A Personal Tale

I don't normally use my blog to tell personal stories, but something happened to me yesterday that really changed my thinking about what is happening on the left side of the political spectrum, and not in a good way.

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.


Infidel753 said…
There's an irreducible hard core of people like this -- I think the ones who still retain such attitudes are not worth debating with. If the Bush II and Trump administrations haven't shown them how dangerous it is to let Republicans get into power, and haven't convinced them that third candidates are a luxury we can't afford (however ideologically "impure" the Democratic nominee may be on one or another issue), then they're unreachable by any kind of argument. Better to just write them off and focus our efforts where we can actually accomplish something.

I think of those people as simply another obstacle, like vote-suppression laws or gerrymandering, which we have to overcome by increasing turnout. Alabama showed the way. Getting an extra 100 black voters to the polls is a better use of Democrats' energy than arguing with 100 (or 10) bloggers or activists who will always find some fault with the party's candidate no matter what anyone does. Especially if they use epithets like that.

(By the way, the Jill Stein photo is not in the post -- at least it doesn't show up for me.)
Green Eagle said…
God, Infidel, you are so right about the picture. I was so upset about this incident that I forgot to attach it. All fixed now.

Anyway, of course, I agree with you in every thing you said. It's just that the prominence of this person, and the degraded way he spoke about Hillary, really shook me and made me wonder just how many of the people we count on to act responsibly have fallen prey to this mental disease. I've seen people like this since the Vietnam era. I guess I was foolish to think that the disastrous results of their behavior, particularly with the precipitation of two Republican Presidential wins, would have affected them, but I guess not.
Anonymous said…
I agree with both of you, please keep writing
Magpie said…
This 'someone'... I assume he's well off and as insulated as you can get from the degradation your great country is going through.
I would also infer he is one of these garden-variety narcissists who think their attitude equals fact. He's decided he doesn't like Mrs Clinton and therefore reality will conform to that decision.
But what really makes him a non-progressive... really... is this use of the word 'whore'. It's not even the same as 'prostitute'. Putting aside the ludicrousness of the allegation for a second... 'whore' is one of the worst words in the English language because it makes a woman's sex life a question of public approval. It demeans every woman in the world to call any woman a whore. If I ever used it, and I don't recall ever doing so, then I am profoundly contrite.
Nowhere near that degree of presumption would befall those of us who are male no matter what we do. And it sounds like he used that word to injure you, so screw him.
No GENUINE liberal or progressive thinks that way with no regrets.
gruaud said…
My main criticism of the left is the purity test.

You can never pass it.
Anonymous said…
as a man it always amazes me when another man automatically assumes women as whores especially when they don't like them
they proclaim this as if they actually witnessed them do whorish stuff when all it really is is to insult them and their worth to try to make you feel some kind of way
these people aren't progressives...if I didn't know any better I would think that these types are repubs pretending

and its always the ones who won't be hurt by republican policies
Green Eagle said…
Anyway, just to be fair, a few days later, the guy came up to me and apologized. He should have never said those things to begin with, but at least some liberals can see when they have done something wrong- which we will never have to accuse conservatives of doing.

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