The DNC Gaslights Us About Progressives

Walter Rhein
Photo by Usman Yousaf on Unsplash

For years the DNC establishment has been unified behind a singular message. The message isn’t about the ambitious policies they are going to implement, or how they are going to improve the lives of the average voter, or even how they can positively influence the world.

Instead they’ve opted for this:

“Our party can’t go too far to the left.”

In order to justify this policy stance, they’ve stooped to creating a false narrative in which they presume to have an omniscient understanding of how all Democratic voters think.

“Democratic voters don’t support progressive ideals.”

They say this over and over again despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary. The sad fact is the DNC’s attitude about progressives isn’t a conclusion that they’ve reached based on observation, it’s a narrative they’ve manufactured and they seem to be willing to sacrifice another election rather than admit they’re wrong.

To win an election, you have to earn more votes than your opponent. If you fail to earn more votes, you need to evaluate your position and make changes so you can appeal to a larger voter base. This is basic.

The exact thing you don’t want to do is hurl insults and accusations at the voters that can bring you the victory.

Unfortunately, the DNC seems to be completely committed to the later.

“Those selfish independents won't support us.”

“Don’t throw a temper tantrum because your candidate doesn’t get nominated, you better get out there and vote for us.”

“Congratulations, you’re part of the problem.”

All of these messages are hostile, accusing, entitled, and completely inaccurate. They’re examples of the establishment failing to take responsibility and lashing out to find someone, anyone else to blame for their failures. True leadership begins at the top, don’t try to hide your failures by manufacturing a scapegoat.

Remember, a progressive candidate didn't pave the way for a Trump presidency, a centrist did.

The DNC has invented stories about how progressives failed to support Hillary Clinton in 2016 even though progressive candidates rigorously campaigned for her. They’ve invented stories about how progressives behave inappropriately on social media even though scientific analysis has proven that the behavior of progressives online mirrors that of any other group.

Above all they continue with the line, “The voting public is wary about going too far left.”

They say this even though progressive candidates have won approximately half the delegates in the last two presidential primaries.

Yet, the narrative that the American voting public will not tolerate progressive concepts continues. This narrative becomes increasingly absurd in light of the recent demand for government stimulus checks.

If there’s one thing a scientific observation reveals, it’s that whether the DNC likes it or not, there is a huge amount of support for progressives. In fact, there’s even evidence that some conservative voters who are opposed to Trump would prefer a progressive over a centrist candidate. There is a very real concern that if the DNC does not change their position and make more of an effort to appeal to progressives, they cannot make any real policy advancements.

Pointing out a strategic flaw is not a threat to sit out the election. To say otherwise is gaslighting. Some progressives will vote for the Democratic candidate no matter who it is. But not all of them will. That is a fact the DNC has to accept. Yelling at progressives will not change that fact. Instead, they need to show unity, change their fundamental narrative, and make an overt effort to appeal to progressives.

The anti-progressive narrative of the DNC is a flawed strategy.

The progressive movement has gained a lot of momentum. Progressive candidates have been winning elections, and there was even a progressive front runner for president. Progressives are encouraging young people to vote and inspiring a whole new generation to get involved in politics.

The DNC should be celebrating this! All of these things, when properly harnessed, could virtually guarantee the strength of the Democratic party moving forward.

Instead, establishment politicians are telling popular progressives to “grow up” and “do as they’re told.” Why is the DNC so committed to pushing progressives away?

The simple fact is that the DNC cannot maintain political influence without the support of progressives. To earn the support of progressives means that the party has to go left. That doesn’t mean they have to fully embrace every progressive ideal that’s been proposed. But they have to demonstrate movement in that direction. Most of all, they have to encourage progressives, be respectful of their positions, and stop resorting to insults and false accusations in the media.

A large percentage of the democratic voter base wants the party to embrace progressive ideals. The DNC has to stop their hostility over this development. They have to abandon their false narrative and accept the truth. Above all, it’s important that everyone who wants to see future Democratic victories. If you antagonize the voter base that can earn you the win, you make another loss inevitable.

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Walter Rhein is an author with Perseid Press. He also does a weekly column for The Writing Cooperative on Medium.

Chippewa Falls, WI

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