“Surely by now there can be few here who still believe the purpose of government is to protect us from the destructive activities of corporations. At last most of us must understand that the opposite is true: that the primary purpose of government is to protect those who run the economy from the outrage of injured citizens.”
― Derrick Jensen,
I think I might understand why the more-liberal-than-progressives are fighting against the More-progressive-than-liberals all over the internet… why we are having such unruly fights between Bernie-Believers And Clinton-Colleagues in our online left-wing communities. I think you’ll see after reading this that we really have to stop tearing each other down. It’s easy for me to say because, for some weird reason, as of early February 2016, I am still undecided, not as to which dream I like better, Bernie’s, but which choice gets us to that dream soonest and best. Liberals have always been the center way that provides more for the average working family. Unions are liberal. FDR centrists are liberal. Kennedys are liberal.
Kennedys are not always progressive. Progressives can be either Democratic Party or, as in the case of Teddy Roosevelt, GOP. Progressives want big change and they want it sooner. Progressives define progress for the era and then go after it tenaciously. They are a necessary ingredient in health democracy.
Here is why voters born after 1980 are more progressive than they are liberal. Reaganomics. They have no memory of a world before Reaganomics; the giving of the economic gains to the richest and expecting them to make life better for everyone else after they consume and crap out their billions. To the under-35-year-old, this has always been the way… and like AT&T bills for “long distance,” this way of doing things is lo-tech and needs to be hacked. They did the research.
They know that if every adult over 24 brought in 75-95 thousand dollars a year while doing what they love to do, they wouldn’t want or need more money… they would simply want to create, innovate and sell new ideas to the world both physically and digitally. To the Millennial, the solution to our economic injustice is simple: take the entire US economy as a pie, and divide it up so that everyone has enough and the rich, while still existing, are not as rich. They believe, according to the research, that even the RICH would be happier and better off this way. So since they know that the system is rigged, how it’s rigged and why it’s rigged.. they are sick of anyone who wants to try to work within it. No. No more internet service over copper landlines. Don’t try to make outmoded systems work.
It’s a totally understandable position, and one of these years, they are going to throw out the old ways, and a whole new landscape of citizens, servants and predators will emerge… it will be a new game with problems of its own. But they want it.
Boomers and Gen-X:
People born before 1979 remember Carter, Reagan and Bush 1. Baby boomers remember Johnson and the war on Poverty. Gen-X remembers the change too. We remember Gingrich and we remember what Clinton had to do to survive the tidal wave of super-capitalism and corporatism. He had to join it and use it to make life better for the working family. That’s what he did. He triangulated between the most right wing and the most left wing of the mainstream political landscape. It worked. Clinton was elected by ⅓ of the American voters and transformed himself into a leader who much more than half the nation trusted by the end of his first term. He sought and won the protection of Wall St. elites and large industries other than Oil and Pharma. He played ball with the Military Complex and he gave into Rupert Murdoch and GOP law makers… and with that compromise, balanced the budget, cleaned up the environment, expanded gay rights, expanded women’s opportunities, got people off of welfare, avoided military adventures for resources, banned assault weapons, reduced poverty… raised some taxes… all that centrist liberal stuff. It worked. We who remember it know it. We also know that Obama, the first Gen-X president, came in dreaming of bigger changes with only his read on history to guide him. When he went to triangulate with the right, he found unprecedented hate and opposition. We know what that means. We know that without some cooperation between deal-makers, nothing moves. Nothing gets better.
So a lot of us born during and after the 60s but before the 80s are torn. We see both sides. Bernie stands for the end of Reaganomics. Clinton stands for forward motion from where we stand today. We don’t know if Bernie can do the things we all dream about. We feel, rightly or wrongly, as if we know Hillary can do at least as well as Bill did, and probably better with her greater knowledge of the game.
One thing I think all of us are feeling is that a PRESIDENT can’t save us anymore. We need new unions, new political organizations, new politics and a return to an active MIDDLE CLASS.
Whichever Democrat wins the White House will likely untangle the Supreme Court of the United States and make a HUGE difference in progress against predatory capitalism going forward. But what is the best way? Will Hillary’s pragmatism and experience with the Reagonomic-Status-Quo be the best way to actually gain the progress the Bernie supporters ultimately want? Or will Bernie light a fire under the asses of a whole new crop of people who have been sitting out elections, causing fundamental changes in the make up of government and by extension the economic lives of men, women, LGBT, pink, brown, “red”., “yellow” , Muslim, Mormon, Protestant, Catholic, Jewish and Atheists alike?
I know that a lot of you Democratic Primary Voters think you *know the answer… but I contend that you merely *believe your answer is best. We don’t know for sure. So let’s admit that … and stop beating up others who, just like you, don’t know for sure…. but want the same end results. Just because you don’t think Hillary can make the copper wire work for WIFI, doesn’t mean you call her a C-word and then demonize her supporters. That’s just not going to help anyone but the post-Reagan corporate class. Just because you don’t think Bernie’s dream is something Bernie himself can accomplish at this time, doesn’t mean you lie about him and call the Bernie supporter a sexist commie. Look, we all want a thriving middle class with a cleaner environment and an end to the racism and sexism and hatred of the 20th century. We all want social justice and a system that works the way modern people know it can and should.
Let’s not forget that.
Let’s speak to each other as members of the same experiment… just trying different formulas.
I love you guys.