I am increasingly leaning toward labeling myself a socialist when asked about my political leanings. I no longer want to be identified as a liberal. It has nothing to do with shrinking away from successful right-wing efforts to transform the term into a pejorative. As the two articles to which I link may make obvious, it is due to the behavior of my erstwhile political fellow travelers.
As anyone who’s been trudging through this tiny, remote fever swamp of mine for any length of time most surely knows by now, I voted for Ralph Nader in 2000 and for Cynthia McKinney in 2008. I have also spent quite a few paragraphs constructing defenses of my electoral choices against the very lifelike Straw Man of liberal Democratic scorn. This little rant, however, is not one of those defenses.
Liberals and progressives, I don’t want to hear any more of your bullshit about how we have to put Democrats in office in order to defeat Republicans and conservatives. When I say that there’s far too much practical overlap between all three of those categories, history is my witness.
Yes, I know there are the occasional uncompromising progressive Democrats. These shining few– like Dennis Kucinich, Barbara Lee, and Alan Grayson– are exceptions to the rule, however. Their behavior usually does little more than expose the horrid contrast to their party mates. It highlights the reprehensible moral vacuum beneath the Democrats’ biggest names, names like Barack Obama.
But I’ve scribbled and linked about these lesser politicians enough that you should know by now why I despise what they have done. Now I’m going to challenge you: in 2010, if it isn’t too late already, you’ll have the opportunity to show that what you’ve done to liberalism isn’t irredeemable. You’ll have the opportunity to challenge incumbent Democrats who’ve betrayed progressive and liberal ideals in favor of servicing corporate and imperial interests. You’ll have the opportunity to show that the Democratic Party as a whole isn’t just one incorrigible half of a bipartisan political scam. You’ll be able to show that I am wrong when I say that our political future depends on forcing our system into something more parliamentary, a change that can only happen if enough of us unite behind Green Party candidates in national offices.
But until you accomplish that, liberal-Straw-Man-in-my-head, I don’t want to hear one more fucking word about how I’m wasting my vote or throwing it to the Republican. Don’t you dare look down your nose at me like I’m some kind of pie-in-the-sky dirty fucking hippie when it’s your sensible, liberal vote and the millions like it that have put us where we are today. Because I’m starting to think that for all the disgust and scorn you heap on those idiot tea baggers, you might just be as bad as they are. See, they might be assholes and suckers who are prone to insane scapegoating, but at least they know they’re getting fucked and have the sense to get mad about it. They’ll fling their angry ape shit at almost any seemingly worthy target who catches their crazy eye, and sometimes they don’t care if that target is a Republican. Does your liberal, sensible manner even allow for that much consistency, my liberal friend? Or are you willing to live with the vagaries of the policies your vote has supported because you think that the inequity can be righted just enough to not hurt you and yours if sufficiently competent Democratic technocrats are running things?
Show me in 2010.

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