Here’s the Reality That We Need to Recognize on Election Day

Believe it or not, Democrats have a great chance at seizing a majority control in the Senate and a slight chance at possibly even winning back control in the House today. However, the only way either of those things can possibly happen is if liberals, progressives, Democrats and sensible independents get out and vote.

This is the simple truth: No matter how progressive Hillary Clinton may want to be, if she doesn’t have a Congress controlled by Democrats, she’s not going to be able to accomplish much of anything positive.

That means many on the left who still refuse to support Clinton will only have themselves to blame if they aren’t getting out there and “voting blue, no matter who.” As we all saw in 2000, a Republican is always worse than even a flawed Democrat.

Tell me I’m wrong and you’re not going to sell out. Say you’re not going to be guilt-tripped into voting for people you don’t support. I’ve heard that for over a year now and that’s everyone’s right to feel that way and vote however they like. I don’t want to go on some long tangent about why this election is so vital for everything progressives have spent decades fighting — I’ve already done that.

I simply want to talk about facts concerning this election and how our government works.

For those on the left who still aren’t “on board” with Clinton, that’s fine as well. I’m not here to argue that she’s much more progressive than many of her critics give her credit for — I’ve already done that, too.

But the harsh reality is this: If elected, she’s only going to be as progressive as the Congress she’s given allows her to be. If she walks into the White House on January 20th, 2017 with a Democratic majority in both the House and the Senate (especially one that’s filibuster-proof), with senators like Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren leading the charge, she’ll be able to be far more progressive than if she’s forced to compromise with parts (if not all) of Congress being controlled by Republicans.

It’s a reality we’ve seen during the majority of President Obama’s time in office as Republicans have spent most of the past several years obstructing practically anything and everything he’s supported.

That’s what a lot of liberals don’t quite seem to understand. Between Bill Clinton and Barack Obama’s 16 years in the White House, Democrats controlled both houses of Congress for only four of those years (two years for each individual).

In other words, the last two Democrats we’ve had in the White House have mostly had to deal with Republicans blocking, obstructing or forcing compromises on bills if they wanted to get anything accomplished. That’s what drives me crazy about the complaints from the far-left who claim Bill Clinton and Barack Obama weren’t “liberal enough” — they never had a chance to be!

It’s really difficult to complain that Democrats have “sold progressives out” because they’re the party that dares to act like adults, trying to govern the best they can based upon the type of Congress they were given by the voters.

If the “liberal purists,” or those complaining about the lack of progressiveness within the Democratic party, wanted Bill Clinton and/or Barack Obama to “be more progressive,” then they should have gotten their asses out there and given them a Congress that would have allowed them to be just that.

But that’s not what happened.

When they needed allies in Congress who would have allowed them to pass much more progressive legislation, too many on the left stayed home, allowing Republicans to take and/or keep control of all or part of Congress. Naturally, that made it far more difficult — if not impossible — to pass any sort of true liberal policies.

And the same thing goes for Hillary Clinton.

If reasonable people from all walks of life show up in large numbers, elect Clinton and give her the most progressive Congress we possibly can, then we’ll likely see a lot of the progressive policies most of us support passed by Congress and signed by her as president.

However, if she wins and we don’t give her that type of Congress — then we won’t.

It’s really that simple.

People can continue to throw a fit, complain and say whatever they want to, but that’s not going to change the reality of what’s going to happen later today. Either Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump will be our next president and they will be handed a Congress that’s either completely controlled by one party or divided between the two.

However, my goals are to:

  • Elect Hillary Clinton.
  • Vote Democrat for every state and local office on the ballot.
  • Do what I can to give Democrats back control of Congress.
  • Advocate for key leadership roles in Congress for people like Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, Al Franken, Cory Booker, Tammy Duckworth, etc.
  • Hold Hillary Clinton accountable for her campaign promises to support progressive legislation, while advocating for further progress where there’s still areas for improvement.
  • Expose any and all attempts by Republicans to undermine, obstruct or get in the way of Democrats trying to pass more progressive policies.
  • Continue to fight from November 9th through 2018 and beyond to make sure Democrats have as much control of Congress as possible to keep Republicans from rolling back all the work progressives have done to improve this country.

That’s what I’ve been doing and what I plan to keep doing — I just hope enough people on the left are with me.

Feel free to hit me up on Twitter or Facebook and let me know what you think.

Allen Clifton

Allen Clifton is a native Texan who now lives in the Austin area. He has a degree in Political Science from Sam Houston State University. Allen is a co-founder of Forward Progressives and creator of the popular Right Off A Cliff column and Facebook page. Be sure to follow Allen on Twitter and Facebook, and subscribe to his channel on YouTube as well.


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