Can’t we all just get along?

Posted by Planet Waves

By Jen Sorensen.

Jen Sorensen imagines where too much in-fighting among Democratic voters could lead.

By Jen Sorensen.

By Jen Sorensen.


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8 thoughts on “Can’t we all just get along?

  1. Rob

    Uh, yeah, we still get to have preferences within a party, particularly at a time when the right-wing opposition has become radicalized and business as usual on the Dem side hasn’t adequately addressed underlying inequity. The narrative that any disagreement on the left equals an inevitable loss to the right plays well with the Dem establishment–because they created and benefit from that meme. But it ain’t necessarily so. The vibrant intra-party battle between Sanders and Clinton, as Sanders himself admitted in his NH primary victory speech last night, is drawing in new Dem voters for the general election. (Though the Millennial demographic could definitely do a lot better with their turnout.) In the same speech, Sanders also made a clear call for party unity come nomination time, regardless of the winner. He’s astute enough to see the risks in party fracturing and speak against it. And in spite of the rhetoric heard from some Sanders supporters now, it’s less than assured that they’ll sit out the general election should HRC win the nomination.

    In my view Sanders has known all along he is the longer shot for the Oval Office. While that hasn’t stopped him from running as passionately as possible and outperforming expectations in the process, there are other motivations behind his campaign: pulling the establishment candidate further to the left; legitimizing a larger national conversation about inequity and corporate hegemony; and effectively paving the way for a future candidate like Elizabeth Warren or similar progressives. Regardless of his ultimate intention, the groundswell of support he’s catalyzed is in fact shaking up the party establishment and the very way campaigns are run. Just as in the other political universe Trump is doing the same via a far different message.

    Given Jen Sorenson’s unapologetically progressive views, it’s a little surprising to see her parrot the rather disengenuous claim of mainstream Dem elites that incremental change executed by an insider is the only safe way forward. If you want real change, you have to stand up for it. Sanders has and is. Win or lose, he’s already shifted the narrative of what’s possible. And made it ok to say that no, we can’t all just get along when the whole house is burning down around us and the old guard is insisting we only try to save a room at a time.

    1. Amanda PainterAmanda Painter

      Rob and KittyJ — My take on Jen’s cartoon is not that she thinks there can be no disagreement within the party. I don’t even think she thinks that having two strong candidates within the party is going to lose “progessives” or Dems the White House. My sense, having seen some true vitriolic attacks between Sanders’ and Clinton’s supporters (did you read Gloria Steinem’s and Madeline Albright’s recent remarks?), is that Jen is talking about the candidates’ supporters who *are* getting into “attack mode” regarding each other.

      Standing strongly for your candidate is not a bad thing at all right now within the Democratic party. The problem I see is if there cannot be some sense of, “Yes, I want my candidate to win — but if yours gets the nomination, then I will put my support behind him/her with equal fervor.”

      It’s that kind of big-picture attitude that I’ve seen missing from *some* people in their passionate advocating for their preferred Dem candidate. And if you read the word bubbles closely, you can see that Jen is specifically reflecting the voters who are in narrow-minded mode, not big-picture mode.

  2. aWord

    Personal experience of “dem” friends family is that “everyone” is following Bernie (that is, everyone who isn’t tea party) and more than happy to turn a cold shoulder to Hill. Bernie’s paving a wide road. Indeed; “let’s see what else he’s got.”.

  3. Amy Elliott

    Hey folks – great discussion! There’s some interesting information on today’s Democracy Now! following Bernie’s sweeping victory (and, astonishingly, Trump’s). I notice Steinem has apologised for her remarks, which seems welcome.

    I have to agree with Rob, and it’s particularly interesting for me to see this disconnect between the mainstream in each party and the voting public, because something very similar happened here in the UK when Jeremy Corbyn was elected Labour leader. The Labour party establishment, with the media at its heels, is trying to undermine his (overwhelming) democratic mandate by suggesting he’s unelectable as PM, that he’s extreme in his views, etc. These are definitely exciting times for politics all round.

  4. Geoff Marsh

    I concur with your Brit analysis, Amy. Today, another Labour councillor resigned in my neck of the woods because he didn’t feel comfortable supporting Corbyn’s policies.
    These are important times for democracy. Politics has become a battle between looking after the planet and all its people (socialism) or worshipping money (capitalism). Thank goddess this is the dawning of the Age of Aquarius. We will win!

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