I frequent a well-intentioning, or at least I used to think so, left-leaning website for political commentary and news. It claims to be a space for promoting and electing more and better Democrats. Members there who lean farther left than most voice their critiques of the national party apparatus and are called out for demanding purity by other people who are demanding blind allegiance.
When the national party doesn’t support or promote candidates those of us on the Left feel adequately represent us, we’re the ones held to blame when we don’t show up in great enough numbers to elect whoever we’re told to hold our noses for. Vote Blue No Matter Who™ is a ridiculous thing to say when the Democratic leadership supports an anti-choice candidate over a progressive one.
And don’t even think of leveling any critique whatsoever at Hillary Clinton. Period. Ever.
For me, personally, it was her flippant, boorish comment about the U.S.-sanctioned murder of Muammar Gaddafi: we came, we saw, he died; or her general willingness to justify war; or her closed-door Wall Street speaking events; or the deal her campaign and the DNC struck before the 2016 primaries to give the Clinton campaign control of the party; or the other deal to rig the primaries against Bernie Sanders. I refused to “hold my nose” and vote for Hillary and voted for Bernie instead, voting my conscience, as is my right. That’s a whole lot of stink to overcome by holding one’s nose.
Six years later, we’re still the ones to blame for her loss. She didn’t, and couldn’t do anything wrong. Hey, guess what? It’s 2022 and maybe it’s time to stop blaming Progressives for your corporate, establishment candidate’s loss.
Another popular target of the status quo, establishment Dems is the Youth Bloc. We could have nice things If the young voters would stop demanding purity and also held their noses and Voted Blue No Matter Who™. They’re derided as being selfish and only wanting to vote for candidates that will do something for them (i.e. address what they see as important, you know, like everybody else). Maybe if the Democratic party listened to and addressed the needs of the Youth Bloc, rather than lie to them for their votes and then only give excuses as to why those promises can’t be kept and tell them we’ll listen to you next time, they’d be more receptive to the candidates officially sanctioned for their voting pleasure.
But at what point will there really be enough breathing room to allow people the freedom to vote their conscience, rather than their peer pressure? When we have the WH, the House, and the Senate? We’ve been there before and we’re still here.
Also, this call to elect more and better Democrats includes the call to elect better Democrats. Until the DNC / DCCC / DSCC drops the stance that primarying incumbents is out of line, that’s a non-starter.
What we should be doing instead of bashing progressives, and the youth voting bloc, for electoral failures, is developing a platform more voters can rally behind, rather than just demand they Vote Blue No Matter Who™. Or worse yet, lying to them to obtain their vote then offer excuses as to why the promises can’t be kept. How can we not see that that turns people off?
If we want more people to vote D, we have to give them an actual reason to beyond “it’ll be worse if you don’t.” If that’s all we have to offer people, we can’t be surprised when they vote for another candidate they align with more or stay home.