I know that I phrased that title as a question, but it’s not really one. It’s a shout. It’s just me shouting at the void, and demanding that nothing return an answer. Because there isn’t really an answer that I’d find satisfactory other than, “Yeah, the slow march toward moderatism is killing us.” But first, here’s a bunch of stuff from the two Democratic debates that mostly made me want to punch things.
So, listen, I’m not a moderate. Like a couple of others around here, I’m not really a fan of most moderate positions, and I’m very, very not down with politicians who call themselves moderate (do you also root for both the Yankees and the Red Sox because you just want everyone to have fun? Pick a side, coward). The weird part is that I don’t have much of an issue with the country actually implementing moderate policies. I understand the value of compromise, and, that in order to make things work for everyone, not everyone can get what they want. It’s like when you want to live in Portland but your partner wants to live in Baltimore, so you end up in Des Moines, and everyone is miserable.
My clear disdain for moderate policies aside, my much larger issue (and the point at which I start the yelling) is this: IF MODERATE POLICIES ARE WORKING SO G*DDAMN WELL, HOW COME DONALD EFFING TRUMP IS PRESIDENT?
EXPLAIN IT TO ME, UNCLE JOE. IF MOST OF THE COUNTRY IS IN FAVOR OF “REALISTIC, COMMON SENSE” POLICIES THAT HE CLAIMS HE’S HELPED IMPLEMENT OVER THE PAST FORTY YEARS, WHY IS A LEGIT WHITE SUPREMACIST IN THE WHITE HOUSE? HEY,
BILL DAUTERIVE JOHN DELANEY, IF PEOPLE REALLY DO LOVE THEIR HEALTH CARE AND WOULD REJECT A CANDIDATE WHO SUPPORTED MEDICARE FOR ALL, WHY DO THE MAJORITY OF AMERICANS SUPPORT MEDICARE FOR ALL? TIM KAINE/RYAN (I DON’T THINK YOU’RE TIM KAINE, BUT I JUST CAN’T BE BOTHERED TO LEARN ANYTHING ABOUT YOU), YOU MIGHT NOT THINK THERE’S ANY REASON TO YELL BUT EXPLAIN THAT TO THE TWO-THIRDS OF THE COUNTRY DISSATISFIED WITH HOW THINGS ARE GOING. EXPLAIN IT TO ME LIKE I’M AN IDIOT. BECAUSE I’M HAVING A HARD TIME WITH THE IDEA THAT DOING EXACTLY EVERYTHING EXACTLY THE SAME WILL CHANGE THINGS.
Oh, right, it’s Trump. Trump is the problem. Everything was totally fine and functioning great, and then Trump swooped in, brainwashed 62 million people into voting for him, and ruined the once great GOP. Supreme Court Justice Merrick Garland would be happy to explain that to you. OH WAIT, MITCH MCCONNELL F*CKED HIM INSTEAD. Then again, Trump was one of the main supporters behind the Birther movement, so maybe he can also be blamed for the way that the entire Republican party has eagerly bought into his xenophobic, racist rhetoric. Republicans had to play to their base. You know, the white supremacist base that doesn’t want any of their tax dollars going to coastal elitists who are also somehow urban welfare queens (those welfare queens in those “coastal” states like Illinois and Wisconsin that are paying more in federal tax dollars than they’re getting back). How can we possibly win the presidency if we don’t reach out to those racist voters with policies that don’t offend their racist sensibilities?
So, all Biden and other moderates need to do is find a policy that’s middle-of-the-road enough to appeal to their base (the same base that is overwhelmingly in favor of things like increased taxes on the rich, free college tuition, and a $15 an hour minimum wage) while simultaneously running a platform that will convince Trump’s (racist) supporters that they’re a better candidate than the Rapist-in-Chief. Simple enough. In the meantime, Progressives (which by the way? I hate. I hate that that’s the label we’ve been given. How is it a “progressive” idea that “people, including small children, shouldn’t die because they can’t afford health insurance” instead of “basic human decency?) are “dreamers” and “unrealistic” because they’ve said things like, “We’ve got vast, institutional problems that need to be addressed with serious reform”?
It’s not just that moderate policies fail to address the overwhelming underlying issues that have created the problems we now face, it’s that they accept those problems as a fact of life rather than an issue of our own making. We decide what the minimum wage should be, we decide who gets medical coverage and how it’s operated, we decide how much to charge for a college education. Biden wants to be the President of the United States of America and is presenting himself as completely powerless to the powers that be. Bitch, you’re the powers that be.
And, yes, I understand that taking a position as a presidential candidate isn’t the same as being automatically able to implement it. The President would need to work with members of Congress who would be openly hostile to a lot of the policies championed by Warren or Sanders. Could we at least fight for them? If the country isn’t actually ready for more progressive policies (which actually it super is), could we at least not cede the fight before it starts? Does literally anyone think at this point that trying to appease the Republicans in Congress will make them work with us? And if so, might I remind you that DONALD M*THERF***ING TRUMP IS PRESIDENT?
I guess we just have to try harder to stand for absolutely nothing.
Header Image Source: NBC