Just got done reading two great articles over at Salon. One of the articles is in the archives, one is more current*. But they both touch on a very important point, and it’s one that I’ll continue addressing all the way through Election Day.
Simply this: our tendency towards moral certainty and self-righteousness, to the point where it hurts our chances of changing America in a more humane, more liberal direction.
Over the last few years, I’ve noticed a disturbing predilection by movement lefties for what I’d call a suicidal purity. This affinity for purity over pragmatism reached its crest, I thought, with Ralph Nader’s Green Party Presidential crusade four years ago.
Now it seems that it’s happening again.
I wrote earlier about Dr. Dean’s comments regarding John Kerry. What I didn’t address is that comments like that only encourage his supporters to adopt a hardline, accept-no-substitutes stand that can only help the President win in November by dividing us, and embroiling us in a nasty civil war.
That’s the last thing we need. We’re going to go into battle short on ammunition; must we also shoot ourselves in both feet?
Can we agree that we both want the same thing–a liberal America? Can we also agree that allowing the President to remain in power makes that dream a lot harder to come true?
If you agree with that, then I’m looking forward to working together with you to make that dream, bit by bit, a reality. And we’ll joyously celebrate that great day.
But if you don’t, I’m sorry–and I really have to question just how committed you are to our–yours and mine–dream of a liberal America.
Politics isn’t just about feeling good, and proving how pure you are; it’s also about achieving what you can, when you can, in service of a higher goal.
Kerry may not be Howard Dean; but he’s a damn sight better than George W. Bush. And we’d do well to remember that.
*Here are the links to the two articles: