Any Democrat is better than any Republican any day, but especially next Tuesday

We need to make sure that Republicans never win another election. Ever. Anywhere. At any level of government, from school board and borough council to the President of the United States.

I know I’m stating the obvious, but here it is anyway.

There’s one and only one Party that, at the very least, is ok with and at so many levels have proven to be willing and eager to lay with the dogs of hate, bigotry, racism, homophobia, misogyny, xenophobia, and anti-intellectual science denial to name but a few of their unethical and amoral characteristics.

That’s the Republican Party.

Add to that Republican trickle-down economic, monetary, fiscal, and foreign policies that are detrimental to ordinary people and to the planet, and you have what must be the most toxic mix of ideology and policy the world has seen in about 80 years.

And while we liberals love to complain about “corporate Democrats”, let me suggest we grow the fuck up and accept the reality that on Election Day there is one and only one viable alternative to Republicans.

No, that’s not to say the Democratic Party is perfect or that it doesn’t need to change, so spare me that vapid silliness.

Of course the Democratic Party needs to be more liberal and more progressive, but we leftists need to understand the difference between imperfect allies and actual enemies, and that changing a Party does NOT happen on Election Day!

Did we learn nothing two years ago?

Do we all not agree that 2016 proved that elections have consequences?

Do we want to help to perpetuate the Trump scorched Earth because we just can’t bring ourselves to vote for some “corporate” Democrat?

Take it from this old liberal who has been registered Non-Partisan most of his adult life and who now regrets having voted for independent candidates in the past – it’s a vote for the Republican.

You can disagree with me, but you’d still be wrong.

Just know that if you call yourself a liberal, a progressive, or anything but a right-wing conservative and you cast your vote on the 6th for anyone but a Democrat, you will be held to account as part of the ongoing slide in this country toward despotism and ruin.

If, on the other hand, you want to throw the Republicans out of office on Tuesday, there’s one button to push. One. It’s the one with the ‘D’.

Anything else is a vote to keep or to put Republicans in power.

So, I’m angry enough to say it again. Grow the fuck up.

A third-party or write-in vote is not a protest vote.
It’s not even a wasted vote.
It’s a vote that fails to cancel out a Republican vote, and like it or not, that makes it a vote for the Republican. You will be held to account for that by the rest of us on the left who did what was necessary to put an end to Republican governance.

No, Democrats are not perfect, but they are not Republicans.

In 2018, that should be enough for anyone.

Progressives: This is your wake up call

To all my fellow progressives, liberals, wannabe social democrats, and disgruntled Bernie supporters:

Time (actually far past the time) for some tough love. Time for us to pull our collective heads out of our assess.

Republicans control everything because of us. Yes, us, and it’s probably not for the reasons you want to tell yourself. It’s not those evil corporate Democrats.

It’s you and me.

Here’s the reality.

1) I can’t vote for candidates who don’t run, and neither can you.

Stop insisting that the Democratic Party “give us” progressive candidates we want or else. It doesn’t work like that. Please stop making that idiotic demand. You’re making all of us look stupid. If you don’t like who’s on the ballot, run for office yourself; otherwise, please shut the fuck up about “corporate” Democrats controlling who is on the ballot. You need to vote for Democrats as the only way to beat Republicans. (I’m going to get to your roiling self-righteous outrage and indignation in a minute.)

2) Any Democrat is better than any Republican any day.

Does this even need to be explained? Do you honestly believe that Democrats and Republicans are the same? If you do, you need to know that is just about as intellectually dishonest a position as one can take. I’m asking you again to shut the fuck up because claiming that both Parties are the same is even dumber than believing that the Democratic Party hand-picks corporate candidates, or that you’re “punishing” anyone but the most vulnerable among us by self-righteously refusing to vote for a Democrat.

3) Less evil is always better than more evil.

When were elections ever not this choice? Seriously. I’ve been voting for longer than most of you have probably been alive. No, it’s not optimal, but what is in life? And, you need to pay very close attention to this – you will NOT change this reality by not voting or by throwing your vote away by not voting for the only Party in today’s reality that can beat Republicans, and that’s the Democratic Party. If this isn’t convincing enough, ask people in the LGBTQ community and refugee families and people of color and women and American Muslims and environmental activists and Planned Parenthood and just about anyone who isn’t an aging cisgender white Evangelical if they think Democrats are just as evil as Republicans.

4) When did a scorched Earth become a progressive value?

This one is especially directed at all my fellow middle class and doing-ok white liberals from the Baby Boomer Generation. Haven’t we fucked up this world enough already? Now you want to pat yourself on the back for not supporting “corporate” Democrats regardless of the fact that that just about guarantees more Republican scorched Earth? Is that the world we want to bequeath? We stay fat, dumb, and self-righteous in our suburban homes banging away on our keyboards and thumping our chests in so-called progressive Facebook Groups, too selfish and too egotistical to worry about others in distress today – right now – to do what’s necessary to salvage what’s left of this country and this planet by first stopping the Republican destruction.

5) We progressives and liberals continue to be our own worst enemies thanks to our inability to unite.

Instead of banding together to defeat Republicans, we waste our time and energy arguing with each other about who “deserves” our vote and how we need to “punish” the Democrats for not being progressive enough.

There are no perfect progressives.
There are no perfect candidates.
If there are any, they aren’t running for office where I live.

We need to start voting in unity in every election the way conservatives do. It’s the only way to defeat Republicans, and that’s all that matters in November. Nothing. Else. Matters. Now.

We can only move this country toward a more progressive future by first defeating Republicans the only way possible, and that’s to vote for Democrats.

That is how we start winning battles.

That is how we win the war.

Then we can go back to arguing over who is the more corporate and who is the more progressive politician.

Puritanical liberals really piss me off

The following was posted today in a closed Facebook group in response to a post I made about an NBC News/WSJ poll that shows that 81% of Republicans support Trump.

Original Coffee Party post

I have to say that I’ve grown pretty sick and tired of this sort of bullshit from my fellow liberals.

The following is my response to the OP.

Thought it was worth sharing with a broader audience than just the closed FB group. Would like to hear what you think.

—-

Man, that is some tortured reasoning in the face of the facts, <NAME REDACTED>.

Look, I’m as liberal as anyone, and I want what you want, but when are you going to give up the purity tests, give up blaming the Democratic Party, and realize that on election day you can’t always get what you want?

The Democratic Party prefers losing elections? That’s absurd, and I suspect you didn’t mean it literally. Besides, I know you know that Clinton beat Sanders and Trump by 3million votes each. I know you know that nationwide Democratic Senators and House Reps tallied more votes than Republicans.

And, you want to blame the Democratic Party for not fielding candidates you want?

Voting Americans were very clear in 2016 about whom they preferred. Democrats.

Yes, yes, the two party system is corrupt and beholden to big money. Yes, yes, campaign finance and electoral processes are rigged.

And, what you complain about is a, “….Democratic Party <who> is unwilling to put forward candidates for public office that will serve the American people.”

The American electorate – a majority of the American electorate – doesn’t see it that way.

Yes, yes, what about all the voters who have given up and don’t vote? I say fuck ’em, just like I say fuck off to Flake and Corker. They aren’t courageous, they’re cowardly. If they had any balls and were truly committed, they’d campaign against the buffoon and his flavor of Republicanism even if it meant losing reelection, but I digress.

Of the many reforms we both (I think) want to see is the elimination of the electoral college. I’ve sent Lessig some money. He’s actually doing something about it. And even though they’ve hit their fundraising goal, here’s the link. Hope everyone reading this will kick in and pitch in however they can.

https://equalvotes.us/

<NAME REDACTED>, I believe you to be a thoughtful, intelligent, and caring person, but this demanding that the Democratic Party apparatchiks……what??……meet up in their secret mountain lab to stitch together pieces of candidates to create some kind of pure-enough politician that you can support really is maddening.

What, exactly, do you want from them? Even better, who would make you happy running as a Democrat? Who would be pure enough for you? Elizabeth Warren? Bernie again? Who? And, what are going to do if you don’t get your way again, throw in the towel? Throw away your vote so a Republican vote isn’t canceled out. Yeah. That’s what has to happen in the end. Republican votes need to be canceled out.

As for this endless lamentation about the two party system, I’m with you, but I have to ask again, what do you want and from whom do you want it? You think the Democrats aren’t doing enough? Why would they, and have you seen the other side? Shit, the GOP is literally setting ballot access and voters’ rights back 50 years!

And corporatist Democrats are too distasteful?

Honestly, man, the 2016 election has opened my eyes wide in lots of ways. One of them is why conservatives hate us and mock us.

What we collectively seem to be really good at is whining and complaining about all kinds of injustices while we collectively refuse to basically take one for the team – meaning, society at large.

We refuse to actually do what is pragmatic and possible. Instead, what we seem to be really good at is shaking our self-righteous fists at “the system” from the comfort of our laptops and middle class homes while all the groups of causes and people we are supposed to care about – the environment, economic inequality, refugees, immigrants, the poor and working poor, LGBTQ, women, minorities, and on and on – all get left to Republicans because we can’t bring ourselves to vote for those so-called “corporatist” Democrats until they give us the perfect politician.

Who’s perfect? If that’s the standard, then get used to conservatives running things while liberals do what we seem to do best; hold fast to our ideological purity regardless of the consequences to others.

This isn’t about being politically correct or less of a man. #DearDaddy

Everyone needs to watch this video so that the next time someone – almost invariably a man – tells “a harmless joke” or makes even a vaguely derisive comment “only in jest” about women and girls, perhaps you’ll remember this video and muster the courage to tell that guy that that’s not acceptable. Not to you. Not to half the human population.

I don’t know how, but some people might watch this video and not be moved. Others may watch it (and read these words) as just more liberal bullshit about being politically correct.

They’ll be wrong.

The issue of violence against women isn’t about being liberal or conservative. It’s not about political correctness. It’s about how we raise our boys into men, and how we men then think about and treat girls and women. It’s about the example we men set for our boys and the rest of society. It’s about whom we choose to be our political leaders, and whom we choose to follow as cultural and spiritual leaders.

It’s about how we men want to influence and to help shape a world in which our daughters, our sisters, our wives, and all women must also live.

I don’t know how anyone can deny that violence has at least some of its roots in the morals, values, and ethics we as adults use in raising our children. If that’s true, then violence against women, therefore, must also be rooted to some degree in how we adults – again and in particular, we men – teach our boys right from wrong.

Given that, doesn’t it seem reasonable to conclude then that what our society ultimately values comes from adults who once were children, and that what those adults come to value has its roots in some significant way from what was learned as a child? After all, that is the influence we as adults hope to have on our kids, is it not?

That’s why I think it’s important to acknowledge that it’s not just what we try to teach our boys when it comes to their thinking and attitudes about girls. It also is about the actual examples we men set in our day-to-day lives.

I say with complete confidence that we men want to believe that we’re doing our best. We teach what we think and believe to be right; however, we need to be even more cognizant of the fact that what we *show* our boys everyday through our words and our deeds has a huge influence in what they learn as acceptable and admirable traits and behaviors.

Now, some men may complain (as certain kinds of men all too often seem to do these days) that they are being put upon yet again by society and by liberal ideals of political correctness. They may complain that they’re being told what to do and what to say and what to think.

They may even watch the video and think, “That isn’t me.” They’ll say to themselves. “I wasn’t that boy growing up, and I’m not that guy now.”

That may, in fact, be true on varying levels, but the experience of 50-plus years tells me that all of us men have at least some measure of responsibility, at the very barest of minimums, for giving cover to misogyny by staying silent in its presence.

I don’t personally know any men who have physically abused a woman. What experience tells me, though, is that it would be the rare male indeed who hasn’t made a joke or used an ugly pejorative like whore or cunt when referring to a girl or woman. Sadly, that includes me, and so to all of the girls and women I’ve hurt with my words, I am sorry for the pain I caused.

To any men chuckling at the idea of issuing this kind of public apology, let me say this. It can’t possibly make up for the harm caused, and it doesn’t make me any less of a man. In fact, I believe that what it does is to make me more human. To those men who may still be snickering, I hope you’ll rethink your reaction. I don’t care if you laugh at me. I just hope you’ll think more about changing your attitudes and behavior going forward toward women.

I truly think that we men need to abandon our antiquated notions of “manhood.” We need to reconcile how we deal with human emotions that cultures the world over have been intent on breeding out of us over millennia; emotions like kindness, empathy, compassion, tenderness.

Young men like my son give me hope. His recognition and understanding of problems like violence against women is proof that men of the 21st century are looking at things differently. That’s good news because, honestly, I don’t have nearly as much hope for my fellow Baby Boomers. Not enough of us seem willing to acknowledge our faults, our responsibilities, and the need to evolve and grow in our thinking about so many things.

And, I hate to say it like this, but the other good news is that we Baby Boomers won’t be around and in charge much longer. I say that because I see it with my own eyes on a daily basis. Say what you will about the Millennials, but they didn’t fuck things up. We Baby Boomers have done that.

When it comes to questions about violence against women – and so many other issues that affect women, like a woman’s right to have an abortion and that laws should require women to be paid the same as men – the men of the Millennial Generation are showing that they have a far greater and stronger grasp on the source of our problems and what to do about them than we Baby Boomers. They have the courage to acknowledge the reality of cultural misogyny that previous generations have created. To their great credit, they aren’t willing to accept it as the norm.

Look, it’s simple reality. Women don’t attack themselves. Women don’t rape themselves. Women don’t brutalize or ridicule themselves. Men do that to them.

Yes, and to be sure, it’s not all men. I’m not saying that it is. I’d like to think that it’s the tiniest percentage of men, but it’s men nonetheless, and any percentage above zero is too many men.

What the rest of us men must do is stop giving them cover.

Unless we start when our sons are young; unless we set good examples for them to follow as they grow; unless all the rest of us men who aren’t physically abusive and violent to women are willing to speak up against written and spoken words that are misogynistic and the first possible steps toward violent behavior, then we’re really not doing enough to reduce the risks that some men represent to our daughters, our wives, our sisters, and to all women.

This isn’t about being politically correct or less of a man.

It’s about us being real men in ways that make women safer and which help to make us a more modern and peaceful society.

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