You Can’t Push a Party Left While Defending Their Every Move
Please stop treating any & all criticism of Democrats as ‘both parties are the same’ rhetoric
You might forgive Democratic supporters for being a little defensive. They’ve been hearing ‘both parties are the same’ for a while now. After four years of Donald Trump, anyone still saying that does sound pretty foolish at this point.
However, that does not mean the Democratic Party is everything that we need it to be, and as long as its supporters, in their defensiveness, refuse to acknowledge the party’s shortcomings…it never will be.
Let’s start with the obvious. Democrats are every bit as beholden to big money special interests as Republicans. People can justify that by saying unions aren’t as bad as corporations, but that’s a pretty hollow argument when police unions actively block many of the reforms liberals claim to want.
There is no ‘good’ special interest money. It is poison, and saying union poison is okay because it won’t kill us as quick as corporate poison is just as silly as saying both parties are the same.
It is also possible to point out that Obama deported more people than any president before him, helping pave the way for the horrible things Trump has done in regards to immigrant families and children, without equating the two.
Similarly, pointing out the hypocrisy of liberals condemning Trump’s actions in the Middle East while turning a blind eye to Obama’s drone strikes is saying that neither party has much claim to the moral high ground, not that both parties are the same.
Nor is anybody wrong who says that Obamacare is a mess, or that Democratic infighting and failure to recognize Republican obstructionism led to a law that is woefully inadequate. It also does not mean that the person saying this is necessarily giving the Republicans a pass for their hypocritical opposition before, during or since.
What the Republicans have done may be worse, but it still doesn’t excuse Democrats from entrenching a broken system when they chose to make incremental changes to that system, rather than replacing it with something better. It certainly does not absolve them from squandering a golden opportunity and wasting the supermajority they were given because some of their members couldn’t buck the will of campaign donors long enough to do the right thing.
The fight to defend Obamacare over the past decade may have been necessary in the face of the Republican alternative, but it has also ensured that few lessons were learned, despite the abundance of opportunities to do so.
None of these things mean that Obama and Trump are the same, and most of us can agree anyone saying that is kidding themselves. That doesn’t mean that these people are the only ones whose emotions are blinding them to the truth.
What all these criticisms (and others) do mean is that the Democratic Party has a long way to go to be a party whose actions match the values that they and their supporters claim to hold.
So long as those supporters continue to place tribe ahead of values, nothing will change. So long as they continue justifying the party’s actions because they are less worse than that of Republicans, the Democratic Party will never come close to acting on the ideals they espouse.
Both parties may not be the same, but neither is close to what this country needs right now.
Originally published at https://www.equalityofopportunity.com.