I was somewhere with an acquaintance from the neighborhood, when someone, who I had only met once, came up and sat down. I do not want to be specific enough about this person to allow anyone to identify him, but he is very well known in progressive circles, with a public history going back at least a couple of decades. I am sure that the great majority of people who read a blog like this would recognize his name. I had always respected his work, which seemed well researched and presented.
In the course of the conversation, the subject of the effect of Jill Stein, the Green Party candidate for President, came up. After what happened in the 2016 election, I would have thought that the devastating effect of the votes that Stein and Bernie Sanders siphoned off from Hillary Clinton would be a fact that no rational person would want to challenge. After the election, in fact, it turned out that Stein was closely connected to Vladimir Putin, the ultimate bad guy in Donald Trump's electoral victory.
For reference, here is a picture of Jill Stein, having dinner in Moscow with Vladimir Putin, a number of his henchmen, and Michael Flynn, a high ranking Trump official who as you know has already pled guilty to a felony in connection with Trump's collusion with Putin.
Well, enough about Jill Stein, because this post is not about her. Let me move on with my story.
It shortly became clear that this guy was a friend and supporter of Jill Stein, the Green Party candidate for President. When I voiced some criticism of Stein for impeding the campaign of Hillary Clinton, the guy launched into what I have come to recognize as a Republican boilerplate attack on her, accusing her of massive corruption. When I challenged him to provide examples of this corruption, he launched into an incomprehensible attack of a meeting she had with the President of Kazakhstan when she was Secretary of State, after which, he claimed, the United States gave Kazakhstan a lot of money. This story, as far as I can tell, is not true, but that is not my point. In reference to the supposed aid, this guy described the meeting by stating that Hillary "pleasured" the President of Kazakhastan. Now we all know what that phrase means, so I want to ask you, could you even imagine the most hardened right winger using that phrase in reference to a male diplomat? And when I rather angrily said that it was a disgusting thing to say that about Hillary or any woman, he called Hillarya "fucking whore." And this remark referred to someone who has been voted the most admired woman in America for sixteen years in a row. A fucking whore.
Well, I could not imagine anyone but the worst of right wingers using that sort of language about Hillary Clinton, let alone a widely known supposed progressive. In fact, it is as far as I can remember the most anti-woman comment that anyone ever made in my presence.
Okay, enough of my personal tale; now on to the point. We have all been distressed, I think, at the behavior of the Berniebots and Jill Stein supporters, and at their willingness to accept the 25 years of Republican smears directed at Hillary. I guess we are not all that surprised that they refuse to take one shred of responsibility for their falling for the Republican propaganda about Hillary, and for their very significant role in putting a miserably unqualified and corrupt Repubican in the White House for the second time in sixteen years. But (like many of us, I suspect) I mainly wrote this off as the attitude of polticial neophytes that just didn't understand the damage that a Republican President could do, and failed to see their responsibility to the American people to elect a decent President who cared about poor people, sick people, anyone but the extremely rich. I guess I naively assumed that they would become more responsible as they saw the damage they did.
But what does it say to us when we see this same behavior at the very top of the "progressive" world, coming from people who certainly, somewhere deep inside, know the truth? I am afraid that they have been so corrupted by their lust for the pathetic power they feel by being well known progressives, and so filled with arrogance about the superiority of their supposed values to those of the common herd, that their infantile feelings have overwhelmed every shred of the concern for ordinary people that progressivism is supposed to be about.
As the country races toward fascism, we need every bit of energy we have to fight the forces on the right which are working day and night to overwhelm us. It is a tragedy for this to be true, but instead, we now are faced with the necessity of expending our time and effort to crush this sickening mockery of progressive politics, and replace it with a real left wing movement, that is capable of putting aside its own pathetic desires in order to advance causes like universal medical care, decent wages, responsible policing, and the other issues that Hillary Clinton would have worked to promote. We cannot have it all, but we could have had a lot of it, and we would have if it weren't for the disgusting behavior of so-called progressives. We cannot afford to tolerate them in silence any more.