The Democratic Divide And Trust

David Atkins writes a well-intentioned piece about how Democrats can unite (boldface mine):

The key to ending the war between the sides, ironically, isn’t to widen the tent but rather to narrow it in selecting acceptable candidates. Social liberals worry that Sanders-aligned progressives are willing to sacrifice civil rights around race and gender in the service of economic goals. Democratic socialists counter that Democrats have sold them out on corporate and Wall Street issues for the last several decades, and worry that basing an electoral coalition on minorities and wealthy educated urban liberals will result in a lack of action on wealth inequality and corporate consolidation. The answer, as Warren says and as I wrote two weeks ago, is for both sides to reassure the other that each side’s priorities will be taken seriously

This includes understanding that there is no contradiction between winning back some of the white working class that defected to Trump, and achieving social justice on the issues of important to Black Lives Matter activists.

I agree, but here’s the problem:

The war within the left is based on false choices and straw men. There is no need for conflict if both sides are acting in good faith. Leftists who dismiss “identity politics” as an irrelevant distraction need to be sidelined, as they are not dependable allies of the Democratic Party’s true base. Center-leftists who eschew economic populism and worker empowerment in defense of the Wall Street-dependent donor class in the dream of an identity-blind faux meritocracy of oppression must also be sidelined.

After a quarter-century of marginalization, this life-long Democrat doesn’t trust those Atkins calls “center-leftists.” There is always an excuse to not do something, and the only circumstances the left has made any progress is when it is uncompromising. While I agree, I can’t really imagine the sidelining of those “who eschew economic populism and worker empowerment in defense of the Wall Street-dependent donor class in the dream of an identity-blind faux meritocracy of oppression”, as much as I would want that to happen. They’re not going to go away, and, until they do, good faith is a sucker’s play.

Though maybe Atkins’ approach would mean certain people would finally try to take back their party–the Republican Party.

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2 Responses to The Democratic Divide And Trust

  1. Felicis says:

    “Social liberals worry that Sanders-aligned progressives are willing to sacrifice civil rights around race and gender in the service of economic goals.”

    And why is that? Largely because of Clinton Democrats lying about it.

  2. sglover says:

    It’s past time to acknowledge that the wobbly coalition known as the Democratic Party is about as viable as the Whig Party was in the 1850’s. The only thing “centrists” have to show is a lengthy record of botches, missed opportunities, and self-dealing. Even if we leave principles aside, the most elementary notions of strategy and tactics are beyond them. They often can’t scrape out a win even on favorable terrain. Yet these same self-declared geniuses still seem to believe that only they can “lead” the shambling beast.

    I keep hoping Sanders will urge his followers to drop their Dem affiliations altogether, do what the Republicans did in 1854. The shank end of the Democratic “Party” is an obstacle to Left Populist politics.

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