It’s troubling to see what looks to me to be a failure of reason and logic whenever I see or hear fellow progressives claim that the Democrats and Republicans are all the same.
The two parties are not the same. Not even close.
My plea to fellow progressives is simple: Repeating it over and over and over again won’t make it true, either, so please stop it.
In fact, and in my opinion, repeating such an obviously false statement only HARMS progressives and our causes. Endlessly repeating that the two parties are the same only feeds into a destructive narrative in which harm is done to the actual and significant differences that are the critically important starting points for a truly progressive movement to be built upon. Repeating a false and harmful narrative only serves to erode and eventually destroy the cornerstones on which we can build a progressive movement.
I’m not saying don’t be critical of Democrats. We should be, we can be, and we must be, because, as it turns out, they are our closest allies in the reality that is the duopoly in which we live.
All I’m saying is that all one needs to do is to ask oneself if they are truly aware of the significant differences in tone, temperament, vision, representation, policy, and ideology on a whole host of topics.
These are the ones that spring to mind immediately for me.
- Climate change
- LGBTQ rights
- Equal pay
- Voter suppression
- Separation of church and state
- Gun laws
No, the Democrats are no prize and they certainly are not perfect, but they are nowhere near being the same as Republicans. That’s just silly.
Do I want more parties? Absolutely, but if the claim that Democrats and Republicans are the same is true, then a viable third party would, by the reasoning used by the claimants, only be a second party in a two-party system, no? Yes, we can overcome that by having lots of parties, but at some point reality must be considered. I don’t care if there are lots of The Rent’s Too Damn High parties all over the place, but they can’t and won’t be a factor. At some point, human beings seem capable of dividing into only 3, maybe 4, distinct tribes.
I think we progressives need to be very careful about demanding that an ideological and political bar be set at some level of purity and perfection that no one – not even Sanders – can hope to achieve.
Sure, we can start from scratch. Let’s first ask Jill Stein how that’s working.
Or, if we want to see progress in our lifetime and in our children’s lifetimes, maybe we ought to be working with our allies knowing they – and we – are not perfectly aligned on every issue.
After all, the only party that can hope to achieve any level of perfection is going to be a party of one.