We Need To Attack Dem Establishment In Front Of Liberals

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The progressive revolution will die if liberal establishment loyalists are permitted to bully their progressive friends and family into silence.

Remember Bernie’s campaign days? God, weren’t they glorious? For a few magical months, clear-eyed progressives were permitted to stand out in the open and proclaim their political validity like normal human beings without being attacked and shamed into silence by their liberal friends and family. For a few magical months it was actually considered cool to be a real progressive, and all our liberal friends treated us like real people when we’d share our political perspectives. We were considered naive but harmless at worst, and we were allowed to have a political voice at the table.

But then Bernie won 22 states and 47 percent of the vote despite coordinated acts of sabotage from the party and a near-total media blackout, and suddenly we weren’t so cute and harmless anymore. And then Bernie endorsed Hillary, and they closed in on us hard. I had friends calling me crying telling me their friends and family were being absolutely vicious to them for wanting to support Jill Stein. I still have people messaging me saying they love my work but can’t even ‘like’ my posts on Facebook because they’re afraid their liberal friends might see them supporting an anti-establishment message.

Liberals dominate public discourse in America. They dominate it so much you’d assume they must also dominate government elections if you didn’t know better. No decent human being likes to be called a racist, a misogynist, a Nazi, a fascist, a naive pie-in-the-sky dreamer, a petulant child, but that’s exactly what they’ll call you without hesitation if you try to suggest that the Democratic establishment needs to be opposed right now. They’ll team up on you. They’ll do it to strangers on the internet, and they’ll do it to longstanding friends in person.

We need to take that away from them, that dominance of public discourse. We need to fight it, and fight it hard, because if we don’t we can kiss this whole revolution goodbye. You can’t have a grassroots movement that you’re not allowed to talk about. A progressive revolution cannot possibly coexist with a conspiracy of silence. They are mutually exclusive.

How do we fight it? We speak the truth, even when our voice shakes. We publicly share our perspectives, and when our liberal friends close in, we tell them why they’re wrong. We can be polite (if we feel they deserve it), but we must be unyielding. We speak our truth wherever we’re at, whenever we can. The foremost battleground for the progressive awakening is in your own social circles.

If we can only speak about this in hushed voices, with a select few woke friends or in secret Facebook groups, then our movement dies here. Kiss it goodbye. So long, farewell, Auf Wiedersehen, goodnight. We will never be more than a fringe movement if we’re not able to openly and directly resist the political establishment. If this is something we’re only allowed to do once every four to eight years so long as we don’t get in the way, it’s been a good run, but we’re done. Time to tap out.

I’ve lost so many friends over this crap. So many people I know try to avoid the topic with me altogether. But by damn I speak. I speak loud.

I speak because this is bigger than me. I speak because this is more important than who likes or approves of me. I speak because I care about humanity. I speak because I want my children to have a healthy ecosystem to live in, and because I don’t want them to be drafted into another World War. I speak because anyone who’d reject me for my political opinions was never my friend to begin with, and doesn’t deserve my company. I speak because the true obstacle to the progressive agenda is not the Republicans, but the corporate Dems. I speak because if we don’t start openly defying the conspiracy of silence against attacking the Democratic establishment, neoliberalism will choke our world to death.

And you’re allowed to speak too. Speak loud and proud and uninhibited. Speak like you’re right, because you are. Offend your liberal friends. Don’t be apologetic about it. Don’t kowtow to their domineering schtick one whit, because there’s nothing healthy about it. Don’t preface your words with the mandatory song and dance about how much you hate Trump. Don’t try to be egalitarian and make sure you attack Republicans as much as Dems so they won’t rush in and call you a Nazi Trump supporter. When they do this, tell them why they’re wrong. Push back. Insist on your right to occupy a human-sized amount of space. Even if you’re not the best debater, even if you don’t know everything there is to know about every politician and every policy, you’re still right, and it’s your duty to insist on that. If they don’t like it, they can take a hike.

It may sound silly, but it’s likely that the most significant thing you can do for the progressive revolution right now is speak openly about it. There are so many people who are too afraid to speak, and until they start seeing others loudly insisting on their own rightness, those people will be forever without a voice. Our movement stops where those people stop. We need to all start getting much braver, much bolder, much more entitled to our own space and to our own voice. So speak.

  • delf


  • DHFabian

    Agree. But liberals/Dems have had the public/media microphone for so many years. By effectively promoting middle class elitism while disappearing our poverty crisis, they have successfully advocated for our gravely-damaged deregulated capitalism. They paint a picture of the US as a place where everyone is able to work, and there are jobs for all. Over the past year or so, they even redefined the poor as no one worse off than minimum wage workers. Granted, this was while much of the liberal media struggled hard to reframe Hillary Clinton as a “bold progressive,” in spite of her long record of support for the right wing agenda. This is just the way it is.

  • Aquifer

    I notice he said we need to oppose “establishment” Dems – and seemed to hold up Sanders as an exception – but all Dems are “establishment” Dems to the extent they stay loyal to the DP – Sanders speaks like a rebel and acts like a courtier …

    And what of those of us progs who are not all PC? Do we speak our truths as well?

  • rgaura


  • A agree. We should take every opportunity to out corporate democrat complicity with the worst and most corrupt policies. In my area, Sen. Warner(d) is voting for Trump nominees and has tried in the past to sell of Social Security via “grand bargains.” He is a Clintonite, Reagan Democrat. As a writer with a local column and an activist, I throw in in the face of local dems as a paragon of what is wrong with them and what needs to be purged.

  • Sanders and the Progressive Caucus are hardly ideal but they are way better than mainstream DLCers. We need to support them, we need to criticize them and we need to build alternatives.

  • mwildfire

    Certainly there are liberals with blinders welded to their cheekbones, people who refuse to see the evils of Obama or Hillary. But this piece reads in places like Trump is a breath of fresh air, a corrective, not perfect but better than Obama/Hillary. That’s hardly the case.

  • Aquifer

    Hardly ideal? Hmm, seems to me they are pretty worthless prog wise, other than rhetorically – useful as shiny bait on the DP hook – it always winds up party over principle, e.g.


    Political organizing takes time, money effort and enthusiasm – don’t waste any of that on Ds …

  • Mature revolutionary tactics mean we have to work with — and push — the best people in power while building a real alternative. Refusal to do so because they are not perfect enough reminds my of Lenin’s treatise on Left-Wing Communism, an Infantile Disorder”


    Nothing is new . . .

  • Aquifer

    The problem is that “the best people in power” are simply not up to the task of doing what needs to be done in anywhere near the time frame that we need to do it in, if ever …

    This is not about being “perfect enough”, it is about being simply good enough – and they aren’t – their vision isn’t big or broad enough … We don’t need folks in power we have to keep “pushing”, we need folks in power who will do the pushing …

    We are running out of time – and even if one argues that economic cycles are by nature up and down – the fact is that Mother Nature doesn’t give a damn – she has her own rules. regs and timetables and the “best people in power” now are nowhere near ready to pay enough attention – no “plea bargaining” with MN …

  • I never stated that we should rely on any elected official. What I stated is that we need to back and push the few decent progressives while we, at the same time, do whatever we can in the streets. It’s important to do both which was Lenin’s point.

  • Aquifer

    Back and push whatever “progs” we have – sorry, but in my book that leaves out anyone who has tied his political fortunes to the DP – they have agreed to dance with the devil – and you can only boogie just so much – as Sanders himself says, they know the rules …

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