Striving to arrive at some mythical center has decimated the middle-class. The problem is that a plutocratic control of both our government and media have allowed smoke and mirrors to reign. Progressives have finally honed the narrative.
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (AOC) posted a very enlightened tweet about the Radical Extreme Left that should give everyone pause.
Reminder of what people are calling the “radical, extreme-left agenda”:
- Medicare for All
- A Living Wage & Labor Rights
- K-16 schooling, aka Public Colleges
- 100% Renewable Energy
- Fixing the pipes in Flint
- Not Hurting Immigrants
- Holding Wall Street Accountable
For too long Progressives and Democrats were hesitant to articulate their message in its full glory. The Right would ridicule them as aiming for pipe dreams defining their policies as, tax-and-spend and the giving away of free stuff. Instead of fighting back on morality and ethics of progressive policies, placation by moving toward a mythical center was the order of the day.
Interestingly, the Right has always been projecting. After all, it is they who are more dependent on government, they who bust budgets, and they who weaken the military among the things they accuse Progressives of in the aggregate.
Bernie Sanders did what many on the Right have done successfully. He repeated a narrative ad nauseam. Repetition even if not true more often than not tend to stick. The difference is that Sanders provided a truthful and accurate description of the problem with a framework for solutions.
One of the reasons it takes the Left so much effort to get traction is because there is no real Progressive mainstream media outlet. Even MSNBC is governed by the tenets of navigating towards the mythical center. Krystal Ball recently laid a classic example in a recent interview.
ZEIT ONLINE: In 2014, you advised as a moderator of the rather liberal news channel MSNBC Hillary Clinton live on television from a presidential candidacy. Why?
Krystal Ball: Back then, we were in a major recession, middle-class jobs were lost, and the low-paid sector grew. The inequality rose and the people were angry. In this situation, a candidate like Clinton was out of place. She was deeply connected with American plutocracy, and I feared that she would take positions that were too entrepreneurial. At that time I already predicted that she would get the nomination and then lose the election. But such positions were completely unknown to MSNBC. Clinton was courted by much of the party party and the liberal media.
ZEIT ONLINE: Your TV monologue was then widely accepted. What were the consequences of your comments?
Ball: Clinton's people complained to my superiors. And of course, my station was very afraid of losing access to their election campaign camp. Exclusive approaches are the lifeblood of political journalism in Washington. I was never censored, but then I was given the requirement to submit all posts about Clinton to the head of the station before broadcasting. And, of course, that at least subconsciously influenced how and how often I commented on Clinton afterwards.
At that time the other unabashedly Progressive warrior, Elizabeth Warren sat out the election. But during that time she honed the message Bernie Sanders had been preaching for decades with a "capitalist twist" for current American palatability. She revealed the unfortunate truth at Netroots Nation 2015, there was no mythical center. American values are Progressive values.
Over the years she has become an unabashed Liberal. There is a segment within her speech that every American should listen to as it shows the values we share are more similar than many believe.
Elizabeth Warren proves with fact based data that most of the American population are in fact Progressives/Liberals. She used the examples of the passage of minimum wage increases in four states even in a year that was devastating for Democrats. Warren went on to enumerate progressive issue after progressive issue including student debt, election reform, Wall Street reform, and many other issues where irrespective of self-identification, Americans are progressive.
The Right was effective in demonizing the word Liberal and now the word Progressive. They needed to demonize the label because they knew what Americans' real values were. If they could disassociate values from the proper moniker, they could win with deception
From Medicare for All to the Green New Deal, Progressives ensured that these necessary policies take into account all of the externalities the Right would use as reasons to oppose. In other words, they addressed the social aspect of the policies' implementation including making the displaced whole and the ones usually left behind, an integral part.
The Democratic Primary remains crowded. Many know they do not stand a snowball's chance in hell of winning the nomination. Some persist because they have a message they want to promote and do not see anyone else promoting. Yang's Universal Basic Income comes to mind. But others like Michael Bennet and John Delaney are clearly on the Plutocracy's mission to navigate the leading candidates to the mythical center. Bennet became the Medicare for All hatchet-man complaining on Morning Joe. Delaney was figuratively slapped aside by Elizabeth Warren at one of the debates for promoting political inefficacy.
There are only a few candidates with a realistic chance of winning, And most of those are real Progressives. Going forward it is imperative that they do not allow politicians and operatives from the Right, let alone Democratic Centrists to upend the now well-honed Progressive narrative.