Being a liberal is very frustrating most of the time. The main reason for my frustration is that our end of the political spectrum includes people who are so ideological and absolutist, that they lose sight of reality and wallow in their anger instead of participating and making a real difference. The reality of our 2 party system eludes these people, they tell themselves that if they attack both parties that somehow a perfect, utopian candidate will emerge and save us from those evil Democrats and Republicans. It hasn’t ever happened, even though these folks have been trying for over 30 years. You can’t have a rational conversation with them either, they simply won’t accept that it’s either the Democrats or the Republicans who call the shots, that’s it an either/or political environment, no matter how much the blogs make them feel like it isn’t. I think it would be awesome if we had a third, viable alternative to the two parties we currently have.
The Republicans have organized on their right flank and created the Tea Party, which has given us all a lot of laughs and targets to write posts about, but so far the left hasn’t been able to do anything more than lob potshots at the current administration, kick and scream on the floor, take their ball and go home and act like adolescents who think they represent the real left, in the face of polls showing President Obama holding solid support from 55% of the public. His support among liberals is very solid, the base supports him almost completely, with the exception of a few with the loudest voices who keep trying in vain to convince the rest of us that we really don’t like him, we are all in denial.
I have to give the Tea Partiers credit for actually organizing at the district level, running candidates and building their movement from the ground up. Sure, they have a lot of support from the Koch brothers and others, but they are doing it at the district level and building their movement from the ground up. Do you see anything like that happening with the anti-war activists? I wish they would do more than just bitch and send around petitions, a lot of good all those petitions are doing in our two party system. Mobilize, run candidates in primaries or get off your asses and start a third party, run candidates, raise money and make a difference. But sitting on the sideline and purposely hurting the most liberal of the two parties is just stupid, short sighted and selfish.
They could try to change the party from within, but of course it just pisses them off when you suggest that. I suppose they think by sending around an ultimatum petition, that they are doing just that. Sure, that’s what politicians like, an ultimatum…it works every time, doesn’t it?
The story that prompted this rant is at The Raw Story, entitled “Hundreds of liberal activists pledge to oppose Obama in 2012” and the name of the link exaggerates a little more “prominent-liberals-pledge-oppose-obama-2012-supports-war.” Prominent? Really, I read the list of names and recognized like two of them, prominent? Regardless, here is a snippet from the story…
Hundreds of liberal organizers and anti-war activists have signed a petition pledging to oppose President Barack Obama’s renomination in 2012 unless he reverses course in Afghanistan and pushes for significant cuts to military spending.”We vow not to support President Barack Obama for renomination for another term in office, and to actively seek to impede his war policies unless and until he reverses them,” the pledge reads.
Someone explain to me how electing a Republican, the result of weakening the Democrat, is going to help their cause of stopping the wars. Do they think that a Republican president is going to be better. Have any of these people heard people like John Bolton calling for an attack on Iran? Have any of these people listened to the leaders in the Republican party who think we are in a holy war with Islam? Do they just not care? WTF, how can these people claim to care about innocent people when their actions will only serve to hurt more and more innocent people. I have to be cynical and suspect that they enjoy the fight, they probably even make money doing it. Why else would people who seem intelligent, completely ignore the consequences of their actions? To me it looks like they are willing to hurt people to further their cause. What makes these one-issue-voters any different than the abortion, one-issue-voters? Here is a piece from that article that spells out exactly what I said above, the whole head in the sand thing…
But Swanson (David Swanson) said he and the petitioners rejected the view that liberal activists should settle for flawed Democratic candidates and instead focus their resources on attacking Republicans.
“I think if you’re going to eliminate the use of party primaries to advance your interests, hold your nose for two full years, and then vote for someone who is against almost everything you stand for, but is just not as bad as somebody else, then you’ve really given up on democracy,” he said.
What makes this movement, well, it’s really one of those big mean petitions drives, just like any other fringe movement is the use of hyperbole and exaggerations to attract the fellow haters. The quote “vote for someone who is against almost everything you stand for” says to me that these people aren’t really Democrats or liberals to begin with. If the Democratic candidate “is against almost everything you stand for”, then I would surmise that you should probably pick a different party because if it that party really is against everything you stand for, well then, I’d say you are in the wrong party. I wish there was a socialist party that was strong and could compete with the Democrats and Republicans, I’d be there right along with them. But until that happens, we have to play with the rules we currently have. Unless you take your ball and go home.
I would argue that until we have a viable third party, you are giving up on democracy when you weaken the party that represents your interests better than the other. The Ralph Nader protest vote in 2000, how did that work out for those people? Did they get the liberal policies they believe in from Bush? Did they show them Democrats that they aren’t liberal enough? What exactly did they get besides 8 years of being able to bitch and live in their shallow little world where they can be martyrs. Personally, I worked my ass off for Al Gore so that we wouldn’t get the bullshit we ended up getting from 2000 – 2008. I can at least look back and say I did my part to try to prevent it, how about you Nader folks? I suspect a lot of the folks trying to bring down the Democratic party these days are the same ones who helped elect George W. Bush in 2000 and 2008. Thanks a lot, you selfish, idealistic asswipes.