It would probably surprise many of my readers to know that I am as radical in my views as I am. I agree with Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren and others that we are in dire need of systemic change in America. Clearly, the inequities of our social, cultural and political institutions favor the rich and powerful. Citizen voters continue to have the ultimate power but are so easily swayed with disinformation and clever marketing tactics, that they increasingly vote other than in their own interests. This reality has led many to believe that the only way forward is to topple the system, and we are seeing the ramifications of that mindset play out on a daily basis throughout the nation.
I fully understand how and why my friends have been radicalized and have turned to anarchy. I feel their frustration, but they are leading us down a path that may cost us the White House and maybe Congress. Most of my moderate friends sit uncomfortably in silence, content that the radicals will not do enough damage to foul the end result. They are gambling that the greater risk is alienating them. They are gambling that swing voters won’t believe they are serious. They can’t believe anyone in their right mind would reelect that madman. They are wrong. Swing voters may not like Donald Trump, but they are certain the radical platform would destroy us.
The truth is that in spite of an almost obsessive concern for our respective party bases, swing voters almost always decide the fate of an election. This race will come down to how the average Joe or Jill feels about the pragmatic case for office our political candidates are making. So what case are they hearing from us?
We topple statues of Frederick Douglass and Ulysses Grant. We burn black businesses, harass and murder black police officers all to combat racism. We riot and demonstrate to defund the police, eliminate border security and immigration enforcement in the name of morality, while at the same time hire private security firms to protect ourselves. We scream for economic justice and champion a complete dismantling of our “System of Oppression.” We propose social programs whose collective cost would be more than the entire wealth of the nation, and we decry the entirety of American history is nothing but a march of imperialist racism and hate.
We declare that everything Donald Trump stands for is wrong and evil, and everyone who supports him in any way is inherently immoral. We loudly accuse him of every crime imaginable but come up lacking when it comes to proof. We openly push for more Covid deaths and economic collapse, so that Trump will be easier to defeat. We actively intimidate anyone who would dare defend him or his polices, and we shout that we will burn your cities down around you if you dare and reelect him. I watched on the news today as a Trump supporter was clubbed just walking down the street.
I’ve had many friends tell me not to worry. The polls show Biden well ahead. We’ll be just fine. That’s funny. The polls are almost identical to what they were four years ago. The last time around, cumulative polling data was almost ten points off. Some predict that it could be twice the margin of error this time around because of the intimidation factor. I have no way of knowing, but I do know that if the Democratic Party does not step up and start to make a clear case that we are not a bunch of radical anarchists, we are going to feel a burn on November 3rd that will make 2016 look like a day at the spa.
We need systemic change. I’m fully on board, but to make it happen we are going to have to use a strategy and tactics that are honest and well supported by the facts. We’re going to have to win an honest democratic debate in the public square. We’re going to have to persuade and compromise to get there. What we’re doing is not working, no matter how deep we bury our head in the sand. We cannot simply declare the other side evil and punch anyone in the mouth who disagrees. It may feel good, but it’s no way to win an election.
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