Democrats need to be mindful of the fringes on both the right and the left as they navigate a course to capture more local and state offices, maintain their control of the House, retake the Senate, and win the Presidency.
Combatting the right-wing fringe right is easy because they are mostly nativist xenophobic white supremacists support the reactionary turn back the clock policies of the Republican opposition.
The left-wing fringe is a different matter because some of their member’s energy and enthusiasm are seen as key to help to generate the turn out the vote efforts in 2019, 2020 and beyond.
This is a trap Democrats need to avoid at all costs.
Look at the trap the Republican party fell into with it made its Faustian Bargain with at first Segregationist Democrats, then reactionary and ignorant Tea Partiers. That party fell into the hands of Donald Trump, effectively killing the party of Lincoln.
Consider recent events since the start of 2019.
Vice President Joe Biden, has come under fire for leading the way on the 1994 Crime Act while he was the Chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee.
Yes, this act did lead to increased levels of incarceration, especially for minority groups and that was wrong (and addressed in the recent Criminal Justice Reform Bill) but this act also included provisions, as former Missouri Senator Claire McCaskill reminded viewers on Meet the Press, like:
* The Assault Weapons Ban
* Violence Against Women Act
* Community Policing
* Jacob Wetterling Crimes Against Children and Sexually Violent Offender Registration Act
As Senator McCaskill said on Meet the Press, the former Vice President should focus on the many positive aspects of the act while acknowledging that the three strikes and you are out provisions may have been counterproductive. Does the extreme left favor getting rid of those provisions on community policing and protecting women and children? Probably not.
Beto O’Rourke’s teen writing
Another example is former Congressman Beto O’Rourke having to apologize for stories he wrote when he was 15 or saying on the stump that his wife bore most of the responsibility for raising their three children. This is ludicrous that he is coming under fire for something he wrote as a teenager or for making an accurate (and complimentary) comment about his wife and how she has raised their children. It is better for Democrats to focus on O’Rourke’s ideas and where he stands on the issues. That is pertinent in this race, not what he did as a 15-year-old. O’ Rourke should have told the people that instead of enabling these trivialities by apologizing with no caveats.
A third instance (and Bill Maher nailed this on Real Time a few weeks back) is the criticism that Senator Kamala Harris (and also Senator Amy Klobuchar) were prosecutors who “prosecuted.” DUH. That is part of the job description inferred from the job title. Unless a critical analysis of their work shows that they willingly prosecuted innocent people that were “railroaded,” there is really nothing here to criticize.
Chelsea Clinton is not running for any office (yet) but she was bullied by student idiots at New York University, saying her condemnation of Representative Ilhan Omar over Israel led to the horrific attacks by the white supremacist in New Zealand that killed 50 Muslims. Clinton foolishly apologized instead of telling these imbeciles where to go. Those students, instead of becoming media darlings, should have been educated as to why their comments were idiotic and uncalled for.
Finally, the Democrats, again as Bill Maher candidly relayed on Real Time on March 15, 2019, the Democrats at the National Committee Level, erred by saying their candidates would not debate on Fox News. As Maher said, the Democrats, like the Republicans, cannot live in a bubble and speak only to their supporters. It is not switching sides with the enemy if they participate in the debate and if the Fox questioners ask silly questions, the candidates will know how to handle them. The candidates may also be able to sway some voters to their ideas and would that be nice.
Earlier in the month, a misguided young “adult” in Paradise Valley, Arizona thought it would be a good idea to slash a person’s tires because there was a red MAGA hat on the dashboard of the vehicle. The actions of that person are just as wrong as a Neo-Nazi painting Swaztikas on a synagogue.
We are better than this. Democrats and Progressives need to beware the whims of the extreme left and not enable them by apologizing for actions taken when they were children or for comments that really are not offensive or for doing their jobs by either prosecuting criminal suspects or securing legislation that helped reduce the crime rate.
There is much for the left (from the Centrists to the Social Democratic) to agree on like:
- Universal Health Care
- Combatting Climate Change
- Infrastructure that incorporates clean energy components
- Making College more affordable.
- Paid Family Leave
- Child Care Assistance
- Providing everyone a living wage and reducing poverty and homelessness.
- Competent Government that protects the people and their civil and voting rights and serves their interests.
It would be better for Democrats and Progressives to focus on how to achieve these goals and persuade the electorate that their ideas are better than the oppositions rather than stray comments or fake controversies. Otherwise, we may have the KKK-endorsed candidate for four more years. Does anyone, other than the subscribers to Infowars and followers of Sean Hannity, want that?