Barbarian at the Gates: Why Today's Progressive Profiles in Courage Baffle Liberals, and Why Liberals Must Not Lead the Movement for Real Change.

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    • #189318
      Ohio Barbarian
      Moderator
      • Total Posts: 21,911

      Let me define “liberal” first. In today’s American politics, a liberal is someone who accepts as an article of faith that capitalism is the best economic system that humanity can ever hope to invent, but admits it suffers from injustices and needs to be administered and regulated by a meritocracy, meaning people like herself, in order to provide some opportunity to the lower and working classes to climb the social ladder. Liberals believe that identities of race, sexual preference, religion, and gender are unquestionably equal, and that if everyone would just get over things like racism, sexism, ethnocentrism and homophobia most social problems would be greatly mitigated if not altogether eliminated.

      Liberals do not really believe that economic class exists, or if they admit that it does, then it’s just the way it is and really no big deal if everybody is just nice and civil to one another and help out the neediest among us. Since liberals are uncomfortable with Marxian-style class arguments, they promulgate lots of nonsense about the fundamental impetus to politics being various sorts of tribalism, which can be overcome if only the government is controlled by people who will strive for more equal opportunity, often with government programs to help those who are the most desperately in need so long as they are willing to be thankful to their betters and willing to work hard for that American Dream of a middle class lifestyle, which liberals either already enjoy or at least aspire to.

      When it comes to reform, liberals are invariably in favor of incremental changes that do not change the fundamental structures of society. Many of them are in the professional classes, and they don’t want to risk what they have “worked so hard” to attain, even if it was their parents who did most of the work. The liberals I refer to are nearly all Democratic partisans, policy wonks, identity politics advocates, and value civility and gentility.

      They are naturally appalled by the likes of Donald Trump and his ignorant, racist white trash supporters, and long to return to the days of civility and working with some Republicans as happened under Obama, Clinton, and even the Bushes and Reagan. They also tend to believe in military interventions for various “humanitarian” reasons, but only so long as the military is an all-volunteer organization. They also take it as a given that military spending creates lots of jobs, and no matter how much corruption is involved, that’s just the way it is and nothing can ever be done about it. They seldom talk about that subject.

      In case you haven’t noticed, I just described Elizabeth Warren and the majority of her supporters, who are all in a state of shock today, because three minority women just did the unthinkable.

      Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ilhan Omar, and Rasheeda Talib all endorsed Bernie Sanders for President. None of those four people I just mentioned are liberals. They are what Europeans would call Social Democrats of varying degrees, but what Bernie himself has defined as democratic socialists. They don’t assume that capitalism is necessarily the best economic system possible. They all believe in some form of real working class power and influence over the economy and government, if not always outright control. Liberals don’t, for they don’t trust the working classes, and they think they know best.

      All three of those Congresswomen would have been welcomed into the liberal fold, and all three rejected it because they understand that American liberalism is simply incapable of delivering the fundamental structural changes that most of the American people need in order to even have a chance at living a decent lifestyle, not to mention surviving climate change. They know that the only presidential candidate who will, with 100% certainty, fight to deliver those fundamental structural changes is Bernie Sanders, the old independent Jew from Brooklyn and Vermont.

      For them, Bernie’s age, race, ethnicity, gender, and religion or lack thereof is irrelevant. His policies, his commitment to those policies, and his deep and proven passion to improve the lives of his fellow citizens are what is important to them. So they’re backing him.

      They didn’t have to do this now. They could have waited. They could have played it safe in order to maybe advance their own young careers under whichever candidate ultimately gains the Democratic nomination. Instead, they burned some bridges over to the liberal Democratic camp in order to do what they believe is simply the right thing to do. That’s courage, folks, and I salute them. It’s also important in terms of the primary itself. Their action is a clarion call to the tens of millions of like-minded working class people to get off our asses and do what we can to change our world for the better.

      Liberals cannot lead a successful movement for fundamental socioeconomic structural change, because they don’t want that kind of change. It’s not in their interests.

      Bernie Sanders and those three Congresswomen can, however. They, and we, might actually win this time, but they and Bernie must be the leaders of the movement for change, not liberals, though many of them will support Bernie if he is the nominee, simply because he’s definitely not Trump or Pence.

      It is better to vote for what you want and not get it than to vote for what you don't want and get it.--Eugene Debs

      You can jail a revolutionary, but you can't jail the revolution.--Fred Hampton

    • #189331
      HassleCat
      Participant
      • Total Posts: 7,548

      I’m more interested in who is progressive. To me, this means someone willing to use the power of government to defend ordinary citizens against corporate power. So far only Bernie Sanders is pushing hard and consistently for a progressive agenda. Elizabeth Warren arrived late at the progressive banquet, but seems to be chowing down with M4A and a wealth tax proposal. How serious is she? Hard to tell, but she seems willing to challenge the centrists on their vague incrementalism, allowing them to label her as a fringe thinker with extreme ideas. So she’s taking some political risk right now, but maybe she thinks she can take it all back after the convention. She seems comfortable with Bernie, over there on the left end of the spectrum. Interesting stuff.

    • #189419
      Maedhros
      Participant
      • Total Posts: 730

      “That’s just the way it is and nothing can ever be done about it.”

      The Liberal battle cry…

       

      His body recovered from his torment and became hale,
      but the shadow of his pain was in his heart;
      and he lived to wield his sword with left hand
      more deadly than his right had been.

    • #189506
      Babel 17
      Participant
      • Total Posts: 5,398

      A lot of liberals think you need to blow up brown countries so as to show that you’re tough enough to defend liberal values.

      “Wow, I never knew she was such a fighter for our values until that day she cackled for the cameras about Qaddafi  getting anally raped to death with bayonets.”

      “Right? It was at that moment that I knew she’d fight to lower co-payments for Medicare recipients.”

      “Absolutely, she showed the Republicans that she’d be a tough negotiator. That’s what we want!”

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