“I’m a liberal

“I’m a liberal.” There, I’ve said it – no taking it back now. I will have to face up to it around the holiday table and suffer the whispers of my friends, though, truth to tell, they’ve probably known for years anyway. I have couched and quantified my inclinations in terms that are not confrontational. I’m a “Teddy Roosevelt progressive”. I line up more closely with the Libertarian Party (although I also line up pretty closely with the ultra-liberal Green Party). I’m not a Democrat, gosh no. For the past three decades Democrats have been far too bland and indistinguishable from the center right Republican mainstream. Except for a few social issues, mainstream Democrats and mainstream Republicans (not the Tea Party right wing-nuts) are almost one in the same. The death knell of the working class blue collar Democrat was NAFTA, the policy of a Democrat administration. Frankly on the issues that count to me Democrats aren’t liberal enough. What I can’t abide, what makes me embarrassed to claim the liberal designation is the smug self righteous moral superiority what many liberals bring to the conversation. The attached article from the very (perhaps ultra) liberal site, Vox.com, has a good analysis of that smug style and why it is damaging to liberal causes.
In 1964 LBJ won the Presidential election in a landslide (486 electoral votes and 61.2% of the popular vote) on the way to a Democratic stranglehold on government. The party did it with an alliance of minorities, intellectuals, blue collar workers and farmers. This year the blue collar workers and farmers voted overwhelmingly for Donald Trump. The unions have transformed into the representatives for teachers, pilots, government workers, police and other professionals. For decades liberals have looked down their noses at a substantial portion of the LBJ alliance. The working poor have not seen a raise in real income in more than 30 years. Perhaps it is time for liberals to embrace the cause of these forgotten people that we once called the back bone of America. Surely they/we are not all deplorable.

51 thoughts on ““I’m a liberal

  1. And the Democrats did not “lose” the “blue collar vote”–the Right just did a better job of appealing to their racism, bigotry, et al. All this talk of “understanding” the Trump voter is BULLSHIT–like asking German resisters to Hitler to “understand” their disgusting neighbors who didn’t. You Repubs had EIGHT FUCKING YEARS to be “understood,” and all you did was block & hate Obama & everything he stood for. Not to mention drink the Kool-Aid the right’s been brewing about Hillary for 25 years. So CONGRATS, Republicants, on being DUPES of the right wing media and embracing Our American Hitler.

  2. A line has been drawn in the American sand, David Plamondon; you’re either on the side with those who’ve chosen OUR AMERICAN HITLER, or you’re on the RIGHT side of history with those who stand AGAINST him. Just like those Germans who didn’t stand with their “friends” like you stand with your very own deplorable, Wayne Smirk. Good luck with him!

  3. Arlen, I have great respect for what you write (outside of the occasional angry FU ;-)). I understand you to be a passionate and focused artist who has championed the cause of individuals that the “system” has taken advantage of. This kind of discourse, above, is precisely what I fear in the aftermath of this election. Recently I have found it necessary to declare to African American friends, who fear for their safety in a new administration, that I will stand with them. When they put on the arm bands I will stand with you, my friend. Never again, never here. Not ever. In spite of the exchange, above, I believe that Wayne Shirk would stand with you as well. Outside of California Mr. Trump won the popular vote by 1.4 million. Might there have been 1.4 million racists who saw an opportunity to give voice to their pent up hatred… maybe. There is simply no way to look into the hearts of all those people to know. I do know this: there clearly were more than 1.4 million voters, in states other than California, who felt that HRC would not stand up for them and they voted for Mr. Trump in spite of all of the good reasons not to because they felt that he might give them a voice. 1.4 million votes is five one thousandths of the population. We could have turned this around by connecting with a tiny fraction more of the independents (that’s me by the way).

  4. David, David, David–your EXACT WORDS can be used to justify all the put-upon Germans, suffering from the aftermath of WWI, who swallowed Hitler’s “Make Germany Great Again” spiel. It’s the SAME bullshit this time around, with an American flavor to it. But it STINKS just the same. And just like in Germany, many of our relatives, “best friends” and neighbors are swallowing it NOW, too. Sad that you’re falling for it too; I expected better out of you.

  5. Racism is what was perpetuated as a device to undermine and demean Trump. Those like Arlen are what’s wrong with America. While they stand still whining and throwing stones, the rest of us will be making OUR (everybody’s) America great again.

  6. Stop it, both of you. You are just enjoying the schoolyard fight. I really do believe that it is important to figure out how to reach that slim margin that could have created a different outcome for this election, WITHOUT pandering to the alt-right fruit cakes.

  7. You can’t hurl insults and call it a constructive sentence. You can’t spew fiction and call it facts. Your opinions of others don’t mean shit when the other people don’t care what your opinions are. By the way, I’m still waiting for you to explain yourself, if you can

  8. Arlen, just by the way, while I am very interested in understanding how Trump won, there is no part of the bullshit that I am willing to swallow. In 1951 my father was traveling from Westover AFB in Massachusetts to Lackland AFB in Texas by train, for reassignment. His traveling companion was an African American fellow GI with whom he had trained. Their friendship ran deep. When the train stopped in Mississippi and they got out to get something to eat. The restaurant in the station would not serve his friend. My dad began to complain that this man was an airman in the uniform of the US Air Force (newly blue) and his friend said, “Bob, don’t start something you can’t finish.” My dad told me that story more than once. It was to his endless regret that he could not stand up to Jim Crow in 1951. He certainly raised me to think and act in a manner that reflects the truth that America stands for the equality of everyone. This isn’t 1951 and it isn’t Germany in 1932. Today I can start and finish any conversation that indicates that my friends black or Jewish (or Hispanic any other ethnic shade that we might think of) are not going to get their full measure of the American dream. I will will not sit idly by and watch. I consider it my duty to stand up and fight for these truths. When I became an Army Infantry officer I considered it my duty to stand up for these values. When I became an Army Ranger and paratrooper I did so to stand for these values and truths – that together you and I (and Wayne Shirk for that matter) will stand up against the lunatic fringe for the rights of every American.

  9. Least we HAVE brains to wrap around, Smirk–oh, and here’s the reason Trump win, to bring this threads full-circle for the morons among us: the Democrats did not “lose” the “blue collar vote”–the Right just did a better job of appealing to their racism, bigotry, et al. All this talk of “understanding” the Trump voter is BULLSHIT–like asking German resisters to Hitler to “understand” their disgusting neighbors who didn’t. You Repubs had EIGHT FUCKING YEARS to be “understood,” and all you did was block & hate Obama & everything he stood for. Not to mention drink the Kool-Aid the right’s been brewing about Hillary for 25 years. So CONGRATS, Smirk, on being a DUPE of the right wing media and embracing Our American Hitler.

  10. That’s a prime example of being ignorant to what we stand for and talking like you understand. When in reality, you have no clue

  11. “WE”–spoken like a true Hitlerian–i mean, Trumpster. As in Dumspter. As in “deplorable.” If the shoe fits, stick it in your mouth, Smirk.

  12. I “Judge a man by what comes out of his mouth,” Mr. Deplorable. Betcha you don’t even know where that quote comes from!

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