Friday, May 09, 2008

Over And Done by Anthony McCarthy

The country, the world needs the Democrats to win the election in November.

I’ve been concentrating too much for too long on what we shouldn’t be doing, getting dragged into tertiary level and lower fights that some influential but marginal elites will try to drag us into. Those fights have lost us elections, they will continue to lose elections. I won’t name those again, you can read my past posts and comments to see those identified.

The left has to go back to its economic justice roots and concentrate on issues important to a majority of voters. A lot of those are not exotic and cutting edge and, since the above mentioned elites aren’t the most disadvantaged by economic injustice, those issues aren’t considered sexy by the loudest of those posing as the voice of the left. They are too every-day to be diverting and so will not make diverting reading. A living wage, national health care, decent jobs and a secure life for children and adults, a just tax system, a habitable environment, if the majority of voters believe we will try hard to deliver those things, we will win this and every other election. We must make it clear that we will try to deliver those to all Americans, regardless of ethnic group, gender, or other minority assignment. All or none, you can’t have economic justice without justice.

And people know they will never get justice without having respect. Too many Americans have been convinced that Democrats look down on them. If you want to know what’s wrong with people who vote against their interests, the feeling they are disrespected is a big part of it. People will forgo a lot before they’ll give up their sense of being respectable, of deserving respect. Even people who are starving and might give up their self-respect will hate you for taking it from them. They will get it back as soon as they can afford it, but they’ll never forgive those who took it from them to start with. If fascist demagogues hold a promise of it in front of them, they’ll follow them into ruin chasing after it. And a lot of the people who pretend they’re on the left give them good reason to doubt our respect.

Quite plainly, there are way too many people on the left who have contempt for The People in whole or in large part. I don’t trust anyone like that. They will be the first to turn, the least reliable when it comes right down to it. The left either believes in the dignity of The People, their ability to rise, their right to govern themselves, or it ceases to exist, changing into some sterile species of libertarianism at best, a permanently self-exiled pantomime of a left, the status quo left of the past thirty years.

Our candidates have to run against the lying cartoon of elitism the Republicans have drawn, they also have to run against those allegedly of the left who support that cartoon image with their words and actions.

People like to have a real reason to like themselves. They need it as much as they need food and a clean place to sleep. They need to know they are respected and loved. Americans, at their best, really do believe in justice and equality and fairness. If those virtues seem quaint it’s not from their being too commonplace today. They have been made to seem phony by jaded scribblers, bored academics, lazy TV writers, and hate talk cynics. I have enough faith in people to believe that the majority will opt for decency over decadence. If I didn’t believe that I’d put a gun in my mouth now and get out of a rotten life. I don’t believe life is inevitably rotten.

I’m done with the play left, the pose left, the left that puts theories over realities and ideological postures over vital practicalities. I’m done with the left that looks down on The People, who see them as having no more potential than manageable masses kept contented with distractions while ruled over by themselves as fantasy philosopher kings. That left isn’t any left, it’s a bunch of brats in a clique daydreaming something that will never be. I’m done reasoning with them, I’m done cajoling them, I’m done humoring them, I’m just done with them.

There’s an election to win, power to be taken and laws to be made. We’ve got a lot of people to convince. We have to get most of them.