Author Topic: Question Again: Why Are We Progressives So Inept?  (Read 1661 times)

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Offline Barbarella

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Question Again: Why Are We Progressives So Inept?
« on: October 19, 2014, 01:21:11 am »
It shouldn't be hard for us to think, organize, innovate, improvise & foresee the tricks and lies of the regressives.

I've asked this question before but never got a satisfactory answer. "Corporate Money" only goes so far because it's mostly meaningless due to the ability to improvise & innovate, accomplishing much with less money (and the internet).

But I want to really know. We're supposedly the smarter, more educated, more savvy, more worldly, more intelligent & knowledgeable about the ways of propaganda & the opponent's ways with dirty tricks.

Yet, we continue to fall for the dirty tricks, we never copy their strategies, we can't organize anything that lasts, we can't foresee their tricks. We hardly vote because we are too lazy! All this would be solved if we voted en masse! ID restrictions? So what? Huge amounts of whites are Democratic and Black/Hispanic doesn't equal "Poor". Everybody has a birth certificate & an ID only costs a few bucks! As much as I loathe all those barriers, I know they're merely hurdles to jump, not walls of iron. Everyone can still vote, it's just that it's been made harder for some groups.

Why aren't Progressives running for local office? Why aren't we flocking to positions on schoolboards, police, local legislatures, mayor, etc. These aren't big national offices that require megabucks & you can always throw fundraisers!

I don't understand. Why we Progressives, allegedly the more intelligent, educated, open-minded, savvy, worldly & numerous, unable to make a huge dent against an inbred hick minority and a few rich guys?

It's like, a dark force of impairment has overtaken us, fuel by the "warfare prayer" of frummer churches....or somethings in the water.

I have no idea, I don't get it. I don't get it at all.

Please answer this.


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Offline R. U. Sirius

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Re: Question Again: Why Are We Progressives So Inept?
« Reply #1 on: October 19, 2014, 01:28:22 am »
My best answer is the fact that conservatives A) have the inertia of the status quo behind them, and B) are much better at organizing. Progressives want things to change, but it seems we can rarely agree on what, exactly, has to change, to what degree and at what pace. Since we can't agree on unified goals and messages, we continually shoot ourselves in the collective foot.
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Offline Barbarella

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Re: Question Again: Why Are We Progressives So Inept?
« Reply #2 on: October 19, 2014, 01:29:21 am »
My best answer is the fact that conservatives A) have the inertia of the status quo behind them, and B) are much better at organizing. Progressives want things to change, but it seems we can rarely agree on what, exactly, has to change, to what degree and at what pace. Since we can't agree on unified goals and messages, we continually shoot ourselves in the collective foot.

Then how do we come together? Surely there is a lot that we agree on.


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Re: Question Again: Why Are We Progressives So Inept?
« Reply #3 on: October 19, 2014, 01:39:57 am »
You may as well be launching into a jaunty rendition of "How Do You Solve A Problem Like Maria?" Since progressives value independence and critical thought more than lockstep goals, it makes it much harder to organize. Organizing conservatives is easy...all you have to do is point out why they should consider a change from the status quo a bad thing. Organizing progressives is harder because we not only have to outline what we want to change, but how to make the change happen and how our solutions will be improvements over what's already there.
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Re: Question Again: Why Are We Progressives So Inept?
« Reply #4 on: October 19, 2014, 01:44:26 am »
If this is so important to you, have you ever considered actual political activism? You'd be far more likely to get a satisfactory answer than you ever would by sitting behind your computer and basically spamming this same thread over and over again.

Offline Barbarella

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Re: Question Again: Why Are We Progressives So Inept?
« Reply #5 on: October 19, 2014, 01:53:05 am »
You may as well be launching into a jaunty rendition of "How Do You Solve A Problem Like Maria?" Since progressives value independence and critical thought more than lockstep goals, it makes it much harder to organize. Organizing conservatives is easy...all you have to do is point out why they should consider a change from the status quo a bad thing. Organizing progressives is harder because we not only have to outline what we want to change, but how to make the change happen and how our solutions will be improvements over what's already there.

Well, one things for sure: Freedom, equality & opportunity for all is a big improvement. Keeping jobs here in the states is an improvement. No questions there.

Just get together, get a list of goals we all agree on and stick with that. Reject the super-radical nutty people & be willing to reach out to Joe/Jane Q. American.

You know, I think the big problem is that the wingnuts are experts at feigning stupidity. We underestimate them. I'm certain that people like Palin aren't really nimrods. I also feel that we are too dismissive & hateful to right-leaning voters. Perhaps we should stop laughing at them and calling them "Deliverance rejects" and try to reach out in friendship & compassion. I'm certain that not all are hard-hearted dorks and some may be swayed to a more open-minded mindset. We need to educate.

I know the USA will be mostly blue, eventually.....most wingnuts are old and most Progressives are young.

I know many don't vote because the Dems are wishy-washy & Centrist. What we need to realize is that we need to go with what we have & not the ideal. The ideal would be a Liberal party untouched by corporate interests. Sadly that's not the case, so we need to accept what's available, be pragmatic & vote.


If this is so important to you, have you ever considered actual political activism? You'd be far more likely to get a satisfactory answer than you ever would by sitting behind your computer and basically spamming this same thread over and over again.

No, problemo! I'll find a way AND I WILL VOTE!
« Last Edit: October 19, 2014, 01:59:29 am by SpukiKitty »


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Offline Ultimate Paragon

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Re: Question Again: Why Are We Progressives So Inept?
« Reply #6 on: October 19, 2014, 10:12:21 am »
Actual activism would be good.  I'm sure you can achieve something.

Offline Ironchew

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Re: Question Again: Why Are We Progressives So Inept?
« Reply #7 on: October 19, 2014, 10:53:41 am »
I've asked this question before but never got a satisfactory answer.

A big part of the problem is that we no longer have a left-wing political movement of appreciable size in the United States. Progressives used to have the Communist party continually threatening to unseat representatives in the FDR days, so the Overton Window shifted left and we got socialist programs like Social Security out of the process. Not bad, right? Ever since then, we've been force-fed a torrent of anti-Communist, anti-Socialist, anti-labor, and pro-Capitalist propaganda, to the point that Progressives now have to couch labor organization in terms like, "Well, we don't mean unions exactly...", or, "We all know the downsides of unions, but...".

Add to that the very deliberate chilling effect engineered by the House Committee on Un-American Activities and COINTELPRO under J. Edgar Hoover, and the intellectuals and civil rights leaders at the core of the American left either had their reputation torn to shreds or were exterminated. The Overton Window has been shifting to the right all this time and it's hardly a surprise there's no equivalent of the Communist party pushing Democrats to the left anymore. Instead they've been pushed to the right by corporations and the religious fringe that has infested the Republican party ever since Roe v. Wade was ruled on.

It's the result of decades of propaganda and the deliberate extermination of leftist movements.
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Offline Barbarella

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Re: Question Again: Why Are We Progressives So Inept?
« Reply #8 on: October 19, 2014, 12:36:59 pm »
I've asked this question before but never got a satisfactory answer.

A big part of the problem is that we no longer have a left-wing political movement of appreciable size in the United States. Progressives used to have the Communist party continually threatening to unseat representatives in the FDR days, so the Overton Window shifted left and we got socialist programs like Social Security out of the process. Not bad, right? Ever since then, we've been force-fed a torrent of anti-Communist, anti-Socialist, anti-labor, and pro-Capitalist propaganda, to the point that Progressives now have to couch labor organization in terms like, "Well, we don't mean unions exactly...", or, "We all know the downsides of unions, but...".

Add to that the very deliberate chilling effect engineered by the House Committee on Un-American Activities and COINTELPRO under J. Edgar Hoover, and the intellectuals and civil rights leaders at the core of the American left either had their reputation torn to shreds or were exterminated. The Overton Window has been shifting to the right all this time and it's hardly a surprise there's no equivalent of the Communist party pushing Democrats to the left anymore. Instead they've been pushed to the right by corporations and the religious fringe that has infested the Republican party ever since Roe v. Wade was ruled on.

It's the result of decades of propaganda and the deliberate extermination of leftist movements.


Well, I feel that Progressivism is slowly making a comeback. I'll be a hard battle but if we play our cards right, we can succeed. It'll start in baby steps. There are numerous groups & websites working on it.....even this board & FSTDT. The Occupy protests are making a comeback and The Internet is what's the answer!

One baby step, record voting to get as many Dems elected! Dems may be wishy-washy & Centrist but it's a start.

Next, run for small offices from the bottom-up, that's how the Far-Right did it. Good old fashioned fund-raising & running for Schoolboards or whatever.

Then there's education and reaching out. People need to be taught again that Socialism & Unions are not Josef Stalin. They need to be taught that our real National motto is actually E PLURIBUS UNUM (Out of Many, One) and that The Pledge of Allegiance does NOT have the words "under God" in it.

We need to reclaim all that "Red White & Blue/Stars & Stripes/Flag-Waving/Bald Eagle Flying While Being Awesome/4th of July KABOOM" imagery. Go full-on PATRIOT! You see, those are Progressive symbols. Lady Liberty is the true Deity of America...in whom we trust!

We may not have control of the "Mainstream Media" but CYBERSPACE is our place! Left-Wing Radio, Television, etc. can be in the realm of the ol' Information Superhighway!

We're Liberal! We think outside the box! TIME TO GET, INNOVATIVE, BABY!


Actual activism would be good.  I'm sure you can achieve something.

Even a good blog, a video channel, petition signing & donations would be decent. Everyone should do whatever they can. I'm stick in my parents house with little independence. Should I become more independent & living on my own (due to my self-publishing or whatever), I'll definitely be more hands-on. I definitely will do something.

I should compose a resource to act at a counterpart to those "Koch Boycott" lists, a list of alternatives. It's hard to boycott when you don't know alternatives. Another would be a cool resource on alternatives involving DIY, thrift-shopping, dumpster diving, flea markets, gardening, etc.
« Last Edit: October 19, 2014, 12:43:37 pm by SpukiKitty »


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Re: Question Again: Why Are We Progressives So Inept?
« Reply #9 on: October 19, 2014, 12:50:44 pm »
Progressives need to understand that hashtag activism is not just as good as actually getting off ones ass and doing something. Conservatives will actually write their congressmen, call them or go and see them in person. Progressives tweet.
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Offline Barbarella

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Re: Question Again: Why Are We Progressives So Inept?
« Reply #10 on: October 19, 2014, 01:07:42 pm »
I've asked this question before but never got a satisfactory answer.

A big part of the problem is that we no longer have a left-wing political movement of appreciable size in the United States. Progressives used to have the Communist party continually threatening to unseat representatives in the FDR days, so the Overton Window shifted left and we got socialist programs like Social Security out of the process. Not bad, right? Ever since then, we've been force-fed a torrent of anti-Communist, anti-Socialist, anti-labor, and pro-Capitalist propaganda, to the point that Progressives now have to couch labor organization in terms like, "Well, we don't mean unions exactly...", or, "We all know the downsides of unions, but...".

Add to that the very deliberate chilling effect engineered by the House Committee on Un-American Activities and COINTELPRO under J. Edgar Hoover, and the intellectuals and civil rights leaders at the core of the American left either had their reputation torn to shreds or were exterminated. The Overton Window has been shifting to the right all this time and it's hardly a surprise there's no equivalent of the Communist party pushing Democrats to the left anymore. Instead they've been pushed to the right by corporations and the religious fringe that has infested the Republican party ever since Roe v. Wade was ruled on.

It's the result of decades of propaganda and the deliberate extermination of leftist movements.

I never thought I'd agree with ironchew, but I'm agreeing with ironchew. Even the Democratic Party in the United States is only a few degrees away from the Republican Party, and third parties are doomed to fail because the system is so rigged (Citizens United, the electoral system, first-past-the-post voting, voter suppression, etc.). I personally consider the Democratic Party more dangerous than the Republican Party in some ways, since they are more insidious about appearing "progressive" while reinforcing the same essential status quo as the Republicans. At this point it's all but decided that Hillary Clinton, who has a history of supporting oppressie regimes, will be the next president; everyone will fawn over her because she's a *~strong empowered woman~* and then get more and more disappointed with her as they realize she's actually even farther to the right of Obama. I'd give it four or five more election cycles before people start demanding more change. I do believe, however, that well-organized activism on the part of leftists could counteract this trend, though American leftists are so full of petty infighting over "Trots" and "Tankies" and academic jargon that it's hard for them to pull their heads out of their asses for five minutes and actually organize something that ordinary, working-class people can feasibly get behind.

I'm thinking that Progressives who can agree on most stuff should get together in a mass, then those guys can start a movement.

The first big stage, again, is education. We can find ways to go out there to educate the public about the definitions of things in ways that will be fun, concise & to the point. We can reach out to Joe/Jane Q. American and befriend & create dialogue with Centrists & saner Conservatives who aren't Wingnuts. We need to find a way to teach people how to look out for the various tricks & manipulations used by The Machine to influence people "Like blaming a bad economy on an 'other'" and other things.

Whenever we like it or not, religion plays a huge part. We need to beef-up & boost sane, Moderate faiths, Churches, Synagogues, Temples, Mosques, etc. We need to take from the Wingnut's playbook and start our own Progressive faith culture/tent revivals/functions.

Finally, be relate-able to the Average Schmoe Person. The problem with the Left-wing movements last time was that, not only were we plagued by The Machine and it's CONTELPRO crap but we were self defeating. Joe/Jane Q. American would respond better to a nice, suit-clad clergyman named King or a nice seamstress named Parks than, say someone raging & "weird" like Charmichael or Davis. Yes, weirdoes have a place but getting them raging & over-the-top & at the forefront would be stupid (and many of them were CONTELPRO, too). No extremists!

And try not to be so naive this time as well. Idealism works best with realism. Radical change via Moderate means. Slow & steady wins the race.


I've asked this question before but never got a satisfactory answer.

A big part of the problem is that we no longer have a left-wing political movement of appreciable size in the United States. Progressives used to have the Communist party continually threatening to unseat representatives in the FDR days, so the Overton Window shifted left and we got socialist programs like Social Security out of the process. Not bad, right? Ever since then, we've been force-fed a torrent of anti-Communist, anti-Socialist, anti-labor, and pro-Capitalist propaganda, to the point that Progressives now have to couch labor organization in terms like, "Well, we don't mean unions exactly...", or, "We all know the downsides of unions, but...".

Add to that the very deliberate chilling effect engineered by the House Committee on Un-American Activities and COINTELPRO under J. Edgar Hoover, and the intellectuals and civil rights leaders at the core of the American left either had their reputation torn to shreds or were exterminated. The Overton Window has been shifting to the right all this time and it's hardly a surprise there's no equivalent of the Communist party pushing Democrats to the left anymore. Instead they've been pushed to the right by corporations and the religious fringe that has infested the Republican party ever since Roe v. Wade was ruled on.

It's the result of decades of propaganda and the deliberate extermination of leftist movements.

I never thought I'd agree with ironchew, but I'm agreeing with ironchew. Even the Democratic Party in the United States is only a few degrees away from the Republican Party, and third parties are doomed to fail because the system is so rigged (Citizens United, the electoral system, first-past-the-post voting, voter suppression, etc.). I personally consider the Democratic Party more dangerous than the Republican Party in some ways, since they are more insidious about appearing "progressive" while reinforcing the same essential status quo as the Republicans. At this point it's all but decided that Hillary Clinton, who has a history of supporting oppressie regimes, will be the next president; everyone will fawn over her because she's a *~strong empowered woman~* and then get more and more disappointed with her as they realize she's actually even farther to the right of Obama. I'd give it four or five more election cycles before people start demanding more change. I do believe, however, that well-organized activism on the part of leftists could counteract this trend, though American leftists are so full of petty infighting over "Trots" and "Tankies" and academic jargon that it's hard for them to pull their heads out of their asses for five minutes and actually organize something that ordinary, working-class people can feasibly get behind.

That is correct. Besides, simple donating goes to a cause so folks who can get off their butts can do something. Also, not everybody has the courage & testicular/ovarian fortitude to go to protests and get billy-clubbed/tasered/pepper-sprayed/tear gassed/dog bit/fire-hosed or worse.

We need to be savvy, shrewd, pragmatic, idealist-realists who can innovate, make much more with less, get around barriers & unite on what we DO agree on.

I heard Soros was thinking of running for Prez. If he runs against Hillary, then "The First Woman President" thing can wait.

Even in Hillary got in, it's the House & Senate that has the most influence. Checks & Balances after all. Perhaps that's why Warren refuses to run. She's feels she can do more as a Senator.

A Democratic President would be great but we need to focus big time on making more House & Senate seats blue as Smurfs!


I look at it this way....Unless someone gets up on a podium in Washington DC and announces, EXPLICITLY, that we are no longer a free, Democratic-Republic & that The Constitution is null and void....This nation is STILL a FREE DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC & THAT THE ACTIONS OF THE FASCISTS, PLUTOCRATS, THEOCRATS, OLIGARCHS & CORRUPTED COPS ARE ILLEGAL!

« Last Edit: October 19, 2014, 01:24:02 pm by SpukiKitty »


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Offline Ironchew

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Re: Question Again: Why Are We Progressives So Inept?
« Reply #11 on: October 19, 2014, 01:56:47 pm »
Progressives need to understand that hashtag activism is not just as good as actually getting off ones ass and doing something. Conservatives will actually write their congressmen, call them or go and see them in person. Progressives tweet.

They got off their asses to do Occupy Wall Street. Naturally, they ran head-on into the same police force that brutalized, incarcerated, and executed leftists in the past. Right-wing protesters have it so much easier.
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Offline Barbarella

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Re: Question Again: Why Are We Progressives So Inept?
« Reply #12 on: October 19, 2014, 02:02:04 pm »
Progressives need to understand that hashtag activism is not just as good as actually getting off ones ass and doing something. Conservatives will actually write their congressmen, call them or go and see them in person. Progressives tweet.

They got off their asses to do Occupy Wall Street. Naturally, they ran head-on into the same police force that brutalized, incarcerated, and executed leftists in the past. Right-wing protesters have it so much easier.

So did the folks Marching in the Deep South in the 50's & 60's and the folks marching in the streets of India against the British colonial rulers. This is why some take to less direct action like donations & media.

Again, everyone does what they can.


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Re: Question Again: Why Are We Progressives So Inept?
« Reply #13 on: October 19, 2014, 04:11:19 pm »
There's less to Palin than meets the eye.  As to organized activism, consider: today's "conservatives" are strongly predisposed to join.  They'll join anything that buttresses their meager self-worth or helps them define their political identities.  They validate themselves by the groups they support, and they expect -- demand -- guidance in what to think.  I think it accurate to assert that, as a whole, they are relatively uneducated, unacquainted with history and science, and unfamiliar with critical thinking.  To put it another way, progressives are contending with the vast inertial impact of organized dumb.
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Re: Question Again: Why Are We Progressives So Inept?
« Reply #14 on: October 19, 2014, 07:48:27 pm »
No, problemo! I'll find a way AND I WILL VOTE!
Erm, voting is not activism. I meant actually get involved in some campaign. Go protest, circulate petitions, call/write your congressman. Whatever you think will change the world. That way, you'll meet some other progressive activists, really get to know how the operate and what it's like doing what they do, as well as get a deeper understanding of why politics overall are the way they are.

I know that unlike spamming this same thread every couple of months, it would take actual effort. However, it's really the only way you'll ever get a satisfactory, or at the very least, different, answer to what's already been said on this forum time and time again.