Back at the end of 2013, I wrote a post about how political pundits don’t understand politics. More specifically, how political parties are actually structured and work. It’s somewhat (but not very) forgivable when it comes to them, because they’re used to thinking the “movers and shakers” of the party are based in Washington. I was reminded of that post when I read an article at Newsweek by Kurt Eichenwald about the myths that Democrats swallowed. I recommend reading it, but it matches what I saw a lot this past year, and more specifically, it’s been an ongoing feature of the frustrati, or the Purity Left for years. It’s why they’re destructive instead of constructive, and why they never achieve any of their goals, hence, my labeling them “the frustrati.”
This past year, they were out in full force for the primaries and the general election. I’ve been around for a long time, so I expect that primaries will likely be rough-and-tumble affairs, but this past year’s was particularly nasty when it came to the frustrati and a particularly odious group that was called the “Bernie Bros.” How bad was it? As I said back in February,
I’ve seen sexist comments, racist comments, and extensive bashing of the Democratic Party. I expect that, when I’m going to a conservative site or somewhere where lots of Tea Party supporters comment. But I’m not going there, I’m going to liberal sites and it’s all coming from Bernie Sanders’ supporters. More than a few times, I’ve had to check to make sure I’m on the right site and not talking to a Republican Party member, because it’s virtually identical.
Now, that wasn’t all – or even the majority – of Bernie’s supporters, but it definitely was a large percentage of the comments by Bernie supporters on various liberal sites. What they do share with the far right is an authoritarian mindset, and a belief that this is “the way things work.” In reality, it’s not even close to the truth.
As I said in my pundits post, political parties are not “top down” organizations, they’re “bottom up.” If you read what the DNC actually is, you’d quickly realize that. It’s not an organization where the chairperson orders things done, and Democrats jump to accomplish it. In fact, it doesn’t even tell local and state parties what to do. It’s the other way around. But if you read all the frustrati posts and comments, you wouldn’t know it. Their idea was that there was this all-powerful political party who had “annointed” Hillary Clinton, and was busily putting its thumb (and conducting voter fraud) on the scales to insure it, all facts to the contrary.
That’s a big reason why, despite their claims to be “the base of the party,” they don’t get anywhere. They’re busy screaming about the top, rather than get to work at the bottom to change anything. From what I’ve seen in responses to some of my challenges to them, they don’t want to do that work. One rather jaw-dropping excuse I got was “I don’t think I have the skills they need.” From my own (and others) experience, the only “skills” you really need are to be a registered Democrat, breathing, and willing to work. There aren’t any minimum requirements beyond that. Nice if you have some great skills to bring to it, but not necessary.
Aside from their failure to understand how the party (and really, all political parties) work, the other thing is that they fail to understand how government and elections work. It’s why I wrote my “Civics” posts: Civics 100, Civics 101, and Civics 103, covering the national, state, and local elections. The latter two are when you can bet sizable amounts of money that the frustrati won’t be around for. Oh, afterward they’ll be out to complain, but when it comes to actually doing something for those elections, and turning out to vote, they don’t bother. It’s why they’re the Republican Party’s best ally, although they’ll vehemently deny it.
This past election year was a major disappointment for me personally, and I know for Democrats in general. I’m really frightened for the future, and for what it will mean for this country. The frustrati all seem to believe that despite their own actions, it won’t personally affect them, hence their willingness to take a “principled stand.” Never mind all the other people who it will harm or damage. Well, they’re about to find out the hard way that there is nothing “for granted” about what we have. Republicans are going to be very busy over the next year trying to roll back or remove any number of progressive achievements. Advocating for “single payer,” or improving the ACA? Fighting for improved environmental protections, green energy, voter rights, higher minimum wages, various groups rights? Forget it, it isn’t going to happen for the next couple of years, in fact, what we do have already is under attack. We’re going to be playing defense instead of offense, and if you think the Republicans are going to care about your pet issue, you’re delusional.
“The Resistance” as it’s been called on some blogs, starts now. What people forget is that every year is an election year. In this state, it’s the year we select local officials. In other states, it’s when they’ll be selecting their state governments. That means we have a chance to start changing local and state governments. It means a lot of work, and most importantly, getting out to vote. The same thing in 2018, when we’re selecting more state governments and voting on House and Senate members. It’s not “wait until 2020,” it’s now. Those of us who really understand politics know that. We know the action is at the local level, and with the local parties. The frustrati don’t understand that, and apparently, they don’t want to learn it. There’s an old saying: “Lead, follow, or get out of the way.” The frustrati are not leading, they’re not following, and they’re in the way. Here’s my message to them: Shut the fuck up and get out of the way. I’m all out of patience, and I don’t give a damn about your feelings.