There is a disturbing trend in the the media and in the progressive movement, of timid voices, Trump apologist and negative defeatist and unfocused pseudo revolutionaries disguised as progressives, (some of which might just be government plants). I have heard the statement, that we can not work within a broken system, we must over throw the system; but these people never say how that can be done with out violence. these same people say that marching in the streets and peaceful demonstrations yield no results what soever.
All of the above mentioned myths are dangerous, in one way or another, so for the sake of clarity, I will attempt to address each of these categories of political saboteurs individually.
First the minority apologist; these men and women appear to be well educated and rational normal human beings. Their usual spiel is; people don’t give Donald trump a chance, that folks don’t want divisive government and that we should seek compromise with uncompromising republicans, like Paul Ryan, Mitch McConnell and Ted Cruz; all of which were blatant obstructionist to the Obama administration. The history of their obstructionism is evidence enough, I seriously doubt that any of these distinguished gentlemen, have changed their attitudes about cooperating with Democrats in any way shape or form.
Under the Trump administration, things are exponentially worse. So why are you normalizing this unacceptable behavior, by disregarding the truth and denying the obvious. My question to you, Mr. or Ms Minority apologist, is why are you legitimizing a man who obviously thinks that you and the ethnic group you belong to, are basically inferior Untermenschen? Why are you making excuses for a man who refuses to brand Neo Nazis as domestic terrorist? There is no reasoning with the unreasonable men of the Trump administration and their congressional cronies.
Next I’ll address the Nay sayers. I understand that everyone in a forum or a strategy meeting deserves a voice; as a matter of fact those are usually the rules; however another rule of strategy meetings is, do not be negative, negativity is counter-productive. I have seen this on various discussion panels on both national and local programs. One of the most irresponsible comments that I hear is, that protest and demonstrations don’t work. There are literally thousands of examples world wide, that disprove this ludicrous belief. Mass demonstrations send a powerful message to those in power, it can also incite fear in the ruling elite; which is exactly why they have spent the last half century militarizing local police forces. Instead of dealing with social problems they have chosen to suppress freedom of speech and freedom of assembly. It is our right to protest unfair treatment by the government and if protest didn’t have any effect, Police officers would not use pepper spray on demonstrators, who are peacefully exercising their rights to protest, by simply sitting on the ground.
The other misconception that is expressed, is that working within the system is a failed policy. The diverse progressive block of the Seattle city council have the opposite opinion or they wouldn’t have run in the first place. The council includes Kshama Sawant, Lisa Herbold, Debora Jaurez and Lorena González, a female majority. With a strong progressive block they have made meaningful changes to public policy including a fifteen dollar an hour minimum wage. When people see what is possible, they stop thinking that their goals are impossible, or pie in the sky as Hillary Clinton described tuition free college education. If there are changes to be made, they have to be made from within the system. The alternative is not pretty and probably involves violence, but most of these cowards who claim that we shouldn’t bother working within the system, won’t come out and say it. If the nay-sayers have a viable alternative that doesn’t include shooting up the country I’d like to hear it.
The third group of disrupters and detractors are the fake progressives. These timid souls claim to be progressive, but their views are more status quo, neo liberal. They are always afraid of rocking the boat or disturbing the progress that has already been made. Their classic lines include, universal health care will never exist. Socialism doesn’t work, Pharmaceutical companies and insurance companies should be part of any health care plan and my favorite, where will the money come from for free college tuition. I have an answer for that; take it from the NCAA ,every penny of it, it’s all stolen from the public any way. The other tell that unmask the fake progressive is, that most Americans will steer clear of anything left leaning and that we need a big tent party to win elections. The truth is, that the populist movement can unite people across party lines and that most democrats are center left and not center right. We need a return to the progressive policies of Teddy Roosevelt, Franklin Roosevelt and Eleanor Roosevelt, Neo- conservatism and Neo-liberalism should be reviled, not socialism, yet fake progressives use the word socialism with as much disdain as any Republican.
This is not a critique of the Progressive movement, it is a warning against taking trolls and defeatist seriously. All these people do is misdirect energy,confuse the dialogue and slow down the movement to create an equitable and just society. We can have an intersectional, multifaceted, people oriented solution to, wealth inequality, never ending wars, pollution and an end to the extraction capitalism of corporate oligarchs.