Thursday, August 3, 2017

We are the left, too

A great deal of what I’ve written about the GOP over the years has been their obsession with ranking – the racism, misogyny, homophobia, xenophobia, and all the rest. Straight white men insist they’re on top. They want to make sure we all acknowledge they are supposed to be in power, to be in control over us. They enact policies to make sure we aren’t capable of challenging their position.

But – sigh – many Democrats are also obsessed. They espouse progressive policies – when they come from white men.

This seems to be what attracted the BernieBros last year, the ones who proclaimed Never Hillary! Since then Bernie Sanders has been tapping their strength to challenge the party. He recently practically declared war on the establishment wing of the party (presumably those who delivered the nomination to Hillary Clinton and not to him).

And now his followers are declaring certain Democrats aren’t sufficiently leftist to gain their support, sufficiently leftist to be a Democrat. This includes proven progressives such as Kamela Harris, Cory Booker, Deval Patrick, and even Elizabeth Warren and Kirsten Gillibrand. Hint: none of them are both white and male.

Melissa McEwan of Shakesville fires back. Here’s some of her main points:

Many Bernie supporters call for revolution. They declare if you aren’t also for revolution you aren’t sufficiently leftist. But, says McEwan, if one is already marginalized and fighting daily for rights, one is terrified of revolution because revolutions are not kind to the marginalized. Life is hard enough. Life during upheaval will be much worse.
It is a privilege, in many ways, to be able to "think big." To have the space and safety where one can imagine seismic shifts that don't come with the risk of falling off the edge. We don't all have that luxury.
In many red states the (establishment wing of) Democratic Party, even if insufficiently leftist, is all that stands between marginalized people and the onslaught that is the GOP. And we thank them for that.

McEwan continues:
For thirteen years, I've been occupying this space, advocating for progressive policy and social justice. I support universal healthcare and a basic guaranteed income. I am pro-choice, anti-death penalty, a prison abolitionist, and advocate for vast criminal justice reform. I strongly reject privatization schemes and strongly support free public education. I am an intersectional feminist; an anti-racist; a fierce defender of LGBTQ rights; an advocate for dismantling the rape culture; a disabled survivor; a fat activist; a Democratic critic and a Democratic supporter.

Those are not conservative positions. They are not even centrist positions.

They are leftist positions.

And I have spent the last thirteen years of my life being mercilessly inundated with gross harassment for taking those positions.
She goes on to describe that harassment, which is quite horrible.

Even if she doesn’t swear fealty to Bernie (and she has well documented her objections) she declares she has earned her place on the left. Progressivism isn’t defined around Bernie. We are the left, too.

No comments:

Post a Comment