As a registered Democrat, I feel that I can speak as a member of the family. But as a relatively recent convert from Republican and then Independent voter status, I can speak with an outside perspective.
One of the most obvious problems you have is that Democrats have no party loyalty, and trying to get all of you to point in the same general direction at once is like herding all of those silly cats everybody is always failing to keep in one group.
Yes, I know, there are so many groups that call themselves Democrats that they all have different agendas, but that is why I am using the term “progressive voters” in this letter. All of you should be agreeing on one thing: beating the Republican Party and preventing them from getting into office is the number one priority, that should override every single other issue you may have.
But you don’t. You still are capable, in a fit of pique, of staying home and away from the polls to punish the President for not being as left wing as you are.
WHAT WERE YOU THINKING?
Almost every single crazy right wing bill sidelining women’s rights, targeting labor unions, making religion an official part of various governments’ activities, the impending shutdown of the Federal government and what will certainly turn out to be a two year gridlock of government at the Federal level is due to to an increased testosterone level in Republicans’ political activities that is virtually certain to be traced back to their being convinced that they won the 2010 elections because more people are thinking like them.
And they are able to think like this BECAUSE TOO DAMN MANY OF YOU STAYED HOME!
If you had gone to the polls and voted as you did two years ago, chances are that the Republicans’ wins in 2010 would have been much more diluted, if not much fewer and further between. It would have been much harder for them to claim some victory out of the whole thing if you’d just gone to the polls and voted for Democratic candidates.
But, that is water under the bridge, and can’t be changed.
What can be done is to get yourselves together to fight everything the Republicans are doing, everywhere! There is everything to win and a hell of a lot to lose.
I have some suggestions.
First, every progressive voter should, after finishing this essay, pick up the phone and call the White House. Urge President Obama to get on Air Force One and fly straight to Madison, Wisconsin, put on a pair of walking shoes and join the protestors in fighting this nasty, unconscionable attempt to destroy union power in the United States. Remember, it is your livelihood the Republican are trying to attack. And by destroying the unions, they will also destroy your Party’s ability to affect national elections in a major way. Which is their purpose!
Second, if you are a private sector employee who has no pension, a lousy health insurance policy and what you consider a poor salary compared with other people in other companies doing the same job, call a union. Seriously, CALL A UNION! If your complaint about public sector employees is that they have better pensions, health insurance and a better chance of keeping their jobs, CALL A UNION! Don’t help the Republicans destroy the livelihoods of others out of jealous spite, do something about your own poor situation!
Third, join other progressive voters in organizing for the next elections. Organize for elections at all levels, local, State and Federal. All over the country, elections are held every year at all of the various levels, and it is important - very important - that progressives get elected at all levels.
Fourth, at every opportunity, when faced with the insanity of the right wing, respond! Write letters to the editor, write your Congressional Rep and Senators, even if they are, no, especially if they are, Republicans. Let them know that they are opposed, that you think they are wrong. Be respectful but write them! Post on web sites where comments are allowed, talk to your friends, do anything you can to get out the progressive vote! Don’t let the right wing crazies get away with their insanity!
Fifth, VOTE!! It doesn’t matter whether the progressive candidate is perfectly in line with your political views or if he’s recently made you angry by ignoring your personal issue, if he is a Democrat, and the only other choice is Republican, vote for the Democrat! Don’t stay home, VOTE!
The alternative is to allow the conservative, religious fundamentalists to win.
And if they win, democracy loses, as we’ve seen clearly in Wisconsin.