Beware the Whims of the Extreme Left

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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?

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David Gordon
Living in Arizona since his family moved to Tempe from New York in 1982, David Gordon has three degrees from Arizona State University and the University of Phoenix in History, Political Science, and Secondary School Administration. A highly qualified Social Studies instructor and Certified School Principal, Mr. Gordon owned his own charter school, Grand Canyon College Preparatory Academy from 1997-2016. The school served students in grades 6-12 in the East Valley of Maricopa County. Many of the graduates of GCP earned college credit for free while still attending high school, some completing the first year of college before graduating. Among the speakers at the school's graduations were noted figures in Arizona Politics like Harry Mitchell, David Schweikert, Juan Mendes, Andrew Sherwood, and John Huppenthal. Mr. Gordon also participated in the revisions of the Arizona History and Social Studies standards. In January 2017, Mr. Gordon started the political blog Twenty-First Century Progressive Bull Moose. It has a global following and routinely comments on the political events of the day. Mr. Gordon also helps administer the Facebook page Living Blue in Arizona. He is also currently writing a series of Young Adult science fiction novels which incorporate the themes of time travel and its impact on history. Mr. Gordon is very happy to be asked to join the Blog for Arizona team and hopes to spread the progressive word to make Arizona a better place for everyone.

9 COMMENTS

  1. So in summary, only vote for Corporate Dems and watch Real Time with Bill Maher every Friday night???

    Singling out a few bad apples to make the case that there is some giant organized scary far left is so Fox News.

    That list of things left and center can agree on, starting with universal healthcare? That ALL came from the “far left”, or as we used to call them, The Democratic Party.

    Bill Maher is a scold, and a “get off my lawn” old man kinda’ scold. His rant about having a Dem debate on Fox News 100% misses the point.

    Fox News is a business. They make money from ratings. They should not be rewarded for years of lying and bad behavior, including paying out tens of millions for their management and on air talent to abuse women who work there.

    It’s not a free speech issue, and it’s certainly not a “we need to reach out to Fox viewers” issue.

    It’s about not rewarding a criminal enterprise who has a very rape-y recent past.

    But I guess I’m just a far left kook.

    • Me too (far left kook, although not of the young variety). Almost anything on Bill Maher these days I treat with deep suspicion.

      The 1994 Crime Act. Watch the video (1994 C-Span footage of the debate over the Act), and then tell me which of these two candidates you want as President–for me it is not Joe Biden.

      As far as Beto O’Rourke, I don’t care what he wrote at 15–I care that his website has (or had) no policy statements; that he has renounced support of Medicare-For-All (he supports the Center For American Progress (CAP) plan, which is not universal; to me the CAP is as big a warning sign as Bill Maher) ; that he is “Beto O’Rorschach” (you see what you want to see). Again, I want the candidate who got it right first and has been unwavering in his support for single payer.

      I could go on and on, but in summary: I do not believe that most centrist Democrats will reliably vote for most of the things on your lists, starting with Universal Healthcare, because their donors do not want those things. That is why I am “far left”.

      • I understand your points but please remember when it came to showtime, Democrats (including the Centrist) united to pass Obamacare and the Stimulus Plan that contained record investments in clean energy and education. The real worry should be what to do if Democrats do not retake the Senate with 60 seats in 2021.

    • I do not think you are a far left kook. I just think that Progressives and Centrists need to come together and form a unified program that defeats the turn back the clock reactionary agenda of the Republicans that will appeal to enough people to get Democrats 60 seats in the Senate. Otherwise the filibuster will have to go bye bye

  2. Get back to me when the “misguided youth” are going out in the woods to train with their assault weapons – when roving gangs of gender fluid mixed race kids are beating up white people – when radical leftist youth are shooting up DAR meetings, VFW halls, and fundamentalist Christian churches – when think tanks on the left are writing white papers about locking up anti-abortionists in concentration camps. Then I will grant that our left flank looks as bad as the GOP right.

  3. There is basically no organized “extreme left” in this country. An extreme left would want to abolish private property, establish worker control of the means of production, and forcibly silence all right-wing agit-prop. No one is doing this. We have some misguided youth who are a little too vociferous or naive about how to make one’s point in a pluralistic democracy and want America to look a lot more like its’ college campuses, culturally; nothing more.

    The far right, on the other hand, has a cadre of trained and organized (and armed) people who want to do things like overthrow the government, establish a religious dictatorship, re-subjugate women, and abolish effective democracy in this country. Hardly a basis for comparison between the two sides.

    It’s like looking at a domestic cat and a wild tiger and saying they represent the same danger because they are both cats. Absurd. I disagree with your premise, David.

  4. I basically agree with you but I disagree with the use of the phrase “Extreme Left”. The lefties engaged in the Democratic Party’s nominating (for President) process are hardly “extreme”. The Party has largely become one which endorses regulated Capitalism with some members more inclined to community solutions and less inclined to favor “you are on your own” as the proper position.
    Continually talking about left versus moderate is just playing in to the republican divide and conquer strategy.

    • Good points but I worry about that the misguided youths Mr. Bryan referred to will become when they grow up without adult supervision. We do not want parts of the party to become the mirror image of the right and that is clearly happening.

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