The strangeness of "progressivism"
On Tuesday night, Democrats achieved a signal victory in Georgia. The Democratic candidate in a special election, Jon Ossoff, won 48% of the primary vote, the largest percentage of any of the candidates. This was to replace Tom Price, now serving the Trump regime. This was also noted "dumb person's idea of a smart person" Newt Gingrich's old seat. The GOP has held this seat for three decades. This was an amazing achievement, and I wouldn't put it past Ossoff and the Democrats to pull off a victory in the run-off in June.
However, not all is rosy on our Democratic ranch. I direct your attention to the tweet below.
Yes. Arbiter of All That Is Progressive Senator Bernard Sanders of Vermont declared from his throne that Ossoff was not a "progressive". Why? Who knows! Maybe he doesn't want to frogmarch banksters into court. Maybe he doesn't want to impose 91% marginal tax rates. Maybe he's just not that into Bernie.
But notice what that quote states. For Bernie, the threat of the rich is paramount to determining "progressiveness". What isn't? Look below.
Look. I get it. Most of the country isn't Inglewood, California, or Prospect Heights, Brooklyn. I began this essay with the title "The Big Tent and the path forward". And I'm willing to hold my nose and hope Heath Mello wins that Nebraska seat, because more likely than not he will be with us more than against us.
However, it's illustrative that Sanders focuses on just one aspect of Democratic politics. He is a one-note Johnny. He sees Wall Street as the locus of all evil in our Republic. And that's just not the case.
I will say this now, and I will say this proudly: I am NOT a progressive. I am a LIBERAL. A dyed-in-the-wool, suckled-at-my-mother's-teat liberal. The Great Satan Ronald Reagan, much to our detriment, made "liberal" a dirty word. So we developed "progressive" to replace it. Pardon my language, but fuck that shit. Liberals have achieved anything of worth which has happened in this country. We brought Social Security. We brought Medicare. We brought civil rights.
But we are an ahistorical nation. We don't remember what happened last week much less fifty years ago. We don't remember the great things which the Democratic Party has done. Has the Party made mistakes? Damned right it has. But if you can compare a Democratic Party which strives, however imperfectly, to perfect the Union, with a Republican Party which sinks further and further into a cesspool of pathology, and consider them to be the same, then the problem isn't with the Democrats, but with your blinkered view on life.
I'm for the Big Tent, as the following two tweets illustrate:
As a Democrat in California, I would never vote for someone like Joe Manchin. However, were I the same person in West Virginia? Damned straight I'd vote for him. Kamala Harris is not going to win in that state. We take who we can, and build from there.
What Sanders wants to do is to turn the Democratic Party—of which he is not and never will be a member—into a hard-left party. And make no mistake: hard-left only in an economic sense. As seen from his support of Heath Mello, core "progressive" values like reproductive rights are fungible, cast aside in the battle against Wall Street. Everything must bow to his economic absolutism. No compromise can be made with that. What he doesn't realize is that most of us can see no compromise with the values of inclusiveness, minority rights, women's rights. Economics are only one part of the Democratic agenda; Sanders wants to make them the sole raison d'etre of Democratic politics.
Bernie Sanders isn't "authentic". Bernie Sanders isn't "real". Bernie Sanders is a failed politician, who has never been able to enact any of his ideas, because he doesn't know how to play nice with others. Politics is the art of the possible; Sanders wants everything his way or not at all. And this non-Democrat wants to bend the Democratic Party to his will. The only party which has, over the the past half-century, actually stood for the "progress" in progressivism. Because he can't stand the notion that maybe he doesn't know what he's doing.
Keep your "progressive". I'm a liberal
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