Last week I wrote an article titled “Democrats and progressives won Midterm 2018: Here is how we keep the win.” Shockingly some thought the title was divisive. The title seemed collaborative to me. Whether we like it or not, American is a duopoly. One chooses a party that best accepts their ideology within its platform.
It would be disingenuous not to acknowledge there are two major factions within the Democratic Party. I summarize Democrats to mean Establishment Democrats and Progressives to mean Democratic Socialists. Some either hate or are scared of the latter term because of the successful marketing by the Plutocracy who chose to conflate the real meaning.
Some comments concerned me mostly because I believe many have not learned the lesson of 2010 and beyond.
First, there was this.
Screw this diary. The first sentence divides us, and even the title says “Dems AND Progressives.”
I haven’t like an Egberto Willies diary for a long time, and this tears it. This is still a Democratic site, and I call myself a progressive too on all issues, but I see an obvious attempt to drive a wedge between different elements among us and I fucking don’t like it. Put his diaries on column right, and not on this “official” position, where anybody can put diaries.
Responded by this.
I almost made the first comment with the same response. Always drives right at the wedge issues to further wedge the issue. We won as Democrats. Period. It’s so close to saying that if your a Democrat your a centrist neo liberal blah blah blah. Can’t have progressive views so the two words must remain seperate in title and heart.
Followed by this.
Egberto chastised the Democratic Party for two bloody years and repeatedly said we were not going to win with our current message. Then we won the House w/ a huge GOTV effort! What happened? I thought you predicted we were going to lose the midterms?
Daily Kos is becoming a joke. How many days or weeks will pass before you write about how Pelosi and company are already attacking progressives instead of Republicans? Common Dreams covered it; now Daily Beast does too: https://www.thedailybeast.com/dear-nancy-pelosi-and-house-democrats-why-are-you-embracing-trickle-down-economics
But Daily Kos is completely silent.
We manufactured wins in Texas by bringing down two of the most potent Texas Republican Congressmen with tremendous Republican Party Establishment support. We expanded the base by bringing out folk yearning for a message that resonated with them, a Progressive message.
In my County, Harris County, a bunch of Progressives from Swing Left, Indivisible, and Black Lives Matter mobilized District 7 by knocking doors, having town halls, and phonebanking on healthcare and more. We had Progressives like judge-elect William “Bill” McLeod spend his own money to create a countywide ground game the county Party Establishment only picked up after it generated excitement and its success was undeniable. We ferried Culberson out of there. A shocked evangelical pastor, one of the political makers in the state, could not hold back his emotions as he referred to Democrats as godless.
If one looks at the successes throughout the states, it’s clear we mobilized on decidedly Progressive messaging. It is ironic that we are making the argument today Democrats feared to make in 2010, 2012, 2014, and 2016. Imagine if we had not allowed Republicans to set the narrative because of our timidity to take a stance. We could have made the same cases in past elections that we are making now with conviction. When they spoke about throwing grandma under the bus, off a cliff, or about death panels, we should have come back with sanctioned murder by politicians, insurance companies, and others who supported the former system. When they spoke about socialized medicine, we should have had every Democrat traveling with contingents displaying how France, Taiwan, and Canada work with interviews from real people. But timidity and laziness was the order of the day. We can make similar arguments for many other Progressive tenets, from education to family leave, and many others.
I do believe most Democrats of in fact Progressives. Most Americans are. I’ve written about that reality several times. The issue is that many Democrats look at the values we want as unattainable, and instead of fighting for it, they start from a compromised position. Progressive’s wish to start from exactly where they are. The common ground is the values of most Democrats and Progressives. That being the case, our governing rule for coexistence is simple. Understand that we want the same thing. Agree to disagree on tactics. Give your support for any particular action each faction takes.
One less conciliatory note, however, there is a small faction within the Democratic Party, that is too close to the Plutocracy. They make our messaging more difficult because even though they are not as bad as the Republicans, they put business interests first instead of societal interests. We must earn their exit by showing them, as Beto O’Rourke almost did, that small donation can win the day.