To liberals and progressives: know the difference between imperfect allies and actual enemies

Calling out bad Democrats and illiberal liberals is fine. Confusing imperfect allies with actual enemies is just mystifying and inexcusable.

Such has been and continues to be the case with some on the left.

Despite the stranglehold that Republicans have at every level of government, some on the left are doubling-down on the inexplicable idea that the way to reform the Democratic Party is not by joining it in order to move it to the left from the inside, but instead to remain outside of it and demanding purity and fealty first before they will grace the Party with their ideas, their efforts, and their votes.

That makes absolutely no sense to me.

For the record, I’m a life-long liberal. Until 2015, I was registered Non-Partisan. I registered as a Democrat that year solely for the purpose of voting for Sanders in the closed PA Democratic primary.

Let me be clear. I believe it’s fine – and necessary – to call out “bad” Democrats. I’ve been doing it for most of my life. There’s plenty of recent evidence in this blog site. Just search for words like ‘liberal’ and ‘Democrats’. You’ll see.

But to my fellow lefties who can’t seem to hate Democrats enough, let me say that for you to go on demanding from the outside that the Democratic Party change to your liking while also criticizing the idea that liberals and progressives should join the Party in order to actually change it from within is not only illogical, it puts you into a category of people who can’t seem to tell the difference between an imperfect friend and an actual enemy.

Democrats are not the enemy. No, they are not perfect. No one is, but they are the only major Party that represents progressive and liberal ideas and policies. No, not enough and not strongly enough for some, including me, but they do represent them.

When it comes to discerning friend from foe, don’t take my word or the word of someone on Facebook. Look up your favorite antagonist at GovTrack.us to see what bills they sponsor and support, how they vote, and where they are on the ideological spectrum.

Here’s the chart for recent Angry Buster target, Cory Booker.

Cory Booker

That grey dot on the extreme left is you-know-who. That’s right, no one is left of Sanders.

That doesn’t make everyone else in blue an enemy.

So, I ask anyone who thinks they can change the Democratic Party from the outside these questions.

What if all the “calling out” actually did force out present-day bad Democrats, what then? Let’s say you get your wish. Who replaces them if not members of the Party?

And, seriously, do you expect all the rank-and-file members and all the leaders to simply throw up their hands, fall to their knees, and exclaim, “Hallelujah, you are right! We are evil and wrong and bad. We abdicate! The Party is yours! Thank you for saving us!”

It just makes no logical sense to go on believing that somehow the Democratic Party will change if only enough people outside of the Party screech long enough and loud enough about how terrible the Democrats are.

I’ll add this. It requires an ego that rivals Trump’s to think that all that screeching will eventually convince enough people to also join up in throwing away their votes in battleground states because that “sends a message” to Democrats to be more like them, or else.

I have bad news for those folks.

No political party cares what 1% of the total electorate thinks.

The Democrats aren’t trying to figure out how to win 100% of the 1% who voted for Stein. They’re trying to figure out how to win more of the overall electorate in districts and states where it matters.

So, here’s my advice to the Greens, liberals, and angry Busters who hate Democrats and the Democratic Party:
If you want the Democratic Party to change, become part of it; otherwise, you’re leaving the Party to those who are part of it, and they’re going to go on without you and your ideas.

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#WWBD

To all of my fellow Sanders supporters, this ain’t the last election ever.

Cheer up, and start showing up for every election, from school board and town mayor to the president, and never vote for a Republican or their crazy cousins, the Libertarians.

Sad Sanders supporters

 

The lesson to be learned from this election is explained by Samantha Bee. This is probably the “most important” 7 minutes ever. (Watch the video. You’ll understand.)

 

If that lesson doesn’t sink in, watch part 2 here.

 

Like I’ve always said, if you don’t vote, you don’t get to bitch.

Ignore the Busters

Which brings me to how I plan to vote in November. I’m for Hillary now because Bernie has lost.

Making that decision known in certain online circles is akin to confessing to kidnapping the Lindbergh baby or being the second shooter on the grassy knoll.

It has resulted in former friends and fellow page admins resorting to calling me, “…a small man, cowering in the corner….”

 

BeTheWave name calling redacted

….as well as falsely accusing me of saying Sanders supporters are “losing their shit” – something I’ve never said – and being in support of a candidate that condones beating women to put them in their place, a statement that is patently false about Clinton and me.

BeTheWave slander redacted

(By the way, the video above never shows the Clinton supporter actually hitting the Sanders supporter with his cane, but if the left-wing Bill O’Reilly, Cenk Uygur, says it happened then it must be true. )

Where’s the Surprise Coming From?

Everyone gets to make their own decisions about what we think is right and best for America and ourselves, right? Isn’t that what the whole one-person-one-vote-kill-the-parties-and-superdelegates-and-electoral-college outrage is all about?

Well, in my view, that decision now leads me to support Hillary since Bernie is out. For that, I’m falsely accused of all sorts of irrational things.

Which brings me to this.

In my view, for the Busters to keep complaining about the nominating process and outcome isn’t helpful to them, to Bernie, or this country.

Look, I get it, and believe me, I’m not telling anyone what they can and can’t say. Remember me? I’m the guy the tyrants over at the current incarnation of the Coffee Party kicked out and wouldn’t allow to join again because I wouldn’t stay quiet about how they censor speech on their main Facebook page.

Stay angry and keeping fighting just as Lee Camp says. Just realize that it’s starting to sound more and more like sour grapes and childish whining, especially when some of you Sanders supporters call those of us who now support Clinton small and cowards and fans of violence just because we don’t agree with you.

 

It comes down to this simple truth. Bernie was not a Democrat until it became convenient for him to do so.

I can only shake my head in bewilderment over the outrage some of my fellow Sanders supporters still express over the idea that the DNC, the majority of rank-and-file Democrats, and the party apparatchiks all like Hillary better because……

SHE IS A LONG-TIME DEMOCRAT,
AND BERNIE NEVER WAS UNTIL IT SUITED HIS PURPOSES!

Who the eff did you think Democrats would prefer? You know, actual, card-carrying, been-here-all-along-where-the-eff-have-all-you-Busters-come-from-and-why-the-eff-should-we-turn-shit-over-to-you types of Democrats who make up the majority, yes majority, of…….wait for it…..the Democratic Party.

It’s their Party, not ours.

Seriously, whom did you think they’d prefer, one of their own or a usurper who would caucus with them but wouldn’t join them until it served his purposes?

Unwelcome Guests, Hero Worship, and Religion

Sanders supporters being mad at all things Democratic Party is like someone crashing your house party and then getting pissed off at you because you don’t let them move in and just take over.

So, yeah, I’m one of those Democrats of Convenience, too, just like Bernie. I registered after 36 years as Non-Partisan to Democratic so that I could vote for Sanders in the closed Pennsylvania primary. Their club, their rules.

Come November, like Bernie, I will vote for Hillary just like Bernie says he will because it appears to be the only logical and pragmatic thing left to do. It sucks, but that’s life sometimes. As Mick has sung for decades, you can’t always get what you want.

Super BernieSaint Bernard is not a superhero, he’s a politician with whom I happen to agree.

I don’t worship him as many of his more fervent followers appear to do. He’s not Superman or the Second Coming. All of this hero worshiping has gone from being admirable to fanciful to farcical.

It almost seems as if the Bernie or Busters behave in ways akin to religious zealots. They seem intent on turning “the revolution” into a religion with Bernie playing the role of their political L. Ron Hubbard.

That kind of thinking, in my view, is not a good thing.

So, barring some unforeseen set of circumstance, I’ll be voting for Hillary. As of today and according to RealClearPolitics, she beats Trump. With 4 months left to go, I can only see Trump doing more and more damage to himself, not less.

Yes, I’ll be promoting the idea that others join me in supporting Clinton, not because she’s my first choice, but because she’s the best choice left given how our politics operates.

If that makes me small or a coward in the eyes of some, all I can ask is WWBD?

 

#EmoProgs, you’re not helping

To my fellow Sanders supporters:

sanders-warren_min_wage
(Photo: Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call, published along with “Sanders and Warren Sign Letter Urging Obama to Get Behind ‘Fight for $15’ Movement” May 15, 2015, by Common Dreams)

If you’re among those attacking Warren for not endorsing Sanders, and if you plan to stay home, write in Bernie, or vote 3rd party if Hillary wins the nomination, I submit to you that you will be just as responsible for a President Trump as those misguided Americans who vote for him.

Before you get pissed off at me, please understand this.

I didn’t decide lightly after 36 years as Non-Affiliated to register as a Democrat so that I could vote in the closed PA primary for Hillary. I did it so that I could vote for Bernie Sanders. Jill Stein is actually my first choice, but it’s impossible for her to win, and a vote for her is just a vote that doesn’t cancel out a vote for the Republican. Yes, it’s shitty, but that’s reality. We live in a two-party system, and 2.7% of votes going to a third party every 4 years, in my opinion, will never change that. It can, however, impact outcomes as some complain that Nader’s 2.7% did in 2000.

I’ve been a harsh critic of Democrats and fellow liberals over the years when I’ve thought they’ve deserved it. (See here, here, and here for just a few examples if you need proof.)

This is one of those times.

There apparently are enough misguided Democrats – and, I suspect, a fair number of Independents like me now caucusing with Democrats – who support Sanders to such a degree that they are referred to as acolytes. They’ve even seemingly earned comparisons to the Tea Party movement and a name of their own: EmoProg.

I don’t see this going well for us liberals in November if so many of us have become so terribly misguided that there’s now a name for people who, among other things, think Elizabeth Warren is now the enemy.

Passion is great. Let’s continue to use it and do everything we can to help Sanders win, but please, let’s not leave a scorched Earth on the Left doing it. The Right is doing enough of that already, don’t you think?

Nader takes aim at Clinton, Sanders, Democrats in general, and apathetic voters overall

NaderRobert Scheer talks with Ralph Nader in this episode of Scheer Intelligence.

Ralph peels the onion like only he can. He blasts Hillary – and Bernie – for not being actual progressives and for actually being mostly just the Democratic version of political corporatists.

Hillary’s associations with Wall Street and her hawkish foreign policy is called to our attention.

Bernie is criticized for being too willing to too easily endorse the party nominee – assuming it will be Hillary – without demanding his agenda become hers and how that risks an all too frequent result for Democrats – the disenfranchisement his supporters.

Scheer makes his usual erudite observations. He and Nader draw our attention to how history reminds us of how we as ACTIVE citizens in the 60s and 70s could “scare” our politicians, even Nixon, into paying attention to us and our demands.

Equal rights. Voting rights. Environmental protection. Occupational and safety standards. Consumer product safety.

He points out, and I agree, that we’ve become complacent and mostly ourselves to blame.

Nader also blames Americans – and doesn’t spare Democratic voters – for being too willing to settle for what they think are the lesser of evils. When it comes to Democrats, Ralph thinks they win elections when they do win because they are “less terrible than Republicans” in the duopoly that is our current electoral process which also keeps third and fourth parties from being viable.

Ralph’s solution?

Step one: Get rid of the Electoral College.

Step two: Reform campaign finance laws to take Big Money out of the process.

Step Three: Start locally like the Tea Party did. Too many local elections are for candidates who run unopposed.

Ralph also says not to get discouraged. The tiniest number of us can make a big difference.

Even we Sanders supporters must not be too eager to wear rose-colored glasses about our guy. That said, I’ll gladly vote for any Democrat, even Hillary, over any Republican in any election anywhere.

What Costco has to teach the 99-percenters who think they’re Republicans

It’s not complicated. Every retailer, restaurant, and corporation in America can do what Costco is doing, but they don’t.

Costco

Why is that?

I think it’s because the people who own and run these businesses refuse to look beyond next quarter’s financial statements. Their thought processes, their vision, and their values don’t include ways to share their wealth with their workers.

They are greedy, selfish, sons-of-bitches who want us to think that’s just how capitalism works.

That also seems to be how today’s conservatives who are outside the 1% think, too. What other explanation can there be for why they think they are Republicans?

Conservatives Don’t Seem to Understand Reality

Costco clearly has leaders, a board of directors, and shareholders who are visionary and courageous enough to implement ethical and moral business strategies that are profitable AND which include a more equitable distribution of those profits to workers in the form of livable wages.

Contrast that with the lies we’re told by Wall Street, by Big Business shills like the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the National Restaurant Association and the National Federation of Independent Business, by libertarian mythologists like Heritage Foundation and Cato Institute, and by Republican politicians who keep claiming that trickle-down economics works, that we should abolish a minimum wage and leave compensation to market forces, and that government interference and over-reach are stifling business and our economy.

How is it that conservatives don’t get that all of that is, of course, complete and total bullshit?

How is it that conservatives who make less than $340,000.00 – what it takes to be in the 1% – insist on voting for Republicans and their failed policies which have ALWAYS been designed to benefit the rich and powerful first and foremost?

Liberals: Time to “Welcome Their Hatred”

We need leaders like Bernie Sanders who welcome the hatred of Wall Street and Big Money.

Compare Bernie

 

We need people like Lawrence Lessig as politicians who represent us and who are willing and eager to confront Big Money for their lies and their failures.

 

As individuals, we also must welcome the hatred of the rich and powerful. We need to find the courage to band together. We need to shine light on the fact that conservatism and Republican policy is to blame for where we are now as a nation and as a society.

More than anything, we liberals need to stop surrendering to the all-too-common liberal weakness of always wanting to find compromise.

No more compromises. It’s how we got to this sorry state of affairs. We let conservatives move the center further and further to the right by acquiescing to their demands and our own desire to avoid confrontation and conflict.

No more.

Liberals didn’t elect Reagan and two Bushes. Liberals didn’t cause banks to fail. Liberals didn’t demand that government shrink and corporations become less and less regulated. Liberals didn’t funnel all of the recovery and wealth to only the absolute richest among us.

We liberals need to continue to point out these and all the inconvenient truths that stem from conservatism (and its absurdly juvenile and greed-driven stepbrother, libetarianism).

Our fellow citizens who self-identify as conservatives need to hear from us whether they want to or not. They need to hear the truth; that they are also part of the ever-shrinking middle class and the ever-growing class of working poor.

They need to hear from us liberals that they are wrong – plain and dead wrong – for voting for ANY Republican anywhere and at any level of government.

They need to keep hearing it. Conservative (and much of libertarian) ideology that informs and drives Republican policies have unequivocally been proven to be dead wrong for everyone on every issue, and that includes economic issues. That is true, of course, for everyone except for the rich and powerful.

The Parties Are NOT The Same

It’s pretty simple and absolutely obvious. The GOP is the party of big business and the rich.

For those who are tempted to trot out the b.s. false equivalence that, “Both parties are the same,” save it. As far as I’m concerned, you’re second in line as the greatest obstacle to making real progress in this country. You give Republicans cover, and you need to stop it.

Number one on the list of obstacles are actually those Americans living in households with adjusted gross incomes of less than $340,000.00 per year who insist that they are Republicans and who vote for Republicans. I have news for them. They are not in the 1%. The conservatives in the 99% mean precisely nothing to Republicans except as useful fools who can be counted on to vote for them.

Organized Labor Is the Path to Prosperity

It’s absolutely stunning that conservatives aren’t banding together with the rest of us in the middle class in support of organized labor. History proves that stronger unions are the path to better and higher standards of living for everyone.

It bears repeating.

If you make less than 340-grand and think unions are somehow the problem and Republicans are the answer, then you not only don’t understand reality, you’re the biggest obstacle to prosperity we have right now in America.

So, how about it, conservatives?

How about you wake up and stop voting against yourselves and the rest of us?

You’ll thank yourself and, more importantly, so will future generations.

95 percent

——

Additional Reading:

Strengthen Unions

Wealth Inequality in America

Top 1 percent: How much do they earn?

Capital Eye Opener, March 8: The Fight Over Minimum Wage, and Rand’s Partisan Appeal

New Poll Shows Overwhelming Support for Major Minimum Wage Increase

Activists Around the US Fight to Raise the Minimum Wage