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OpEdNews Op Eds    H2'ed 8/28/09

Conservative bullies, progressive wimps? No more!

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Progressives often complain that Democrats in Congress are wimps. Democrats are often too quick to give in to Republican scare tactics and too quick to compromise. Republicans, on the other hand, seem shameless and fearless in their willingness to insult, lie, cheat, and bully their way to victory.

We progressives need to do our part by standing up and calling a spade a spade. We need to kick some conservative butt.

In the 1980s and 1990s right wingers like Rush Limbaugh ranted on and on about the supposed evils of "liberals". The right wingers succeeded quite well: no longer do many people call themselves "liberals". Now the favored word is "progressives." (In fact, the nuances are different, I think. Bill Clinton and John Kerry were liberals but not progressives.) Until 2006, conservatives were doing well in elections.

Our task is to expose the harmfulness of conservative views to such a degree that people will feel ashamed to call themselves conservatives.

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In this regards, I've created a web tool:

Criticize Conservatives (

that lets you send a limited number of anonymous insult emails to conservatives that you know. Most of us have neighbors, coworkers, and even family members who voted for George W. Bush or who continue to vote for Republicans or Blue Dog Democrats. Hows about sending them an anonymous insult?

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Aside from my email insult tool, I'm looking for other ways to fight back. One idea is to frown, condescend and chuckle whenever someone says something conservative.

One conservative talking point that deserves particular scorn is the Reaganesuqe claim that government is necessarily inefficient, corrupt, and unproductive. Without government we'd be hunter gatherers or in a lawless state like Somalia. See Bring on the Reagan Counterrevolution and Government: Unproductive? Wasteful? Corrupt?. The reason this topic is so important for progressives is that opposition to government and taxation is the core principle of the conservative movement. Healthcare reform, economic justice, social services, media reform, public transportation, regulations, education, and public funding of elections all depend on people realizing that government is a force for good and that progressive taxation is good for the country.

Of course, all too often government serves the interest of the rich and powerful, so government is not always good, but still on many issues it's our only hope.

Dave Thomas defines the ideals the progressive movement this way:

"Put simply, Socialists trust public enterprise, while rejecting abusive private enterprise. Conservatives trust private enterprise, while rejecting abusive public enterprise. [Progressives] recognize that both public and private enterprise can yield benefits and can be abusive."

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I like that definition because it paints progressives as the "moderates" that they are.

In addition to loudly and widely stating our facts and our truths, progressive also need to aggressively attack conservatives when they spew their lies and distortions.

Do others have ideas for ways in which progressive can stand up tall and fight?

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DFA organizer, Democratic Precinct Committee Officer, writer, and programmer. My op-ed pieces have appeared in the Seattle Times, the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, and elsewhere. See and for my writing, my (more...)
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