This post is inspired by my social media feeds filled with attacks on an assortment of Democrats running for President, who are not “pure enough” in the eyes of progressive activists because of their lack of unquestioned support for Medicare for All and the Green New Deal.
Yet one of the biggest constituency of the progressive coalition, labor unions, are not big fans of either.
The same is true with labor unions who lack of enthusiasm for the Green New Deal…even if it is being billed as a big job creator, unions apparently are only looking at the jobs it will kill.
The point of this post is not to attack unions. No, it is to point of the lack of honest debate and the group think that is poisoning public discourse. Just as Trump fans live in a world where the Mueller report exonerates Trump, we progressives live in our own group think in which anyone that opposes “obvious truths” like M4A or the GND are so wrong that the only explanation is they have ulterior motives that are driven political expediency and not by sincere concerns.
So the forces advocating for Medicare for All will be dumbfounded when they try and pass the bill and find people who they thought were allies–unions–are opposed to the bill because these unions are part of the 180 million US families that have private health insurance. And why would a union who negotiated hard–sometimes going on strike–for those medical benefits, let politicians take away these for benefits?
Same is true for many unions who fear the GND will eliminate their coal jobs, or phase out the factories where they have jobs building SUVs. Sure the GND will create more jobs, but the 55 yr old auto worker in OH is smart enough to realize that they won’t be getting a new job in the solar industry that will be created elsewhere.
Nor is my post intended to be critical of M4A or the GND. Rather it is to suggest the supporters of these two measures are doing a terrible job of selling these ideas to the US electorate. Instead they simply insist on purity in the Primary and complete intolerance to people (and candidates) that suggest an 4 year transition to M4A is bad policy and that a public option maybe a safer course, or that they’d like to support zero-carbon emissions by 2030, but it is scientifically impossible and they are proposing goals that are based on facts and not “aspirational” falsehoods.
And when these kind of truths are articulated, the bearer of the bad news is labeled as a corporate sell-out who is not a true progressive. This is all par for the times we live in. When one side says if you don’t want to build a wall, then your for open borders and the other says if you don’t support scientifically impossible goals, then you are a corporate sell out.
We have met the enemy and it is us.