In the last few days, I’ve been taken for another political roller coaster from the left side of the political spectrum. I happen to be a liberal/progressive and that makes me vote Democrat / Green and support those candidates.
My regular readers should know this, my friends should be aware of this… Same with my allegiance to Howard Dean – it’s no secret.
What is a secret, or is something that I have touched on before but haven’t ranted about here on the Stonegauge, is that I am also in this crossroads politically. I have been there this summer after an incident with the local Green Party and I am there again because of national and local Democrats as well as the local Green Party.
Lets go back to Monday and Tuesday and Howard Dean getting an endorsement from former Veep Al Gore. This was a huge blow to others participating in the Democratic Primaries coming up, and none of them could muster enough nerve, during a debate Tuesday night, to actually raise their hand when Ted Koppel asked the group if Dean could beat George W. Bush.
Sour grapes, that is understandable for the most part – but it’s a continuing trend.
I have read today in the St. Petersburg Times Ed/Op – Letters To the Editor section that Gore’s endorsement should be considered “the Kiss of Death” for Howard Dean. I have seen others complain of Gore’s “betrayal” of Joe Lieberman… Forget the fact that Lieberman hasn’t won anyone over and just comes off as a nice guy for the most part – but hardly someone you want to lead you into a battle.
For some reason, these smallish grudges – Lieberman being snubbed by Gore, other candidates not believing in Dean because they hadn’t gotten major endorsements, etc — all just mystified the Democratic party to me. Why so much disdain for one another when everyone in the party is supposed to be working for the common goal of trying to improve America?
OK, lets take this to the local front now. The St. Petersburg Times letter section today probably put me in a defensive mood to begin with (though most letters were positive about the Dean / Gore endorsement). It put me on the defensive specifically because someone had brought up (as I mentioned above) the infighting among Democrats. I came online to check my email and got to read a local democrat putting down local Greens / Kurt Gratzol’s “tree Hugger” house party that he hosts every couple of weeks. The email in question talked about how Kurt and others at his parties (usual Greens) were just there to be brought back to the Democratic Party and actually using the term “Tree Hugger” wasn’t going to help their (Democrats) cause of trying to lure people back to the Democratic Party.
This ticked me off because, for the second time, I witnessed someone who was too concerned with the Democratic party give a care if he insulted another progressive/liberal. The email writer also didn’t / doesn’t seem to grasp the point that there is a difference between the Democratic Party and the Green Party and that the Democratic Party’s own actions is most likely the reason any Green has “broken off” away from the Dems in the first place.
A Green is still a liberal.
A Green is still a progressive.
A Green is an ally – not someone that needs to be “brought back” to the Democratic Party. You can go to them and vote for them just as much as they will probably vote Dem. in a general election where a Green candidate isn’t running. Why, in gods name, do you have to make a case for “bringing them back” into the fold? Or have to post an insult with regards to their politics in making your case that you are lobbying to get these people “back” to the Democratic party?
So where do I sit now? I don’t know. I am a leftist-progressive. I believe in the best in people… Yet it seems every opportunity the Left has to further make me feel comfortable, or make me feel tied to one party or another on the left, they screw it up in some way or another.
For instance, this summer when I was “forced out” of the local Green Party… I was called a “rubber spined…coward” for backing Howard Dean and believing the 2004 election was too important to vote for Principled Idealism. I had already grown disillusioned with local Greens because there was too much loony-left rhetoric, along with them lobbying for a Green presidential candidate (2004 is TOO IMPORTANT to the nation to have a split left vote again!)… This was the last straw when I was called a coward for not standing up to some ideal value of a candidate…
So I was no longer a Green.
I embrace Howard Dean and have met some very cool people through the Dean campaign so far, and will likely meet more as things continue to move ahead… But at the same time, I had posted about my Dean/Green incident and that inspired at least one nutcase to go and give me some grief for ever having been tied to the Green Party. Why? He was still pissed off over 2000 and just had to take a pock-shot at someone that actually voted for Ralph Nader.
Instead of welcoming a new supporter, or trying to make someone feel comfortable in political surroundings, this guy wants to coddle his own insecurities and ego by attacking and making snide remarks. GREAT way to win support :rolleyes
The infighting among the left can and will become the cause of defeat in 2004 unless the Democrats stop being such weak-willed cowards, stop being such infighting fools and start uniting for greater purpose. Stop trying to tear down the other guy because he doesn’t fit your ideal or doesn’t follow your beat in every step and start thinking about the bigger picture.
The bigger picture is what’s at stake — the very beacon of hope that the United States used to be. Why make a fuss over such petty things in politics and not just UNITE and CONQUER for the greater good of every citizen in the US and the world?
It’s not like this Ad does anything to stop my concerns about the Left vs. the Left either