Greetings and Salutations;
The smoke has yet to clear over the events of the 6th of January. However, it is obscuring fewer truths. I want to address one issue that has been discussed in a number of venues over the past couple of days. That is the opinion that “The next time this happens, it will likely be a competent president doing it…and the resulting coup may well succeed. WHAT can we do to keep this from happening again?”
There are a number of changes that MUST be made to shore up our Democracy, and, I have addressed some of these in previous essays. Today, though, I want to take a moment to speak to the Democrats and Liberal/Progressives out there who sometimes are hangers-on.
The Democratic Party, which I am an outlier of, has, for decades been filled with good intentions. However, we have some MAJOR weaknesses, that the Republicans have taken advantage of through the years, to grab and maintain power. Let me take a moment to address some of these.
- We, as a group, have many, very positive goals. However, we often act like a bunch of kids on the playground. We get into big arguments about what goals are most important, then, when we do not “win”, we get mad, and do the equivalent of taking our ball and going home in a huff. We have to address this and come to a compromise that will allow the disparate groups to work together.
- Above, I say we are a group…it is more accurate to say the Democratic Party is a collection of groups…with each group having a slightly different agenda. At times we are almost fanatical in our devotion to those goals. Having empathetic goals that are designed to help out as many citizens as possible is not a bad thing. But, we cannot be blinded by our devotion to OUR agenda to the agenda of the other groups in the Party.
- We fall into what my brother in law rightly calls “The Liberal Fallacy”. That is the belief that if we explain a point enough times, rationally, then we will convince the person we are talking to that we are “Right”, and perhaps convince them to come to agree to our point.
- Over the past 30 years, the Democrats have been lured into using attack ads to attempt to beat the Republicants. This is a losing strategy, in my view. Look, for example, at the recent election of Ossoff in Georgia. Very quickly his campaign focused on two points…and pushed them without stopping. The first point was the undeniable corruption of his Republicant opponent. I would not call that an attack ad format, though, because it was not exaggerated, and from the examples I saw, Ossoff was pushing Perdue to answer him about the actions he had taken when in office. The second point was that he pushed the simple message of how he would avoid corruption and actually work FOR the people of Georgia if elected. Granted it was a close election, but, he still won by a significant margin. Diving into the cesspool of negative ads with the Republicants is like swimming with hungry sharks while bleeding. It is NOT going to turn out well.
- Because of the “Group of groups” aspect of the Democratic Party, we often do not vote as a solid block on Election Day. The Republicants, are like storm troopers…marching in step to the orders of their commanders…and, that is one of several reasons they may be the minority, but often take power. While I do not advocate the mindless way they vote as a pure model for the Democratic Party, I DO advocate that, when a candidate is selected by the primary process, instead of “standing on principle” and voting third party, or (as DID happen in 2016) voting for the Republicant alternative, we do the pragmatic thing and vote for the Party’s candidate.
- As a part of this process, at least try not to cut the throat of the Candidate. I cannot count the number of times that I saw Liberals/Progressives/Democrats in social media, crapping on Secretary Clinton for the fact that she was not an angel, or THEIR Paragon of Perfection. They also made some unfounded claims about where her loyalties lay. A lot of the commentary I saw also showed a deeply held streak of misogyny that was shameful to see in people claiming to be Democrats. So, instead of having four years of leadership from the most qualified President we could have had, we had four years of #3…and look where that has gotten us.
- We must continually ask ourselves “DOES this action/law benefit the country as a whole?” If the objective answer is “yes”, then, we should engage in it, and get it implemented.
- One of the massive failures I have seen of the Democratic Party over the decades is excessive modesty. I advocate that not only do the Democrats implement programs that help a majority of people, but, they also use the media wisely to push the message of WHY these actions/laws are important, and give concrete examples of how they help a majority of folks, not just the privileged few.
- Finally, too many of us shrug our shoulders and say “I live in a deep Red state, so my vote means nothing. Why SHOULD I bother?” I have railed against this before, but, once again. NOT VOTING IS ALLOWING THE STATUS QUO! I live in a State, Tennessee, That has been so deeply Red for years now, that it makes the Russian Flag look pink. I vote in every Election, and shall continue to do so for as long as I am able. Why do I do this? It helps other, like minded people to realize that they are not alone…and may motivate them to overcome that inertia, and go vote. It ensures that the Republicants running the state into the ground know that there is significant opposition to their actions. In some cases, it actually turns cities and counties in the state Blue. If this happens in enough places, the entire state will be back to the solid blue (or purple, at worst) that it was for years.
Be mindful of the world of politics. Do not believe anyone that tells you that your vote does not matter, or cannot create change. They are lying to you, probably because your voting is keeping their agenda from taking over. The attempted coup of last week is a Red Flag warning of what can, and likely WILL happen again if we do not remain active and work to keep America improving from year to year, and approaching that ideal of the Shining City on the Hill that has been invoked by previous Presidents. If we do NOT do this, the next coup will succeed, because the leader of it will not be the demented, incompetent fool that has been in office for the last four years.
God Help Us All. Stay safe…wear your mask, social distance, hand wash a lot!
Bee Man Dave