|He's a cute, but altogether lazy little fella.|
OK, so maybe "hate" is too strong a word.
Let's just say the timidity and overall lack of conviction of modern day liberals annoys the hell out of me. (For the record, while I consider my own political ideology "progressive," I reject both that label and the word "liberal" when identifying my politics. I am a democratic-socialist.)
Last week I wrote about liberals' insistence on working within the "political reality." Here is a prime, real-life example of what I am referring to.
Yesterday, I was canvassing for my friend and Maine state senate candidate, Asher Platts. I handed his campaign card, which contains his platform, to a middle-aged man at his apartment. For those unfamiliar with Asher or have not yet received his campaign literature, the front side outlines his five main issues. They are:
- Money out of politics.
- Universal college education.
- Single-payer health care.
- Create a state bank.
- Tax the rich.
The man proceeded to read, out-loud, all five issues in the following manner: "Money out of politics? That will never happen! Universal college education? That will never happen! Single-payer health care? That will never happen..."
He then handed the palm-card back to me (which is typically an indication of the person's refusal to support the candidate; most people will keep campaign literature even if only to throw it out as soon as the canvasser has left) and said, "I agree with all of these. But they are impossible."
And before I could even attempt to counter his insistence of the impossibility of these political goals (all of which, mind you, have been successfully implemented in other states or countries), he shut the door and was gone.
This negative, deterministic attitude of "This is impossible, so it's not even worth trying," would not bother me so much if I did not hear it from middle-aged, Democratic-loyalist liberals all the time.
This self-defeating mentality essentially amounts to Homer Simpson's advice to Bart that, "If something is too hard, just don't do it!" It is the same attitude that leads liberals to refuse to vote for a third-party candidate because she will "never win." Yet, the people who routinely make such remarks seem oblivious to their own complicity in preventing such a third-party win through their refusal to go against the grain and vote their values. It is a self-fulfilling prophecy.
Liberals have zero political convictions and that is why the Democratic Party is viewed as weak and "spineless." They will not fight for the society they want, hiding instead behind cop-out excuses that such a society is simply unachievable. Say what you want about the Republicans, but at least they have ideals they are willing to fight for.
I am not suggesting that obtaining single-payer health care, or other such progressive gains will be easy. Far from it. It will take considerable work, effort and possibly a great deal of sacrifice on the part of proponents. But nothing that is worth achieving is ever easy. Liberals want to just vote for Democrats and then sit back for the next four years and wait for them to deliver. Alas, democracy does not function that away. It requires work. Recall Frederick Douglass's famous words:
"If there is no struggle, there is no progress. Those who profess to favor freedom and yet deprecate agitation are men who want crops without plowing up the ground; they want rain without thunder and lightning. They want the ocean without the awful roar of its many waters... Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will."
Consider there was once a time in this country when equal rights for black Americans was considered "impossible," if not utterly absurd. Likewise, voting rights for women was deemed "impossible." In fact, every single progressive effort toward social advancement has originally run counter to the "political reality" of the time.
It's like Minor Threat's classic hardcore-punk anthem, "In My Eyes." "You tell me I'll make no difference," singer Ian MacKaye bellows. "At least I'm fucking trying!/What the fuck have you done?"
Perhaps more liberals should start listening to Minor Threat.
P.S. Vote for Asher Platts for State Senate, District #8 (Portland) on Nov. 6.