Thursday, November 12, 2015



Many on the Left denounce the Tea Party and other hard-core right wingers for insisting on conservative ideological purity, when they do exactly the same thing on the Left. Being human and being in politics has to involve two very hard and maybe rather unpleasant realities: First, we must accept that we are, in fact, HUMAN, and therefore we're finite, imperfect beings, and...we just MAY BE WRONG. Secondly, whenever we're involved with other human beings, it is sometimes necessary to COMPROMISE.

To illustrate what I'm talking about, let me give two specific examples:

On the Right, we see hard-core conservatives and the Tea Party crowd who will not support any Republican candidate whose credentials aren't blindingly red; and, they find it absolutely unforgivable if a candidate has ever supported what could be seen as abortion rights or a tax increase except for military or law enforcement purposes. They'll kinda overlook other deficiencies (religion, in the case of Mitt Romney or Rick Santorum; race in the case of Ben Carson or Mia Love --- well, in her case it's both race and religion, and maybe even gender!). Thus, there was less than enthusiasm from the Right when another Bush scion, "W," became a recent Republican nominee; I mean, anyone who looks under the surface at all will see that the Bush family has long been a rather moderate Republican family. Many conservatives, though, held their noses and supported him, because...who would've been the alternative? A "Kenyan socialist with a funny Muslim name" (ewww!).

On the Left, we see liberals or so-called "progressives" who refuse to support Hillary Clinton because of what they see as a pattern of attitudes and actions on her part that are not the same as theirs. They --- and I, frankly --- prefer the positions that have been expressed by Bernie Sanders or Elizabeth Warren. But I just don't see either of those senators being the Democratic nominee for President of the United States; and, if by some miracle one of them does make it, I see Congress cooperating with him or her even less than they've done with President Obama --- and we know how that's been, don't we?
In my opinion, Hillary Clinton is the only Democrat being talked about today who has any chance of making it into the Oval Office. Let's face it: She's a Washington insider; and having Bill Clinton on your side can not be a deficit. True, some of her attitudes and stands have made some of us wince, but HEY...were the attitudes and actions of any of the front-running Republicans any better?

And that's the point that we've got to keep uppermost in our minds: The Democratic nominee, whoever that is, will not be running in the general election against another Democrat, but against a non-Democrat, mainly a Republican. Many of the Tea Party people and so-called "libertarians" may hesitate to support a Bush or Fiorina or Casich (Kasich? I dunno) for certain ideological reasons, but many others will come around and support the Republican nominee as the better of two realistic choices. I hope those on the Left will do the same. Unfortunately, there are too many left-wingers who say that they will not support Secretary Clinton because they prefer the positions being pushed by Senator Sanders, or because some of her past actions have been way to the right of positions they'd prefer she'd taken, so they just can't see supporting or voting for her under any circumstances. I understand their commitment to their principles, I really do. Just as I understand the commitment of members of the Tea Party and other conservative groups and causes to their principles. I only ask my fellow liberals to consider the two points I suggested earlier: (1) We are human, and can be wrong, and maybe, just maybe, her attitudes and actions were right; and (2) we have to be willing to compromise. I'm not going to get into a big discussion or argument about the evils of compromising our principles; not now, probably not ever. It's simply a fact that no politician can take stands with which any of us will agree 100%.

And, in 2016, the only realistic alternative to the Democratic nominee for POTUS will be the Republican one. And we absolutely must come to understand that every single time we don't give support and cast a vote for a candidate or position we favor, by that very inaction, we are supporting and casting a vote for the candidate or position that we don't favor. Please re-read and reflect on the foregoing italicized words until you understand where I'm coming from --- whether you agree or not.

It is no secret at all that I prefer many of the positions that Senator Bernie Sanders has taken over some that Secretary Clinton has taken; in an ideal world, I'd probably support and vote for him. But, this is not an Ideal world; this is the real world. There's Idealism, and there's Reality; sometimes, they're not the same. They certainly are not in this instance.
I absolutely refuse to see my vote for Bernie Sanders elect a Bush or Trump or Carson or --- Heaven help us! --- a Cruz or a Huckabee! And that's exactly what I believe my supporting My Man Bernie would do. There is absolutely no way that I can see an American electorate sending an old, Jewish, proudly socialistic agnostic or atheist to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. No way. And, if lightning somehow struck and he did get elected to that office, there isn't a snowball's chance that he would have a drop of cooperation from the Republican-controlled Congress.
The scariest part is this: Whoever is the next POTUS will nominate at least one or two new justices to the Supreme Court. Do you have any idea how many really, really important interpretations of the Constitution were made by the present SCOTUS by 5/4 decisions? One more of them would have tipped the scales in the other direction. Just one more. And the next President will be naming at least one new justice. That POTUS will be in office only four or eight years; the new justice he or she names may be in office for the next 35 or 40 years! That's damned scary!

Fellow liberals, don't be the Tea Party of the Left. Sure, support Bernie all you want; maybe such a show of support for him on our part will push Mrs. Clinton more solidly and clearly leftward. But, in the general election, it'll be the Democratic nominee (whom I fervently hope will be Hillary Clinton) versus the Republican nominee --- and I still believe that'll be Bush (whom I could live with, since he is from what is actually a rather moderate Republican family), but he'll have to prove his "conservative" bona fides by naming as his running mate one of the wild-eyed theocrats like Ben Carson or Ted Cruz. I actually foresee a Bush/Carson ticket from the Republicans.

Think, fellow liberals. Think. If you won't vote for Hillary because you prefer Bernie, by that inaction, you're voting for the Republican. Is that what you want to do?