward an all-encompassing, long-term goal.
Problems like Russian aggression and ISIS are deadly serious. They are deadly serious symptoms with some root causes — income inequality and poverty; patriarchy and racism; neocolonialism.
We have been in a deadly serious, no-time-for-a-protest situation since the Bush/Gore election. At some point, someone had to address the root causes. To me, the Greens were the only ones willing to address these root causes.
(‘But Stein wanted to re-negotiate NATO!’ Yes, I disagreed with her on that. Clinton wanted DAPL and Obama deported 450,000 people. Sometimes we disagree with the people we vote for. Remember: lesser of two evils? That argument rests on the assumption that it’s OK not to support everything your candidate believes. Next.)
Democrats are the oldest political party in the United States.
What’s the holdup on liberalism? I thought it was time for a different tack.
I had no idea Trump would win, but neither did most Clinton voters. So my judgement shouldn’t be considered any better or worse than anyone else’s in that regard. My hope was that a strong 3rd-party showing would push the Democrats to actually tackle real problems (poverty), and not put a bandage on them (Race to the Top/Common Core).
Or, rightfully, a new party would form.
Because, you know, democracy. Our Constitution makes no provisions for political parties. It’s not about browbeating people into surrendering to your candidate. It’s about the People choosing a representative who represents them.
‘No one chose Jill Stein! The Green Party only runs for President every four years to mess things up.’
Well, which is it? Enough voters to influence the course of the Republic, but yet not enough to have their party taken seriously?
Is it because the Democrats and GOP control the election commission and make it impossible for smaller campaigns to even speak at debates?
Same concept: Liberal DC can’t get statehood because Republicans would never vote to essentially guarantee two Democrat Senators and a Representative. Likewise, the GOP and Dems decide to debate only each other, because allowing Libertarians and Greens (and others) would jeopardize their power.
It could be because the Green Party isn’t very hierarchical. There’s no giant machine creating memes and t-shirts and talking points that are then dumped on local precincts. The Party doesn’t have a lot of rules about who is allowed to speak, and when, and about what.
I admit. It’s not a great model when policies are expected to be expressed in 140 characters.
But should our democracy rest on advertising gimmicks or the deep analysis of ideas and data? For which version of democracy are you advocating with your vote?
I Vote for Principles, not Probability
I know voting isn’t like gambling. That I won’t win extra big if my horse is triumphant. I voted for the platform I believe in, not who I think will win.
The Green Party Platform is more representative of my beliefs than the Democratic Party Platform. And I read them both — plus the Libertarians,’ GOP’s, and even Evan McMullin’s. If you also did that and chose the Democrats, then you can respect my choice because you understand my process.
If you didn’t do all that, then politics is a sport for you. You’ll support your team no matter what, because that’s the way it’s always been. Of course, there’s no argument against superstition. You win.
In my particular state, Clinton would (and did) win by a landslide. Even if all the 3rd-party voters in my state had voted for Trump, Clinton would have still won the state.
This blanket blame of all third-party voters belies a fundamental misunderstanding of the Electoral College. But because I have that understanding and an average voter doesn’t, I can’t even begin to explain to them why voting 3rd-party makes sense.
It also seems a product of a particular political philosophy — that certain people have the ‘right’ reason to vote, and other decisions are stupid and immoral. Fundamentally, I believe everyone has the right to vote for whomever they want, for whatever reason.
That’s the point of democracy. In a true democracy, the People cannot possibly ‘mess up’ an election. That doesn’t mean that the People shouldn’t continue to protest and petition government, as is our First Amendment right.
To me, it seems that progressives, libertarians and liberals have more in common than do liberals and conservatives. And we all have more in common with each other than we do with Nazis. It would make sense to work together.
About the Author
Allison is a former history teacher and a natural jerk who tries to use her powers for good. Please ❤ this story and share it if you like it. Hated it? Tell me in the comments. And stalk me on Medium and Twitter. I need to feel important.