As everyone has noticed, the USA is a sharply divided country. White against Black, Women against Men, the coasts vs. the middle, the rich vs. the poor and, of course, Democrats vs. Republicans. The Democrats, in turn, are not united among themselves (or ourselves, depending on how I think of myself on any given day). I frequently see comments and posts from unreconstructed Clinton supporters, saying ‘We must unite,’ because they still haven’t learned that simply repeating something enough times, like Trump or Goebbels, does not make it real, does not make it happen, does not convince everybody. Their mistake is that they’re not trying to appeal to the same audience that Trump is, that Goebbels was. They need to appeal to the progressive wing of their party, and the progressive wing of their party is made up of people who have deeply held, well thought out positions on a number of issues. The progressive wing of the party is made up of people with long memories, who keep lists. The progressive wing of the party is made up of people who are politically literate.
So, I don’t see unity in the near future. I actually hope I’m wrong, because I don’t see a future in any 3rd party, either.
But, there is also disunity among the progressive wing. Not so much between Bernie and Tulsi supporters, because Bernie supporters would vote for Tulsi in a heartbeat, and Tulsi supporters, most of them, would vote for Bernie gladly, if Tulsi decides not to run. The split is not on the issues. We’re almost all in for a rise in the minimum wage, free college tuition, end private prisons, legalize marijuana, universal health care and tax the living bejeezus out of those rich fuckers program. There’s some disagreement about whether we should be involved in the Democratic party at all, but that’s not the disunity I’m talking about.
Let’s look at California, because there are two case I know of there, where more than one ‘progressive candidate’ has jumped into a race. Against Dianne Feinstein, we have David Hildebrand, who announced early, and then a woman who got in with the backing of Cenk Uygur and the young Turks, totally ignoring Hildebrand. It makes me a bit suspicious of Cenk Uygur, and that bothers me because I want to like Cenk Uygur. In the race to dethrone Nancy (“impeachment is off the table”) Pelosi, a rich guy named Stephen Jaffe, who announced his progressive candidacy a long time ago, is now running against Pelosi and some guy named Ryan Khojasteh.
For sure everybody has the right to throw their hat in the ring, and it’s good that there’s some enthusiasm, but this is not smart politics. Where there is more than one progressive in the race, in order to win the primary, one needs to drop out and endorse the other.
I think progressives on the internet, in these cases, should hold a pre-primary primary, where we debate the pros and cons of each progressive candidate, both their views and their electability, and reach a consensus decision before the actual primary.
Otherwise, the establishment Dems will win.