With Super Tuesday rapidly becoming a thankfully fleeting memory, political pundits (and cranky curmudgeons like yours truly) are naming winners and losers. One of the more prominent losers, however, isn’t being discussed, mainly because I don’t think the people who get paid the big bucks to come up with tepid takes with good PR have even considered it.
I’m talking about progressivism.
Whether it was in the Presidential race or local races, progressives took a beating up and down the ticket, even in California where you can’t swing a dead cat without hitting a progressive, self-professed or otherwise. Or if you’re a member of PETA…you’d be providing the dead cats.
One race that really stood out for me because of who was involved was the race to replace former Representative and nude hairdressing aficionado Katie Hill. Among the candidates was founder of The Young Turks and progressive internet celebrity, Cenk Uygur. If you listen to him (and to be fair, why would you), he was the progressive candidate in the race. He talked the talk, walked, the walk, and promptly wound up getting stomped by his Democrat opponent…and two Republican candidates. Mr. Super Progressive pulled down 5% of the vote. Put another way, I didn’t even run and I came within the margin of error of tying and/or beating him.
And again, this is in California.
If that doesn’t signal how disliked progressivism has become, we can look at the Super Tuesday results. Of the active Democrat candidates at the time, two of them (Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren) were the clear progressive choices. And how many states did they win?
Zero. Zilch. Nada. Goose egg. The big donut/bagel. One fewer than Michael Bloomberg.
Up and down the ticket, progressives saw defeat after defeat. Even candidates backed by the Socialist Socialite couldn’t propel them to victory. And now other progressives like the aforementioned Uygur and Representative Ilhan Omar (who just happens to be a vocal and visual Sanders supporter) are offering up excuses. It was the media! It was the lack of a unified progressive movement! It was comments taken out of context! It was everything and anything except for the real reason progressives lost.
Progressivism isn’t that popular.
When I think of progressives these days, there are two ideas that come to mind. One is they tend to be more grassroots and people-driven than the Democrats. And two is they’re bat-crap insane. Where they excel in the former is on social media. Twitter, YouTube, and Facebook (to some degree) are filled with progressives expressing themselves to the masses and getting noticed. You can’t log on without seeing someone you know retweeting a hashtag or putting it in a post or message to show you and the world how they feel about an issue.
The problem is social media isn’t the real world. The best way I can describe it is social media is like the elementary school playground where you can find any number of ways to get attention. Hanging upside down on the monkey bars, eating worms, or getting into fights will get you noticed and may keep you popular for a time, but eventually the novelty wears off. Pretty soon nobody cares how many worms you eat because there’s another kid on the other side of the playground who eats bugs. And eventually no one cares about what you eat because they’ve all grown up and figured out new ways to get and maintain popular status, like having a cool car or being good in sports or having a lot of money.
Right now, progressives are still on the playground hanging out with themselves because everyone else “sold out”, i.e. grew up. And instead of taking the hint and figuring out what type of car gets the most attention, they’re clinging to those bug/worm eating days as though they were the best years of their lives. (If Greta Thunberg gets her way, though, you folks will be totally cool again!) Meanwhile, those who gave up that kind of life to enter into a more adult environment are doing well, or at least not sucking as much as progressives have. And that makes progressives mad, mad enough to want to tear down what Democrats have built just so everyone will be equally miserable.
And that makes for great content for me, so…I guess it’s a win-win.
In the meantime, progressives will be on edge after Super Tuesday put a major kink in their plans to take over the Democrats and may lack the introspection to realize why they failed. Oh, they’ll have reasons, but none will be the right one because they don’t want to admit their ideas, and subsequently they, aren’t as popular as their echo chamber says they are. Until they realize where they went wrong, we will be in for a lot more progressive tantrums.
But, like I said, more content!