Bjorn AgainstBjorn Against's Journal
It has long been the claim of pundits that in order for the Democrats to win votes they need to move to the "center", politicians who in years past identified as DLC and today identify as Blue Dogs or Third Way like to say they represent this center but do they?
No they do not.
It is true that many voters identify as centrists or moderates, but when they say they are moderates they are not saying they want a government run by people who take money from big corporations. They are not saying they want to cut regulations on big business. They are not saying that the Democrats need to move to the right. They are not cheering the TPP or dismissing NSA spying.
The truth is that most people who call themselves moderates are not all that political, they are not the Joe Lieberman type of idealogues who view everyone to the left of them as the extremists pundits would like to pretend they are.
Generally the moderates among the general population are not all that political but they do share some common values with those of us who are. They want decent wages, they want business to treat them fairly and they want government to ensure those businesses do not rip them off, they want access to health care without destroying their budget, they want clean water to drink and clean air to breathe, they want good public schools to send their kids to, they want their roads kept in good maintenance, while they are not all that political they do want a lot of the same things that progressives want.
Every election we are told we need to move right to capture these moderate voters, but we don't need to move right to win their votes we simply need to communicate our common ground with them because there is a ton of common ground. In fact I am convinced that progressives have far more common ground with the moderate voter than Third Way politicians do, moderate voters care more about the day to day problems they see in society than they do about the crap being pushed by corporate funded politicians.
The people who call themselves moderates in national polls are usually a lot different than the politicians in Washington who call themselves moderates, we need to stop allowing the pundits to pretend that moderate voters won't vote for Democrats unless they move to the right.
Tonight I went to attend a speech on the civil rights struggle in America, ironically that speech was delivered by a woman who is directly responsible for some of the worst civil rights abuses in American history. Condoleeza Rice was paid $150,000 to give a short speech pretending that she was a civil rights leader so a few friends and I decided that we needed to have people in the crowd to remind people of the civil rights violations that Condoleeza and the Bush Administration are responsible for.
That is why we decided to attend Condoleeza's speech wearing orange jumpsuits and black hoods. There was no photography allowed in the auditorium, but we managed to sneak in an opportunity to snap a somewhat blurry picture.
I thought I would probably be kicked out of the auditorium before I even made it to my seat, but security gave us a brief warning at the door that they would not tolerate disruptions and then let us move towards our seat. We did get stopped by another security officer who said we could not wear our hoods because of post 9/11 security policies and they told us if we covered our face we would get kicked out. We removed our hoods until we made it to our seats, but then we put them back on and security did not ever confront us about it again.
When Condoleeza Rice took the stage we stood up and turned our backs to her while others were applauding, we then sat down to listen to her try to pretend she is a liberal. While she did open up her speech with a major lie in which she claimed the 9/11 hijackers were from Afghanistan when in reality they were actually from Saudi Arabia, I shook my head in disgust. She quickly moved away from foreign policy however, in fact I don't think the word "Iraq" even escaped her lips, no instead she spoke about civil rights and education. She talked about growing up as a black girl in the South and addressed the issue of racism. There was actually not much to disagree with her on in this area, she was saying some things that actually sounded fairly progressive and if people did not know her real record they probably would have been very moved by her speech.
She did not talk about all the children who were killed by the bombs that were dropped on Iraq, she did not talk about the people her administration tortured, she did briefly mention the Black Sites but tried to pretend that she never supported them, she ignored the numerous civil rights violations of the administration she worked for and instead tried to portray herself as a civil rights activist rather than a civil rights violator.
Condi is a very good speaker that can make herself look really well on stage, but she is also a huge fraud that tries to pretend she is a much better person than she actually is. This speech was clearly intended to make her look a lot more moderate, it convinced me that she wants to seek political office in the future because she was clearly making an effort to move towards the center and even reach out to liberals. She is a very dangerous person and I hope that if she does run for office people remember her real record, she is no civil rights leader, she is a war criminal.
We hear a lot from the "pragmatists" about the importance of accepting political reality, because the pragmatists like to talk about reality so much I think it is fair to take a look at whether or not they truly have a grasp on the reality they like to insist they are in touch with.
I remember the lead up to the Iraq War and I remember watching the pragmatists rallying behind Bush to show bi-partisan support for the war. Many of us in the progressive community loudly objected to the rush to war, but we were dismissed as the "far left" and our love for our country was called into question. Those of us who did not believe the administration's claims on WMD's were dismissed as conspiracy theorists, while the so-called pragmatists insisted that the Bush Administration's case for war was rock solid.
Well it turned out the pragmatists were not so pragmatic after all and they helped Bush in creating what may well be the worst foreign policy disaster in American history. Thousands of Americans dead, hundreds of thousands of dead Iraqis, trillions of dollars in depleted treasury, and our nation's reputation in tatters. That is what the policy that the "pragmatists" told us we should support gave us.
Then there is the issue of marriage equality. Just a few short years ago the pragmatists called support for gay marriage a far-left extremist position, they insisted that advocating for such a thing would guarantee the Republicans election victories for years to come. Well it turned out that support for gay marriage was not as extreme a position as the pragmatists insisted it was and now gay marriage is legal in a number of states and it is looking more and more likely that it will be legal across the nation.
Then there is the issue of marijuana legalization, just a few years ago those of us who talked about this were often ridiculed by the pragmatists who insisted that promoting legalization would not only make us all look like pot heads but also create a society filled with mass drug addiction and higher crime rates. Well guess what? Two states have now legalized pot and the massive problems that were predicted never came to pass, now people across the nation are saying they want legalization in their states as well. Once again, the pragmatist policy proved to be not nearly as pragmatic as they thought it was.
There are a number of other "far left" positions that the so-called pragmatists tell us that are not realistic to push for. They tell us single payer health care is not realistic despite the fact that many other countries have adopted it and most Americans want it. They tell us that fighting back against the extremists in the NRA is not realistic because it will cost us votes despite the fact that in the last election candidates with F ratings from the NRA outperformed candidates with A ratings. They tell us that calling for an end to NSA spying is not realistic despite the fact that most Americans value their privacy. I call bullshit to all of it, the arrogance of the so-called "realists" in continuing to pretend they have a better grasp on reality than the rest of us despite the fact that they are wrong so often needs to be called out.
The pragmatists are not nearly as pragmatic nor as realistic as they claim to be, it is time to stand up for what is right and stop letting people who have been wrong so many times tell us what is and is not realistic.
Profile InformationMember since: Mon May 22, 2006, 06:07 PM
Number of posts: 12,041
- 2016 (22)
- 2015 (30)
- 2014 (16)
- 2013 (21)
- 2012 (8)