Not too long ago, I didn’t affiliate with any particular political party and considered myself a left-leaning independent. In fact, even to this day I hate political parties. If it were up to me, we wouldn’t have any; we would just have candidates laying out their plans and it would be up to each individual voter to make sure they were properly informed about each candidate instead of just voting party line.
That being said, due to the realities of the political landscape we face, it was around 2006/2007 that I aligned fully with the Democratic party. Does that mean I agree with them on every issue? Of course not, but if I wrote out a list of things I support, the vast majority of what I believe in falls on the left.
My shift to becoming a Democrat was also in response to what I saw happening within the Republican party. Nowadays, there is no room for a “moderate Republican.” To vote Republicans is to:
- Deny climate change.
- Oppose women’s rights.
- Support bigotry.
- Deny racism exists – then embrace it for political gains.
- Vilify the poor.
- Deny reality.
- Support turning the country into a theocracy.
- Ignore facts when they’re inconvenient.
- Oppose equal rights for millions of gay Americans.
- Support discrimination.
- Embrace religious fanaticism.
- Support people who think the government is using military exercises to declare martial law.
The list goes on and on. And while there are some Republicans who aren’t 100 percent sold out to the radicalization of their party, they’re a type of Republican that’s quickly going extinct.
Unfortunately, no matter what liberals do, these folks are going to be around trying to destroy this country. That being said, there are ways that those of us on “the left” can prevent Republicans from being able to do this – and they’re really not all that difficult or complicated.
1. Be accurately informed: I know it’s easy to get trapped in an information bubble where you’re just being fed information that you already agree with, but trust me when I say there are quite a few liberal websites out there that are every bit as unethical and flat-out dishonest as anything you’ll see from conservatives. If something sounds too good to be true, take a couple of minutes and research it. If a website makes some sort of claim without any source linked in the article itself, research that as well before passing it on as truth. We can’t claim to be better than conservatives if we’re not holding ourselves to a higher standard when it comes to the factual basis for the information we trust. As long as we are dealing with facts, while Republicans are dealing with propaganda, we will ultimately prevail.
2. Understand that diversity is what makes liberals better: While liberals claim to support diversity when it comes to other races, religions and ethnicities – many on the far-left can be quite intolerant of other liberals for not being as liberal as they are. As a center-left progressive, I find myself having nearly as many clashes with far-left liberals as I do far-right conservatives. We only weaken what we’re trying to accomplish by being intolerant of one another.
3. Stop being apathetic: This is a big one that actually ties into what I mentioned in number two. Stop expecting every candidate you vote for to come in and magically fix everything – especially if they don’t have the power to do so on their own. Some of the biggest complaints I see from many liberals concerning President Obama come from people who don’t seem aware of exactly what powers a president has. Without a Congress willing to help the president accomplish their goals (more on that in a moment), they’re fairly limited in what they can actually do. But too often I see unrealistic expectations lead to apathy during midterm elections – which only benefits Republicans.
4. Vote!: When liberals get out and vote, they win far more often than they lose. It doesn’t matter who wins the presidency if liberals keep sitting out midterm elections, allowing Republicans to hold onto (or even gain more) power in Congress. Not only that, but liberals need to make sure to vote in local and state elections as well. While most of the focus is placed on federal elections, a lot of the changes we want to make as progressives happen at the state and local level. But the bottom line is, liberals just need to get their asses out there and vote in as many elections as they’re legally allowed to participate in. The government we have is the government that was elected by the American people – and when liberals sit out elections, that’s just as good as a vote for Republicans.
While there are clearly other things liberals can do to stop Republicans from destroying this country, for the sake of time I thought I’d keep it to these four. Feel free to hit me up on Twitter or Facebook and let me know what you think.
Featured image via Formidable Republican Opposition on Facebook