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View Diary: What if Barack Obama weren't a leftist? (278 comments)

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  •  You're right... (11+ / 0-)

    they've been too brainwashed to believe in the lesser of two evils to actually cultivate free thinking on the subject. We should continue to organize though...on the issues, and our own values as they reflect our principles.

    •  Well, that's the standard response (7+ / 0-)

      I suppose: that the people are brainwashed, or perhaps the media is blocking the progressive message from getting through.

      I agree with you about the need to continue organizing and pushing back. But I think we need to start with where most Americans are, and then push gradually left from there, bit by bit.

      You probably don't agree, but I see this as pretty much the approach of the Obama administration.

      •  Some on the far left cannot accept that they are (0+ / 0-)

        at best 20% of the electorate. They want to do the same thing the bagger fundaloons want to do. Impose their world view on everyone whether they like it or not.

        I'm pretty far left myself, but I do draw the line at militant veganism and anti-war for any and all reasons. That's too far left for me.

        Otherwise, yeah, I'm all for socialism, yes, cradle to grave if it's necessary. Totally anti-capitalism. And I know that will not sell for a majority of this electorate for at least 20 years.

        Ds see human suffering and wonder what they can do to relieve it. Rs see human suffering and wonder how they can profit from it.

        by JTinDC on Fri Mar 30, 2012 at 08:20:30 AM PDT

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        •  But the 20% figure isn't constraining (11+ / 0-)

          given the widespread public acceptance of a good number of authentically Left initiatives.  It's also important to note that a large portion of the non-Left can't stand the Left for its having been co-opted.

          "I've seen the flame of hope among the hopeless/ And that was truly the biggest heartbreak of all" -- Bruce Cockburn

          by Cassiodorus on Fri Mar 30, 2012 at 08:59:57 AM PDT

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          •  On this: (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Only Needs a Beat
            given the widespread public acceptance of a good number of authentically Left initiatives.
            This is a matter of the messaging wars. These intitiatives should no longer be considered Left. They are mainstream center and should be named as such. Calling them Left should be considered crackpottery of the highest order. And yeah, it's going to be up to the left to establish and nurture that meme.

            As for this:

            It's also important to note that a large portion of the non-Left can't stand the Left for its having been co-opted.
            I've seen this claim made here many times but have yet to see it backed up with polling or any other supporting, non-anectdotal evidence.  

            Ds see human suffering and wonder what they can do to relieve it. Rs see human suffering and wonder how they can profit from it.

            by JTinDC on Fri Mar 30, 2012 at 09:20:38 AM PDT

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            •  So you mean, say, the public option (6+ / 0-)

              in health insurance is no longer "Left" if a majority of the public supports it?

              "I've seen the flame of hope among the hopeless/ And that was truly the biggest heartbreak of all" -- Bruce Cockburn

              by Cassiodorus on Fri Mar 30, 2012 at 09:35:29 AM PDT

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              •  Yup, that's what I'm saying. It may have (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Only Needs a Beat

                originated on the left, but if a majority supports it, then it must be a fairly mainstream, centrist idea. Just because the extreme right wing likes to label centrist policy as radically leftist doesn't make it so.

                We don't help ourselves by letting the extreme right define us as leftist when most of what we want is in fact mainstream centrist.

                Here's another example of where the line is crossed. Is opposing dumb wars leftist? No. It's centrist.

                But is opposing any and all wars regardless of circumstance, not even as a last resort leftist? Yes, and far leftist at that. In this instance tho the far left's criticism of Obama is probably helpful with moderates and independents.

                Ds see human suffering and wonder what they can do to relieve it. Rs see human suffering and wonder how they can profit from it.

                by JTinDC on Fri Mar 30, 2012 at 10:04:48 AM PDT

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                •  Or it could also mean (10+ / 0-)

                  That the public supports liberal ideas on health care reform, as well as other important issues.

                  When did some Dem folks get the idea that liberal policy ideas are bad?  On what foundation is that argument made?

                  In matters of style, swim with the current; in matters of principle, stand like a rock. Thomas Jefferson

                  by Betty Pinson on Fri Mar 30, 2012 at 10:48:11 AM PDT

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                  •  I think getting the things we want done is more (0+ / 0-)

                    important than whether we label them left or right. If it's easier to gain unqualified support for liberal ideas by calling them centrist ideas than it is to undo the demonization the rightwing has done on the words "left" and "liberal" then that's the path I'd take. Does that make sense?

                    In other words, while I'm in no way shape or form ashamed of being a liberal with liberal goals, I want to reach those goals and if calling myself and my goals centrist gets those goals accomplished, I have no qualms with that.

                    It's way past time we yanked the Overton Window back into proper perspective.

                    Ds see human suffering and wonder what they can do to relieve it. Rs see human suffering and wonder how they can profit from it.

                    by JTinDC on Fri Mar 30, 2012 at 11:02:39 AM PDT

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                    •  Where's the proof (5+ / 0-)

                      that we can't get things done by following good liberal public policies, especially when they're extremely popular with the public?

                      If Dems in DC bothered to take advantage of the popularity of liberal policies and used public support to pressure Republicans, they would have more success.

                      The big question is "why haven't they tried"?   They've never, ever attempted to fight the GOP on publicly popular policies.

                      In matters of style, swim with the current; in matters of principle, stand like a rock. Thomas Jefferson

                      by Betty Pinson on Fri Mar 30, 2012 at 11:07:03 AM PDT

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                      •  I think the proof is that even in this day and (0+ / 0-)

                        age that only around 20% of the electorate self-identifies as liberal. The disgusting smear job the GOP did back in the late 60s/early 70's has stuck. It shouldn't have, but it did.

                        Most people are not that well-informed. Even with the explosion of information access points a lot of people are just as ignorant of truth and susceptible to manipulation now as they ever were.

                        If after all this time Dem pols are too cowardly to stand up for the success and mainstreamiing of liberal policies then they need to at least have the smarts & guts to stand up for them as centrist policies.

                        I'm simply suggesting another option toward getting to the same place.

                        Ds see human suffering and wonder what they can do to relieve it. Rs see human suffering and wonder how they can profit from it.

                        by JTinDC on Fri Mar 30, 2012 at 11:30:26 AM PDT

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                        •  Check the polls on issues (4+ / 0-)

                          The public strongly supports the liberal policies I mentioned above. There's no need to water them down to gain public approval - the public already approves.

                          So what's to stop DC Dems from pushing those policies and opposing the GOP simply based on the popularity of those issues and policy ideas with the general public.

                          There's no need to apply labels. Don't worry about GOP name calling, they're going to call everything liberal policy anyway, even when its conservative.  Ignore them.

                          Just push the policy initiatives. Unlike other groups, liberals don't care if they get credit as long as the policy goals are accomplished.

                          So why can't DC Dems do that?  What are they afraid of?

                          In matters of style, swim with the current; in matters of principle, stand like a rock. Thomas Jefferson

                          by Betty Pinson on Fri Mar 30, 2012 at 12:00:22 PM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

        •  I agree with you about one thing (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Only Needs a Beat

          The far left and the far right are both equally unwilling to compromise their ideals. But left wing ideals seem to me almost uniformly good, and if we could ever get to a society that would implement them, we all would be better off.

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