There are several reasons as to why “The Left” always loses (and the fate and well being of the Middle-Class, Working-Class, and Poor along with it). Most have to do with the huge money and Media disadvantages that come from a rigged system that is under the control of Multi-National Corporations, a Robber Baron Banking “superclass”, War Profiteers, and right-wing policy “Think-Tanks“.
But there is one other significant reason that “The Left” always loses, and which is under our control to a large extent.
We lose because, unlike the rightward activists in this Country, there is no coordinated policy goals or policy message that we bring to the table.
For example, the word “progressive” is thrown around a lot, but I’m not sure too many politicians or pundits within Washington would actually be able to describe what “progressives” even stand for in specific policy terms. Activists on “The Left” largely went silent and acted as if Barack Obama was on our side anyway (the people who in fact elected him) despite his dismantling of Howard Dean’s successful 50-State DNC operation, his riggedly narrow framing of the entire Health Care debate (and Anti-Reform policy choices), his perpetuation and ratification of the Bush-Cheney-Rumsfeld War Crimes, the Civil Liberties suspensions, reckless War policies (based on perpetrating global mass-violence), his bailout of criminal Banking Crooks with our money (who should instead be in Jail for defrauding the financial system), his punting on first-down approach to negotiating with Republicans on Tax Policy, and his appointment of a right-wing panel designed to gut Social Security while Obama chooses to waste away Trillions of public dollars overseas on futile Foreign Occupations (which is what is Bankrupting the Country).
Whether we are talking about Keith Olbermann, Rachel Maddow, The DailyKos, MoveOn.org, or Bill Maher or whoever, there was generally an attitude that…’Hey Obama is now President so ..be happy, stand back and cheerlead, and don’t complain about anything‘ — aside from Sarah Palin and Glen Beck and “Tea Partiers”.
Can you imagine right-wing activists behaving this way? For example, if Ronald Reagan had cut the Military, aggressively prosecuted Savings&Loan swindlers, called off Star Wars, raised taxes on the rich while lowering the eligibility age for Social Security, and cut taxes only for the poor and middle class — do you think that the right-wing activists would have been stood on the sidelines and kept largely quiet? Would they have put lipstick on that pig (from their perspective) the way that Left activists have tried to put lipstick on the pig of Obama’s HealthInsurance subsidies, Bank subsidies, and pro-War violence?
I realize that there have been some lone exceptions to this, such as Jane Hamsher, and Ed Schultz, but few others have really pressured Obama from “the Left” in a way that is substantial, unambiguous, and persistent. And even the little criticism that did occur was not part of an organized grassroots movement towards any specific clear, acheivable policy alternatives, such as: a) Lowering the Medicare Eligibility Age to 50, b) demanding the reimportation of cheaper generic Drugs, c) demanding an End to the U.S. Patriot Act, etc.
I fear now that we are going to be stripped and robbed of our Social Security. The eligibility age is already too high (67 full-retirement age, and 70 for the larger paycheck) for many occupations. People who work in jobs that are physically demanding may not be able to retain their occupations at that late an age through no fault of their own. Similarly, people who work in rapidly changing technology-driven jobs may no longer fit the marketplace skill-wise as well as the younger people behind them through no fault of their own (and will also fall destitute). And with the high-debt. “borrow & spend” Economic model that our Country has, it may be hard for most people, suffering inevitable turnover, to now maintain their career at the same level up through the deep ages of 67 or 70.
Clearly, the idea of raising the age even further to even higher levels, or cutting back benefits (when the cost of living has leapfrogged previous generations) is completely insane and morally evil. The old have a hard enough time as it is.
With the GOP takeover of Congress, it will be impossible to advance new progressive causes such as: bringing all the Troops home (with the private contractors, and the Military Bases), big cuts in Military Spending, making the U.S. Tax Code more fair, Restoring Civil Liberties in this Country, etc. , but The Left better start making some real noise now about protecting Social Security otherwise it will be gone in a flash (and once gone it will never come back).
It seems that The Left (now in the minority position) better all band together fast and begin to force the Washington politicians to protect Social Security and cut elsewhere — otherwise we will see mass-poverty, suffering, and homelessness like we have never witnessed before ever in this Country.
We need now to speak in one, big loud voice:
Protect Social Security
End The Wars and Occupations
Rebuild Our Own Economy/Energy Systems/Schools
and make it clear just who The Left is, what it wants, and what it won’t accept from politicians.
Right-wing activists do this all the time, but we never really lay it out there in terms of specific policies, and do that.
And if Obama doesn’t want to sign on to our Agenda, then we need to find and support better candidates who will .. and forget all about him.