I’m signed up to receive email newsletters from all of my elected representatives. I feel like it’s important to keep up with what they’re doing so I can decide what to do next election. They are all Democrats. An unpleasant side effect of keeping up with my representatives is I get tons of emails from the Democratic Party. I hear about races all over the country, races that I cannot participate in. I get emails asking me to sign petitions. I’ve been asked to send a happy birthday message to Michelle Obama. And I get constant reminders of how evil the Republicans are. I mostly read the subject line and then delete the emails without opening them. That’s what you’re supposed to do with spam, right?
If the subject lines are accurate, the Republicans are doing lots of outrageous things. Did you know that they are restricting voting rights across the country? How about the draconian abortion laws, did you hear about those? Can you believe they blocked the January 6th commission? (By the way, I so don’t care on any level about the January 6th commission or bringing Trumpers to “justice.” It won’t change anything.) I’m told they prioritize gun manufacturers’ profits over people’s safety and that they don’t want people to have basic healthcare. You’ll never believe these: the Republicans want to take from the poor and give to the rich and they are generally racist, sexist, homophobic, transphobic, xenophobic, and ableist. This might be the most shocking of all, but there’s a rumor that Mitch McConnell has a double standard when it comes to appointing justices to the Supreme Court. Oh, wait, never mind, of course you know all this. It’s been the standard Republican strategy for more than fifty years now.
The Democrats tell me this stuff like I should be shocked. Shocked I tells ya! But, how on Earth am I supposed to be shocked by something that’s been happening in the open for my entire life, literally? At this point, I just don’t have it in me to be shocked, outraged, or much else when I think about the Republicans. Their platform has essentially been, “Screw you!” for decades and it’s worked really well for them. Getting upset about it is about as productive as beeping your horn in rush hour traffic.
If I’m going to be outraged, it’s more likely to be directed at the Democrats and the rest of the political left. Not shocked, of course, I’ve been watching the cycle repeat for more than forty years now, but I feel quite a bit of outrage. How can the Democrats and their lefty allies be so completely incompetent? They are utterly, incomprehensibly inept. My brother once asked me if environmentalists are stupid. He explained the question by saying that, at heart, the environmentalists’ message is that it would be preferable to breathe clean air and drink clean water than breathe smog and drink lead. But, they can’t manage to convince enough people of that to make anything happen. That must mean they’re stupid. I think he made a good point, but it’s not just environmentalists. Democrats and progressives and activists and people who fight for social justice and all the rest seem to be competing to see who can be least effective in accomplishing their goals. Forget the treason and corruption of Trumpism, it was objectively bad for almost all of us. Hundreds of thousands of people died preventable deaths, the economy crashed, unemployment went through the roof, hate crimes went up, and on and on. The Democrats turned that into a Biden presidency (Biden? Really?), but couldn’t get an actual majority in the Senate, lost seats in the house, and got pretty well hosed at the state and local levels. That’s so beyond incompetent that I wish we had another word for it. It’s supercalifragilistincompetence or something.
I will talk about the specific issues and causes in future posts, but there are some identifiable themes throughout the left’s ineptitude. One of the most obvious is that they get bogged down in gestures and symbols rather than fixing problems. Happy Juneteenth everyone! (For the record, Juneteenth as a national holiday is a good thing. I support it. But let’s not pretend like it actually fixes anything.) They love to make the best the enemy of the good. If you’re not sure what I mean by that, go on a clean energy forum sometime and look at the reaction if someone suggests using nuclear as a bridge to true renewables. Liberals are far too concerned with being right. We would have been more successful with the pandemic if we had just made mask wearing a symbol of patriotism instead of trying to explain disease transmission. And, it’s strangely important to the left that they be left. There’s a ton of good work to be done in the political center, starting with getting food in bellies and roofs over heads. But, socialism, everyone. Come on.
Anyway, I know I’m not the only one furious about the current state of affairs, but why am I the only one putting the blame on the political left? They’re supposed to be my allies, but they fill me with rage. It’s hard to get mad at Mitch McConnell. We give him a treat every time he does something. Why would he change? Let’s get mad at Bernie Sanders and his ilk instead and see what happens.