Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Would You Like the Democrats to be More Progressive? Listen Up!

Democrats need to be more progressive, dear Preston? 

Somewhere, somehow I got involved in an online discussion with someone named Preston.  Unfortunately, the origin of this is lost in the depths of the World Wide Web, but this was my answer when "Preston" (or anyone) complains about the Democrats not being "Progressive" enough:

"Preston, look, you and I would like the government to be more progressive.  We would like the Democrats to pursue more progressive policies, right?  I'm with you on that, yet I completely support.. and I will to the end of the Earth... Obama and the Democrats.  I grew up in a staunchly conservative town.  I know how these right-leaning people thought.. and still think. 
I have actually supported Republicans at various times for various races.  At other times in my life, I have have considered myself a middle-of-the-road independent.  Now I consider myself a PRAGMATIC Progressive Liberal Democrat.  Notice that I capitalized the word PRAGMATIC.  I'm from Illinois and I followed Obama's political career from the first time I heard his name and wondered who he was.  I was not a big Obama supporter and I'm not sure I voted for him in 2004.  I may have left that race blank when I voted.  I did see Obama as more of a liberal than he has shown himself to be while President. 
BUT after the Republican fiasco of 2000 through 2008, I KNOW that the only way that we can get this country back on track is to knock the Republicans out of contention as leaders of Congress, as leaders of the country, and as leaders of most of the states.

We have to somehow reclaim the public debate that right now has been overwhelmingly taken over by the right-leaning people and groups.  Racism, distrust of government, free speech being equal to being rich, hatred of the poor and the unemployed, being convinced that anyone who needs government services is a  "slacker" or a "fraud" who is stealing "my" tax dollars", on and on... A HUGE segment of the population follows right wing dogma.  That's a big reason why Obama seems to have taken a "right turn".  That, plus the realities of getting bills through Congress and into law.  That's the reason that we can't get any more progressive policies into government, not that Obama and the Dems aren't progressive "enough".
Until we somehow WIN OVER a bigger chunk of the population of this country to understand and support more progressive policies, and until that is reflected in the Congress, we won't get solidly Progressive policies from Democrats.   Progressives have often been marginalized NOT by mainstream Democrats, but by the overwhelming right wing rhetoric that is so strong in so many places that it seems to have taken over this country. 
Preston, our mutal and real "enemies" are the racist and hateful conservative forces that are in control of the House of Representatives and much of the media.  All of this anti-Democratic rhetoric from people that like Sanders and Warren (but don't like Obama and Clinton) plays right into the hands of these conservatives.  Remember that Warren is a Democrat who votes with the Democrats almost ALL OF THE TIME. Remember that Sanders is an independent who caucuses with the Democrats and votes with the Democrats almost ALL OF THE TIME.  They understand how politics works in this country, and they KNOW that they have more in common with mainstream Democrats than with the Republicans who are desperate to push this country back to the hateful policies of the 1800's.   
Meanwhile, we can't let the perfect be the enemy of the good."

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