The Forest and the Trees: How Extreme Ideologues Destroy the Left’s Unity

Jun 13 2012 Published by under Featured News

In a conflict between two opposing forces, it is crucial that each side shares a common goal and commitment that requires putting aside individual aspirations in favor of teamwork to achieve victory. Political contests are no different, and regardless what one thinks of Republicans, they rally around a cause with resolve that transcends disparate ideology and their success is irrefutable despite the rank and file supporting policies harmful to their own self-interests and individual ambitions . In their drive toward government by corporation, Republicans have marshaled racists, evangelical Christians, Catholics, Libertarians, pseudo-patriots, and conspiracy theorists to their cause with the common goal of defeating the policies of Democrats and President Obama. However, their greatest ally is not unrestricted corporate money or radical teabaggers intent on returning America to revolutionary sensibilities of defending liberty, but the recalcitrant left who are disorganized around disparate ideologies and fantasies that are immutable and unfortunately, giving conservatives the upper hand in their attempt to transform America into a nation ruled by religion and corporate fascism.


The 2008 general election was proof that when the left coalesces around a common goal, they are nearly unstoppable, and gaining control of both houses of Congress and the White House should have emboldened them to maintain the unity needed to save America from catastrophic conservative policies. However, the 2010 midterm elections revealed a persistent and dangerous disease eating away at the left and it is their tendency to splinter apart around idealistic and, frankly, unrealistic issues that are not only divisive, but play into the Republicans’ tactic of divide and conquer. The problem is not solely adherence to pie-in-the-sky dreams of a Utopian liberal society governed by progressive ideology, but many on the left’s misunderstanding of the American people and limitations of Presidential power.


When the right swept into power after the 2010 midterms, the stunning reversal toward extremism was aided by ideologues and left-leaning pundits who convinced Democrats that sitting out the election was fitting to show their discontent with President Obama for not acquiescing to their every whim and dream of unicorns and lollypops instead of pragmatism needed to govern a right-leaning centrist nation. Indeed, President Obama ran as a socially conscious Centrist and his appeal was working for the entire population and not just progressives or socialist-leaning Democrats. Still, despite fulfilling his campaign promises within the confines of the United States Constitution as head of the Executive Branch of government, different groups on the left followed the advice of media figures like Ed Schultz who advised Democrats to sit out the election to protest the President’s failure to rule by Liberal edict.


If it wasn’t media pundits protesting the President and Democrat’s failure to fulfill their dreams of a public option for healthcare, immediate withdrawal from Iraq and Afghanistan, and indefinite detention of George W. Bush and Dick Cheney, it was a cadre of bloggers from the far-left who assailed the President for imagined sleights against all manner of EmoProg’s heroic figures. Firebaggers, EmoProgs, and their Brazilian champion assailed the President for torturing the troubled young man who stole and turned over sensitive defense department information to foreign entities, or the gay soldier who railed against Obama for not ending the discriminatory Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell legislation by executive decree. Apparently, those EmoProgs lack knowledge of the legislative process and executive power that they learned in high school, but that is the problem with ideologues; like Republicans and teabaggers, their conceptual understanding of the legislative process is driven by the fantasies in their make-believe, unrealistic world view of a Liberal dictator, and not a Centrist President and Constitutional expert.


The Republican assault on voting rights, unions, public employees, and government, although the purview of Republicans and corporate fascists, would not be on pace to transform America into a theocratic corporatocracy without the valuable assistance from the fragmented left. Indeed, Scott Walker survived a recall election in part because Democratic ideologues did not support the recall because it was over policy even though his policies assaulted public employees, unions, and collective bargaining. The recall was further stymied by young Democratic-leaning voters who just failed to show up at the ballot box out of disinterest and their inaction contributed to Walker’s victory. Democrats seriously need to take a lesson from Republicans and mobilize their voters around a specific agenda or this country, as it survived over 230 years, is finished. Last week, a forward thinking pragmatist and staunch defender of America related, for the first time, that it is questionable if America can be saved from the conservative rampage toward corporate fascism and theocracy. It was a stunning admission  that sent this author into a deep funk that unless the left abandons its fragmentation and ideological pet issues, America is doomed to repeat the 2010 midterm debacle that will give extremist patriots, racists, religious fanatics, and corporate fascists victory in November and be the end of America as we know it.


The left needs to coalesce around one goal; defeating Republicans in November at all costs. There is already talk of various groups of ideologues on the left sitting out the election to teach Democrats a lesson that they failed to do obeisance to the whims and fantasy agenda of every progressive sycophant, as if a Republican controlled House, Senate, and White House is an attractive alternative. This election, especially for the presidency, will dictate the makeup of the Supreme Court for a generation, and if decisions on cases such as Citizens United are not frightening enough, imagine a 6-3  conservative court mandating prayer in schools, bans on contraception and homosexuality, and allegiance to Christianity as a requirement to cast a vote. And yet, there are the EmoProgs and unicorn set, assailing President Obama’s supporters as “Obamabots” and criticizing them for supporting the only hope to preserve America’s fragile democratic process and maintain government by the people and not corporate fascism and religious extremism.


Any kind of ideologue is dangerous, and those on the left who lack rudimentary understanding of the legislative process or presidential power are as hazardous to America as teabaggers, religious extremists, or the Koch brothers. Sitting out an election to protest a Centrist President who failed to provide multi-colored unicorns and everlasting lollypops for free is about as ignorant as voting to ban contraception or instituting mandatory membership in the KKK, or the Mormon Church. It sounds extreme, but not as extreme as sitting out an election to teach the President and Democrats a lesson, because losing an election, although painful for Democrats, will provide Republicans the means to transform America into a theocracy wholly funded and controlled by corporate fascists. The effects  on the people and democracy will be devastating and ideologues on the left will have played an important role in destroying America.

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