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Wed Dec 2, 2015, 04:23 PM

 

Progressive Pragmatism versus Liberal Elitism [View all]

That is what this nominating contest boils down to, IMO. I am a long term activist and I recognize the 2 factions from decades of working side by side with liberals. The liberal elites have always been the minority, in my experience, even though they are often the loudest.

I think Bernie represents the liberal elites and Hillary represents the progressive pragmatists. She seems to think so as well, given her debate comment that she is a "liberal that likes to get things done." IME, the other faction doesn't get much of anything done, and that is why Bernie has so few achievements in his 25 years on congress.

Let me provide an illustrative example. We have seen, probably a dozen times at least, this claim by Bernie supporters that "Hillary sold fracking to the world." The liberal who wrote that article that is often cited here shows an elitist world view, IMO. By "the world" the writer actually meant Eastern European countries.

The writer also does not mention that Russia uses its oil and gas as a political weapon, and that every year when it gets cold they shut off gas and oil supplies to these countries, effectively black mailing them. Whether people in Eastern Europe are held under Russia's thumb, or even if they freeze to death for lack of a heating fuel is really of no concern to the liberal elitist. Their "liberal principles" are more important than the practical implications of fracking as a way to remove Russia's strong man tactics against poor European countries. The purity of their views is more important than the end result. IMO and experience.

Early on in this primary contest I had a back and forth here with a Bernie supporter who claimed that Dems like me were happy to throw issues under the bus. My argument was that progressive pragmatists put the whole agenda on the table and resolve as many as politically possible at any given time. Nothing is thrown under the bus -- politics is the art of achieving as much of the agenda as possible, and it takes political capital to do so, so you spend it where you will get the most bang for the buck. S/he was incensed by that attitude. But it really is how we move the agenda forward. Always has been in my 38 years of paying attention and working on issues. That's my view.

So that is why I believe the liberal elites, or purists if you prefer, value warm fuzzies over actually being effective. And that is why, in my view, that many folks like Bernie's proposals even if they logically know that none of them will ever pass even if he was elected. And they hate Hillary because she is a pragmatist instead of a purist or elitist.

Conversely, I favor pragmatic proposals that are achievable even if they aren't the ultimate liberal wet dream. I have been called a "republican" several times today and in the past by Bernie supporters for this view. But I am no less a liberal than his supporters.

I think that is the major difference that explains the extreme comments about Hillary and her supporters here. You just have a very different way of looking at politics compared to the majority of Dems. IMO.

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