We justifiably accuse the Right of living in a bubble. They create a palatable narrative that makes their reality edible. Many on the Left have that same affinity. We tend to bask in our sense of logic, education, and moral superiority. To be clear, I do believe the Left’s platform is morally superior to the Right’s. Our sense of logic in the aggregate is more realistic than theirs. And we firmly believe in more education for all. It is true that the Right does not emphasize education as it tends to create a messy electorate that does not fool easily.
Humans by nature try to insulate pain by building facades around that which aggrieves. Those on the Right refuse to accept that the demise of the American middle-class is a direct result of the folks they’ve elected over the last 30+ years. They bought into the notion that the other was responsible for their pain, the welfare recipient, the immigrant, the drug addict, the unemployed. Ironically, the reality is they were and are looking in the mirror and simply do not like what they see. For they are what they do not like. So they build a facade around the reflection they see.
But those on the Left have a similar problem albeit in a saner manner. The left has not been hungry enough. It has been too tolerant of the middle-class killing poverty-creating status quo. It has been too willing to accept defeat. Al Gore did not stir the pot after he won the popular vote but allowed machinations to give Bush the victory. Hillary Clinton won by three million votes but rarely speak out against a draconian undemocratic system.
The Left should have been consistently fighting the electoral college as a disenfranchisement engine. Everytime journalists speak about a Trump win or a mandate they should stay on the subject until those in the media relented to reality. The majority of Americans who voted for Hillary Clinton and Al Gore are just as valuable as the Americans who voted for Bush and Trump.
Many on the Left talk about changing the Progressive message to appease the white working class voter. I agree that we must message to everyone. Moreover, we must personalize our message to reflect each American’s reality. However, what many refer to as messaging to the white working class who continuously vote against their interest tend to mean message to them at the expense of everybody else. That is unacceptable. More than a new narrative, the white working class, the 52% of white women, the 15% of black men, the 30% of Latinos who voted for Trump need a political education. This statement is not intended to be condescending, but it is the reality. I have found no logical justification for any of these communities to believe Trump could possibly be the answer. I understand why the selfish businessperson would vote for him. But I don’t get it why even poor and middle-class racists would support him.
To be clear, irrespective of ideology, race, etc., our economics are intertwined. If we weigh other factors above our financial well-being, if we allow the necessary identity politics to cause us to vote against our personal economics, then the plutocracy will win. In fact, it is the reason why the plutocracy at this moment in time is winning.
Democrats are basking in Democrat James Thompson’s loss to Republican Ron Estes in Kansas. Mother Jones published the article “Why Democrats Should Be Thrilled About the Kansas Election, Even if They Lose.” Really? Kansas is run entirely by Republicans. Sam Brownback and his Republican cabal made Kansas the testbed for all Republican policies, from tax cuts to deregulation, and more. It has been a dismal failure. Democrat Paul Davis challenged Sam Brownback in 2014. Brownback beat Davis by 3.7%.
I interviewed a CEO who moved his company out of Kansas after writing a scathing op-ed, blasting Republican policies. Democrats should have used stories like these as a poster to a failed Kansas government. Stories like these provide an excellent educational basis. Republicans made an art of using isolated stories to confuse or misinform their base. So far Democrats refuse to use real stories or weaponize them as an education tool.
The Left needs to stop fooling itself. Over the last eight years, our lack of strategy decimated statehouses throughout the country. We do not have a deep bench of known Democrats. So far we are unable to win even when Republicans have proved to be abject failures. Yes, Barack Obama won. But he was the exception by the sheer force of his character and other circumstances. It is time to follow the lead of the newly active Progressive Left. It is a growing movement where even some on the Right are finding safe haven in groups like Indivisible.
Let’s stop drinking our Kool-Aid. Let’s get out there and work both on the streets and behind the scenes. Let’s educate the masses. Most importantly let’s stop watering down our Progressive values.