I envy conservatives. Not because their candidate has just won presidency for another four years, fair and square this time. Not because their party has monopolized power in Washington by further advancing its hold over the Senate and House. I envy them because they actually have a party they can side with without compromising their beliefs.
The Republican Party is united. Members have the same convictions and agendas, and it is virtually the perfect party for any conservative. Regarding moral issues like gun control, gay marriage and abortion, they are firm. Regarding aggressive foreign policy, they are united. And finally, regarding the transformation of America into a corporation-dominated capitalist society, they are founded.
I do not value a single thing they stand for, not by a long shot. But I am still able to respect them. I see the solidarity in their party; I see how they are able to mobilize their conservative agendas without wavering. That is very respectable and to a degree, honorable. If one is conservative, he can be a partisan Republican without straying from his core beliefs.
The same is not true of the Democratic Party. The oneness of the Republican Party has shoehorned everyone who disagrees with it into the opposing party.
What results is a weak opposition without solid convictions and a party that is not truly progressive. To acquire the same zeal and fervor that Republicans have, the current Democratic Party must stay founded in resolute left-wing principles.
I had a choice to make on Election Day: vote for a right-wing candidate or vote for George W. Bush. Those who were fooled into thinking that there was a decision between a conservative and a liberal candidate were wrong. That we have two candidates representing opposite perspectives is a myth. Those who viewed John Kerry as a progressive senator were mistaken.
In America, there isn’t a party that is truly progressive, and frankly there needs to be. For change to happen, a Democrat needs to be elected that stands for the lower class, peace, corporate policing and ultimately stands for exactly the opposite of what the Republicans do.
The Republicans have managed to shift America’s entire political structure to the right. Reagan and Bush Sr.’s 12 years of mindless private-sector promotion started the process.
A conservative Congress then pressured Bill Clinton, who lacked spine like most partisan Democrats, into signing NAFTA, which effectively left thousands of workers out to dry and enslaved many children overseas. Instead of trying to push the country leftward, he merely helped fuel a capitalist agenda.
Today, we have a man in office who is promoting the private sector like no president before him, and America is letting him turn our nation into a corporate state. More importantly, the party who is supposed to be working against him is staying silent.
The Democratic Party, the “progressive party,” is in bed with him. Democrats need to wake up and stop the compromise of spinelessly promoting capitalism before the system is beyond repair.
Sure, the burden ultimately falls on the American people, but they are not ready to elect a progressive candidate. That doesn’t mean Democrats should concede. At a point in history, when Democrats dominated, the American populace was not ready to elect a corporate nut job like George W. Bush. Now they are.
Democrats need to make Americans realize what’s wrong with Bush’s corporate motives, expose the mindless promotion of consumer capitalism and move the spectrum to the left without delay.
Democrats need to influence the American populace in the same manner that Republicans have. They need to rid the term ‘liberal’ of its negative connotation Republican fat cats have put on it. They must show why government-run health care is good, why raising the minimum wage is economically healthy, why the poor shouldn’t be ignored, why helping minorities who have been discriminated against is appropriate and why Republicans’ love for capitalism is dangerous.
In this dark time in American history where conservative power and agendas saturate Washington, the calling for a progressive leader is utterly pertinent. This will not happen as long as Democrats continue to compromise their beliefs and allow themselves to be pushed around by Republicans.
For true progression to occur and for the Democratic Party to find success, it must stand its ground, unite as one, and most importantly move the country leftward.
Jonathan Rashid can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.