Monday, August 22, 2005

Scrambling for table scraps

You've probably heard it before: experienced political professionals say that it would be suicide for Democrats to express "leftist principles" because the majority of Americans don't like "leftist principles". All the polling tells them so. They pull out this argument any time they deal with those of us who want the Democrats to put more effort into contrasting their principles with those of the Republicans (not so much because want an ideological debate but because we are convinced that Democrats won't have a chance of winning unless they offer a message more compelling then "go with the flow").

Yet these experienced political professionals rarely bother to ask why "leftist principals" aren't liked by the majority of Americans (aside: I actually don't agree that "leftist principals" are that disliked by the American people. But that is another discussion for another day. For now lets just use this point as a working assumption.) Is it because the American people have considered "leftist principles" in a calm, reasoned manner and rejected them as wanting? Or is it because right-wingers have engaged in a 20 year program to smear anything that even remotely smells of "leftist principles" and Democrats, suffering from post traumatic stress disorder from the battles of the 70s and 80s, have let them get away with it?

Did these experienced political professionals ever stop to think that maybe the people might actually reconsider "leftist principles" if some politicians actually stood up for them and defended them against the smears? Did they ever stop to think that maybe the people might actually support "leftist principles" if they saw politicians who supported them as well?

No, these experienced political professionals would just rather concede the point, declare the Right the political victors, and spend their time debating how to divvy up the crumbs that fall from the Republican table.

Fuck that noise.


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