Dear Dems – Stop fighting each other and focus on the REAL enemy

Bruce Maples (bruceinlouisville@gmail.com)
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he MSNBC anchor Nicolle Wallace worked for President George W. Bush, against whom I enthusiastically voted twice.

Now a Never Trumper, Wallace said she gets “nauseous when I see Democrats fight amongst themselves.” Me, too. I feel like chugging Emetrol with Pepto Bismol chasers. But I’m as disgusted as dyspeptic.

Say what you will about Dubya’s 2005-2006 communications director, Wallace can tell friend from foe:

  • “The enemy is the guy in the Oval Office who thinks there are good people on both sides in Charlottesville.
  • “The enemy is the guy in the Oval Office who got a permission slip to cheat in presidential elections.
  • “The enemy is a guy who calls his generals dopes and losers.”

The enemy is also an ignorant, narcissistic lout, a serial liar, and a rank demagogue who panders to racism, sexism, misogyny, nativism, xenophobia, homophobia and religious bigotry.

The enemy is a union-buster and a fake populist who believes that government’s main function is making rich people like him richer.

The enemy is to-the-manor born but thinks government has no responsibility to help people who need help and has no obligation to safeguard workers on the job or to protect consumers and the environment against the greedy excesses inherent in red-in-tooth-and-claw capitalism.

The enemy spurns our democratic allies, worships military might–but assiduously avoided fighting in war in his salad days–and cozies with murderous dictators.

The enemy is Donald Trump, not a fellow Democrat running for president.

But meanwhile, here we go again.

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widely circulated 2016 meme showed a man and a woman arguing over Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton. “If Hillary doesn’t get the nomination, then I’m not voting!” one yells. “If Bernie doesn’t get the nomination, then I’m not voting!” the other yells back.

Below the feudists is a photo of Donald Trump. “Thank you both for your support,” he smirks.

And now, in 2020, here we go again:

Dem Voter 1: “If my candidate doesn’t win, I’m not voting!”
Dem Voter 2: “Well, if MY candidate doesn’t win, I’M not voting!”
Trump: “Thank you both for your support.”

At one time or another, all the Democratic candidates have said they’ll support the winner.  Sanders has for sure. (He also backed Clinton when she won.)  

“Let me be clear: If any of the women on this stage or any of the [other] men on this stage win the nomination — I hope that’s not the case, I hope it’s me — but if they do, I will do everything in my power to make sure that they are elected in order to defeat the most dangerous president in the history of our country,” Newsweek quoted Sanders at the recent Iowa debate.

But the magazine also reported that a recent National Emerson College Poll revealed that only 53 percent of Sanders’ backers said they would support a Democratic nominee if it’s not Sanders. Thirty-one percent said it depended on who landed the nomination; 16 percent said it was their guy and nobody else.

In the same poll, 87 percent of former vice president Joe Biden’s boosters said they’d vote for whoever is the nominee. Nine percent said it depends on who won the nod, and 5 percent said they would reject anyone other than Biden, according to Newsweek.

Ninety percent of Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s fans said they’d vote for the nominee, while the remaining 10 percent said it depended on who got the the nomination. None of her supporters said they’d refuse to vote for the eventual nominee if it’s not Warren, Newsweek told its readers.

The meme and that poll triggered a flashback to graduate school. It’s Nov. 8, 1972; I’m in graduate school commiserating with a classmate. Our candidate for president, Democrat George McGovern, had lost in a landslide to Republican Richard Nixon.

“We’ll get ‘em next time,” I said, hoping to cheer her up. “Oh, I’m not really into politics,” she replied. “I was just for McGovern.”

Vote your head, not your heart

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here is only one moral imperative in this nation right now, and that is to beat Donald Trump,” James Carville declared on TV the other night. So in this year’s primary, I’m voting for the candidate who I think has the best shot at evicting from the White House the Yankee version of Lester Maddox, Big Jim Eastland, and George Wallace.

I will vote my head, not necessarily my heart. The stakes are too high to do otherwise.

If Trump is reelected, Sen. Ed Markey, D-Mass., warned on The Last Word With Lawrence O’Donnell Thursday night, “he will feel no constraints. He will feel there’s nothing that he can’t do in his own advancement, that the national security of our country is now subordinated to his own personal agenda.”

I will also cast my ballot for the Democrat who I believe is in the best position to defeat Sen. Mitch McConnell, Trump’s leading lickspittle.

If your candidate loses in the primary

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ut if your candidate loses in a primary, you can’t take your ball and go home,” said Jeff Wiggins, our Kentucky State AFL-CIO secretary treasurer.

Jeff practices what he preaches. He was president of our Paducah-based Western Kentucky AFL-CIO Area council in 2016 when most of our delegates and officers backed Sanders in the primary.

But all of us who were for Sanders pledged to vote for Clinton if she won the nomination. Likewise, our pro-Clinton brothers and sisters promised to vote for Sanders.

Jeff emailed me the meme. About the same time it hit my inbox, I ran across Leslie Salzillo’s Daily Kos diary, which was headlined, “Yes, I’m ‘Voting Blue No Matter Who’ – and here’s why.” It’s still timely, too.

Voting Blue, no matter who

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n a humanitarian level, most Democratic lawmakers on their worst days, far exceed most Republican lawmakers on their best days,” Salzillo wrote. “Even if I don’t care for the Democratic candidate who becomes the party’s nominee, even if I can’t stand the sound of that person’s voice — I refuse to give my vote, by default, to the Republican Party.

“When I hear a progressive/liberal/Democrat say they’re not voting unless their favorite candidate wins the nomination, I’m stunned. When the Left doesn’t vote, we are essentially giving our votes to the Right, which means we are helping to elect politicians from a party where racism, misogyny, homophobia, and xenophobia dominate their congressional voting, lawmaking, and profit-making agendas. … It’s a party that produces hate mongers like Donald Trump and Ted Cruz. Not voting is not only bad for Democrats, it’s a bad deal for all Americans. If you think your vote doesn’t count, think again.

“….And this November,

I will vote for the rights [of] children, women, blacks, immigrants, veterans, LGBT, minorities, the disadvantaged, the differently-abled, teachers, and unions.

I will vote for gun sense, equal pay, ERA, voting rights, healthcare, raising minimum wage, lowering student debt, and peace.

“I am a Democrat. I am a Liberal. And will vote.”

So am I, and I’m again voting Blue, no matter who.

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