Tuesday, July 13, 2004
Great Blog on How a Base Should Act in Power
Instead, from the liberal perspective, it's about convincing the so-called moderates of the party that liberal ideals and views are also political pragmatic.
This is a necessary step for us.
Even though there are enough liberals who have financially backed the Kerry campaign to show that we cannot be ignored, there aren't enough self-described liberals in the country to have earned the right to call the shots.
We cannot sit back and just expect Kerry to do what we want.
We have to go out into the country, make our case to the people, and show the Establishment how it can be done, so Kerry will want to do what we want.
The only thing I would add to this piece is that the progressive base needs to learn this lesson now and close ranks quickly. Postponing the convention, daily terror alerts, finding Bin Laden during the convention, the Bush administration will anything it takes to win. This isn’t the time for whining about Kerry "does not excite me" meaning in reality “does not agree with me on every position.”
Progressives love to “preach to the choir” and brutalize their elected officials when they have to move to the center to stay in power. We heap accolades on the urban Democratic progressive officials from safe districts who never have to compromise and then laud their dedication to principle. We then heap scorn on the rural centrist Democratic elected officials from red states who fight “tooth and nail” every two years to keep an arch-conservative from grabbing the seat. Don't believe me, go to Buzzflash and see the names they call Tom Daschle. He is holding on to a seat the Republicans should rightly have.
My bet is that many centrist Democrats elected officials who gladly move to the left if they could move their people with them.
The current Bush administration is a direct result of what conservatives did for the last twenty years to move the country right. Whether through control of the radio waves, think tanks, or Congress, the Republicans slowly and methodically moved the debate to the right. Progressives need to begin to recapture this ground, but understand it is counter-productive to continue their constant criticism of Kerry. When progressive grumbles that, “I’ll vote for Kerry, but only because I don’t like Bush,” they are in essence saying, “I don’t care that Kerry is more progressive than Clinton, I’ll only get excited about supporting a candidate who toes-the-line with my urban, fair-trade coffee drinking, REI wearing, Onion and Mother Jones reading, masters degree holding, point of view.”
This election is being fought in rural Rust Belt towns in Ohio, Iowa, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania. John Kerry is sympathetic to progressive values, but this election is about whether Bush or Kerry represents the mainstream values of Rust Belt residents. My apologies to everyone who does live in a battleground state, but this country has an Electoral College to elect a President, not majority vote.
Republicans win with depressed voter turnout. When you bash Kerry for not representing all your opinions or say how “you aren’t excited by Kerry,” you send a message to others that there is no difference between Kerry and Bush. You are being suckered into helping the Republicans win with their strategy to depress turnout.
Will anyone honesty on this blog claim there is no difference between a John Kerry administration and another four years of Bush in how America deals with civil rights, civil liberties, the environment, our national standing in the world, corporate securities regulation, court appointments, right to choose, health care, terrorism, etc.?
What is not to be excited about that?