Calling progressives divisive is an invitation for an argument.
For far too long the true progressive wing of the Democrat Party has gotten a bad rap. We are either mean, abrasive, or just plain wrong for supporting our pie in the sky policies. This is primary season and it’s important to support our favored candidates, nobody should be shamed for this. It’s also important that we advocate for the issues we support, holding candidates responsible for taking positions on those issues and pledging to follow through with legislative action.
Many candidates are flawed and it’s fine to point this out. It is preferable though for our movement that we do it tactfully. Even though they think we come off as abrasive we must not encourage that idea. If a candidate has flaws and a progressive displays them, that is not being divisive. It’s usually best that these things come out prior to the caucuses. We must remember that for many mainstream Democrats their fear of losing to Trump causes them to worry more about electoral politics than doing what needs to be done for the country. We must also remember that the policies we support are supported by the majority of Americans, and believe in the democratic process enough to trust that the candidate that supports our issues will be elected in a landslide.
The myth of the progressive thug must be battled against at all times. The worst of these being the Bernie Bro myth. If you are a progressive and state your opinion, chances are people might think you’re a Bernie Bro. Firstly not all Bernie supporters are male, this is a sexist trope. Many feminists spoke out against this meme but were ignored. On top of this, it was later proven that the “real” Bernie Bros weren’t real at all, but actually part of the Russian election meddling. This however doesn’t explain the similar origins of the Obama Boys. We see regular attempts by the mainstream media to dismiss the progressive movement as insignificant, and we must not let them stand.
For moderates and centrists that are reading this you must understand that the policies that Warren and Sanders are proposing are life altering. We don’t want politicians obfuscating a prescription for all plan and Medicare for All, or watering down the Green New Deal. There are activists and volunteers literally fighting for their lives to support their candidates because of the policies they support. When a progressive is called divisive for pointing out a candidate doesn’t support their interests it’s an attempt to silence them.
There are a few candidates with a vacuum where their policy should be. Even Trump had policies he wanted to implement. Making America “normal” again is not a winning ticket. We need solutions to our country’s problems and we can’t wait until a politician goes into the White House to tell us what to expect from their presidency.
Tread lightly though progressives, moderates are working overtime to antagonize leftists so centrists get behind them. Here is Mayor Pete saying he doubts Bernie cannot win the general election. Here is Mr Butigieg comparing Bernie to Trump. It’s ok though because he “clears” the controversy later only after stirring the “Stop Sanders” base. According to their rules they can exist but we cannot, just remember that we can be better than them.
All real progressives should be moving things to the left until the needs of every American citizen are met. We need to remain focused on our goals and do our best to bring people together. We can do nothing alone. If we are truly abrasive, mean or wrong we will not change any public perspective. We need to approach each individual with kindness and compassion as we would expect from and for ourselves, as we cannot change anything through real divisiveness.