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OpEdNews Op Eds    H1'ed 12/17/19

How conservatives and evangelicals are smarter than Dems and progressives

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Progressives and Democrats like to look down on conservatives, including evangelicals. But the facts suggest that it's the progressives and Democrats who aren't so smart.

  1. Trump campaigned strenuously in the swing states, unlike Hillary, who apparently thought she had a strong enough lead that she needn't bother. But Hillary raised far more money than Trump did.

  2. Barack Obama was a gifted orator and a decent man. When he took office in 2008 the GOP and its policies were regarded with scorn by a majority of Americans, due to the fraudulent and disastrous war in Iraq, numerous scandals in the Bush administration, the use of torture, rampant corruption in the Republican Party (Tom Delay, etc), the economic recession, and widespread fraud on Wall Street. But instead of holding the Republican and corporate criminals accountable and enacting progressive reform, Obama decided to "look forward." He prosecuted whistle blowers with a vengeance, continued Bush's bailouts of Wall Street (not Main Street), compromised early and often, enacted a corporate-friendly Affordable Care Act, escalated the hopeless war in Afghanistan, increased the power of the MIC, and alienated millions of his progressive supporters who were hoping for real change.

    Three weeks before the 2016 election, Obama and Biden went to Mitch McConnell asking for "permission" to reveal to Americans the extent of Russian meddling in the election. McConnell (who had refused to bring Merrick Garland's nomination to the Senate floor) said no. Yet Obama allowed James Comey to tell Americans about reopening the Hillary email investigation. In short, Obama didn't fight, and he allowed the GOP to roar back to life and to swift-boat Hillary and the Dems. Obama is one of the main reasons we have Trump as president; progressive and independent voters figured: why bother?. See Obama: the triumph and the tragedy.

  3. Bernie Sanders is a social democrat, not a socialist. This is the consensus of numerous scholars. See Bernie, please stop calling yourself a socialist. You're a social democrat! But Sanders continues to call himself a socialist. That's exactly what the Fox News crowd wants him to do. What a mistake!

  4. Despite Trump's obvious character flaws, scandals, and lack of qualifications, Republicans and evangelicals voted for him because they knew that Trump would appoint conservative judges to the federal courts. This was one of the conclusions of Angela Denker in her book Red State Christians: Understanding the Voters Who Elected Donald Trump, and it's anecdotally true in my experience. I have Republican acquaintances who said they were quite aware of Trump's many flaws -- how could they not be? -- but they thought Hillary was worse. They cared deeply about the Supreme Court.

    In contrast, millions of progressives refused to vote for Hillary, whom they (rightly!!!!) considered the lesser-of-two evils. They voted for Jill Stein -- just as progressives voted for Ralph Nader over ardent environmentalist Al Gore in 2000 -- or they stayed home. Voting for Stein in a swing state accomplished nothing of value and handed control of the government to fascists. After the election, Stein launched a doomed effort to show that there was voter fraud.

    Numerous progressives have tried to claim that Nader didn't cause Gore to lose the 2000 election. See here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here , here, and here. It's true that Nader alone didn't do it; he needed the cooperation of his supporters to help elect Bush. There were many contributing causes. In such a close election, many factors were sufficient to change the outcome -- for example, the Supreme Court decision to halt the recount, or the bad ballots in Florida, or Gore's bad choice of Joe Lieberman for vice-president. (Most of the articles denying Gore's culpability fail to account for the multiplicity of sufficient causes.) But it is true that if the 90,000 voters who had voted for Nader in Florida had instead voted for Gore -- or if, say, 10% of them had voted for Gore -- then Bush wouldn't have won election, the war in Iraq wouldn't have occurred, the Bush tax cuts wouldn't have be enacted, and Samuel Alito wouldn't be sitting on the Supreme Court. In short, the correct framing of the Nader issue is this: Nader and his supporters caused Gore to lose in 2000. That is undeniable. It's also true that the Supreme Court caused Bush to win. Both can be true.

    If you don't vote for the lesser-of-two evils, you get the greater-of-two-evils, at least in presidential elections with our first-past-the-post election system. Hence we have Trump in the White House and courts stacked with right wing ideologues for a generation. See Vote for the Lying Neoliberal Warmonger: It's Important.

    Let's hope Ruth Bader Ginsburg survives another 12 months.

    See The Logic of Lesser-of-two-evilism for elaboration.

  5. Late-term abortions are extremely rare and in almost all cases happen because the woman's life is in danger or the fetus is deformed. They're effectively banned in most jurisdictions after the fetus becomes viable. Besides, no sane, moral person would be comfortable aborting a full term fetus without good reason. In short, the extreme pro-choice position that a woman has an absolute right to choose what happens to her body is untenable. The Dems have lost this debate and it has cost them dearly in elections. Democrats refuse to compromise on the issue of (late-term) abortions and repeatedly vote against bills to restrict it.

    Yet for tens of millions of Americans, abortion is the most important issue. Dems seem willing to sacrifice all other issues in order to protect a woman's right to choose late term abortions. Seems like a bad deal. See Dems should support a grand compromise involving reasonable restrictions on late-term abortions.

    I'm pro-choice, but there are limits, and that issue shouldn't trump all other issues.

    During the 2016 primary for the 8th Congressional District in Washington State, progressive Democrat Jason Rittereiser came within 1200 votes of defeating centrist Democrat Kim Shrier. Earlier in the primary, either Rittereiser or Shannon Hader earned the endorsement of most Democratic Party organizations. (I heard from members of one endorsement committee that Shrier was the least qualified.) But "Schrier had the backing of pro-abortion rights group EMILY's List, which spent $334,000 boosting her in the district, which stretches from the Seattle suburbs east into the Cascade Mountains." (source) The Stranger's article on the race says the same thing. Recently many progressives are upset with Shrier's centrism (e.g., her failure to support single-payer healthcare). Moreover, Congresswoman Kim Schrier Endorses a Republican in Sammamish City Council Race. Primaries matter and Democrats have allowed pro-choice extremists to hijack the party.

  6. Despite the overwhelming destructiveness and unfairness of GOP policies, the Democratic Party has allowed the Republicans to dominate the framing of issues. Nancy Pelosi didn't impeach or investigate anyone in the Bush administration for the lies and missteps that led to the disastrous and costly war in Iraq. Later, President Obama chose to "look forward" and didn't prosecute Bush administration war criminals or Wall Street crooks. During the Trump administration, Democrats at first hoped Robert Mueller would find damning evidence about Trump and the Russians. There were numerous indictments, and lots of strange contacts with Russians, but no smoking gun showing collusion. Now the Dems are hoping that Ukraine-gate will reveal impeachable offenses sufficient to convince the Senate to convict. But Trump's many lawsuits, corrupt foundation, numerous sexual affairs, inability to spell, regressive tax policies, destructive environmental policies, cruel health policies, and racist immigration policies provide plenty of damning material. Dems should hold hearings and reality TV spectacles exposing Trump's misdeed. Only due to Democratic incompetence, sellouts, and wimpiness was Trump able to win in 2016 and have a chance in 2020.

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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 http://WALiberals.org and http://TruthSite.org for my writing, my (more...)
 
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