WHAT’S THE GOAL?
Hardly a day goes by on my Facebook newsfeed that doesn’t include a bashing of Democrats. And this by those who consider themselves liberals or progressives. This is deeply troubling.
For one thing, what other party has a chance of stopping the Republican power play that has brought us Trump? Some of my friends who post these tirades against Democrats like to believe that the Greens, or the Democratic Socialists, or Libertarians are a viable alternative to Democrats. To that I say, what are you smoking?
No third party has won a presidential election since … uh, never –
The last third party candidate to win a state was George Wallace of the American Independent Party in 1968, while the last third party candidate to win more than 5.0% of the vote was Ross Perot, who ran as an independent and as the standard-bearer of the Reform Party in 1992 and 1996, respectively; the closest since was Gary Johnson in 2016, who gained 3.3% of the vote running as the Libertarian nominee. The most recent third party candidates to receive an electoral vote were Libertarian Ron Paul and Yankton Sioux Nation independent Faith Spotted Eagle who received a vote each from faithless electors in 2016.
Oh, I get it. We’re tired of not getting the reforms we’ve championed for a generation. Corporations have become more empowered, not cut down to subhuman status where they belong. We need universal healthcare, an end to the drug war, and foreign policies that do not involve our military in 150 countries around the world. It’s a long list of disappointments for a generation of idealists.
Never mind the advancements Democrats have achieved in reproductive rights, gender rights, labor rights, healthcare, and minority rights, to name a few……..
Scores of other similar conclusions carry no water for the Bernie faithful. Every possible conspiracy against Bernie is held aloft as his supporters do their best to undermine the Democratic Party. “Oligarchy” is the buzz word for this angry cohort–any wealth that supports Democrats is evil.
It’s not just that the DNC subjected itself to unfavorable opinion doing what other political parties have done since the beginning of time. It’s that key figures from Clinton on down have been singled out for hate campaigns, arguably incited in part by Russian propagandists who have seized on any and all means to eviscerate the progressive movement in the U. S.
But why do otherwise intelligent liberal/progressive voters suddenly despise the Democratic Party?
It’s as if they don’t understand that the party is made up of local committees peopled by hard-working volunteers who elect local representatives to go to state conventions where decisions are made about the position of the party in that state. At the state level, delegates are elected to carry out the party’s wishes. These people then go to the national convention where they become active voters on the party platform……
The Democrats have done plenty to provoke progressive ire starting with the devastating 1968 Democratic Convention in Chicago where the party’s powerbrokers allegedly encouraged Mayor Daly’s assault on protesters, undermined the candidacy of Eugene McCarthy, and defeated the anti-war effort. The result was the election of Richard Nixon…….
Another big complaint about the Democrats — we’re not mean enough, not vicious enough, in fighting the oligarchs/conservatives/fascists of our day.
But none of that compares to the harm caused by Republican administrations, a list that needs no repeating here.
Nothing would please our adversaries, foreign and domestic, more than to convince us not to support Democrats.
What matters is the outcome. With the help of hate toward Democrats, we now have Trump.
Two factors must rule the end game in any political contest: (1) Which is the more progressive choice and (2) Which more progressive choice has an actual chance of winning. Compromise, whether we like it or not, is the bedrock of politics.
The choice is simple–move forward toward a better future (progressive) or step backwards toward a mythical ideal past (conservative).