Send a Tweet
Most Popular Choices
Share on Facebook 15 Share on Twitter 1 Printer Friendly Page More Sharing
OpEdNews Op Eds    H1'ed 9/9/14

# 1 Many Liberals Don't Like the Idea of Battle, But the Alternative in America Today is Much Worse

By       (Page 1 of 2 pages)   33 comments, In Series: Press the Battle
Follow Me on Twitter     Message Andrew Schmookler
Become a Fan
  (31 fans)
Press The Battle
Press The Battle
(Image by Phillip Lang, Shutterstock)
  Details   DMCA

(This article is the first in a series, titled "Press the Battle," whose purpose is to get our national conversation to focus on the central realities of the crisis in today's America.)

In America right now there's a battle that needs to be fought and won in our political arena. It's a battle over what kind of country, and what kind of planet, our children and grandchildren will live in.

Although some people like waging battle -- some even insist on it -- most liberals I've known are capable of living richer, more balanced and fulfilling lives. Most of us liberals would rather lead those better lives than focus on political combat.

But over the past decade or two, while we've been living our fuller, more rounded lives, we with the more humane set of values have been out-organized, out-fought, out-messaged by a relentless force that has taken over the right, and that has

" Turned our politics into a kind of war,
" hollowed out the middle class,
" debased our public discourse,
" brought out the worst in our decent conservative neighbors,
" undermined the rule of law,
" placed our descendants in greater peril of ecological catastrophe,
" embroiled us in needless wars,
" besmirched America's good name in the world,
" driven our economy into a pit,
" and magnified the ability of corporate power to steal our democracy.

The response from Liberal America to this ugly destructive force on the right has been woefully inadequate to protect the nation.

The combination of a destructive force and weak response has created one of the most profound crises in American history. If our nation is going to stop its descent, and to regain the ability to deal constructively with the challenges we face, this dangerous political dynamic must be turned around.

It is from Liberal America that necessary change will have to come. The other side will change only when compelled. Therefore, our side will need to bring more passion and determination than we have yet shown to fight and win the political battle.

Sure, we'd rather live our healthier, more fulfilling lives. But history does not always give people the choices they prefer.

Throughout history, peoples have been forced to confront others who were bent upon expanding their own power. The undesirable choice has been either to fall under the domination of aggressors, or to match their power in order to defend what is held dear. (This is a major theme of my book -- The Parable of the Tribes: The Problem of Power in Social Evolution -- explaining why the course of civilization has often been so tormented.)

We in America today do not have the option we'd prefer, of going on as before and have everything be all right.

In plain sight, those relentless forces that have taken over the Republican Party are working against pretty much everything we believe in: justice to protect the weak, respect for the truth in our democratic deliberations, compassion for our fellow citizens, and care for the integrity of the living systems on which we all depend for our survival.

That's the nature of what we're called to fight and defeat. The stakes could hardly be higher.

We're not the first to be required by the luck of the historical draw to be called to a duty we'd not desired.

In the 1940s, my father's generation had to set aside the lives they would have preferred to lead -- lives richer and more humane than fighting their way across France or the islands of the Pacific -- because it was necessary to defeat a destructive force that had arisen in Europe and Asia.

The present generation of Americans has a moral responsibility to sacrifice our ease and comfort to defend the same values by fighting here at home.

Next Page  1  |  2

(Note: You can view every article as one long page if you sign up as an Advocate Member, or higher).

Valuable 5   Must Read 4   Well Said 4  
Rate It | View Ratings

Andrew Schmookler Social Media Pages: Facebook page url on login Profile not filled in       Twitter page url on login Profile not filled in       Linkedin page url on login Profile not filled in       Instagram page url on login Profile not filled in

Andy Schmookler, an award-winning author, political commentator, radio talk-show host, and teacher, was the Democratic nominee for Congress from Virginia's 6th District. His new book -- written to have an impact on the central political battle of our time -- is (more...)
Go To Commenting
The views expressed herein are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.
Follow Me on Twitter     Writers Guidelines

Contact AuthorContact Author Contact EditorContact Editor Author PageView Authors' Articles
Support OpEdNews

OpEdNews depends upon can't survive without your help.

If you value this article and the work of OpEdNews, please either Donate or Purchase a premium membership.

If you've enjoyed this, sign up for our daily or weekly newsletter to get lots of great progressive content.
Daily Weekly     OpEd News Newsletter
   (Opens new browser window)

Most Popular Articles by this Author:     (View All Most Popular Articles by this Author)

Why Do Conservatives Like Colbert? Article Plus Critique

Mel Gibson's Rant as Profound Clue

To Anti-Obamite Lefties: It Doesn't Matter If You're Right

How Important is the Loss of Friendship?

# 8 Beliefs that Make Liberal America Weak: Barriers to the Source of Moral and Spiritual Passions

Power and Corruption: Just What Is Their Relationship?

To View Comments or Join the Conversation:

Tell A Friend