Progressives are from Mars, Moderates are from Venus

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NOTE: This is my #UniteBlue post. For both progressives and moderates, I truly believe we have much more in common than not, and all our fates are on the line in November.

I ask you to spare five minutes and please give it a read…any feedback is welcome. Thanks.

* * *

Election Day is less than a month away. The only reason Republicans have even a slim chance to retain the House is the divide between progressives and moderates, or Bernie and Hillary supporters, or rapid change and incrementalism, or whatever terms you think best apply.

Those differences – in both policy and strategy – are absolutely real, and the truth is we’re not going to reconcile them overnight. However, our divisions pale compared to what we agree on.

We’re heading in the same direction, and the other side isn’t idling in neutral, they’re driving the opposite way as fast possible:

  • We argue if the minimum wage should immediately be raised to $12 or $15 per hour, but the GOP thinks $7 is too high.
  • We argue about how to best expand healthcare, while the GOP wants to take it away from millions.
  • We argue if college should be free or subsidized, while the GOP wants to cut funding so it’s more expensive. They’re fine with high interest student loans too.
  • We argue about how much taxes should go up on the rich, while the GOP wants to give them another major cut.
  • We argue about how to expand Medicare and protect Social Security, while the GOP plans to gut both programs.
  • We argue about how to combat systematic racism, while the GOP cheers every time the police shoot an unarmed civilian or a child is ripped from their parents’ arms.

If progressives are from Mars and moderates are from Venus, the GOP is on Uranus.

Yes it’s an immature joke. It also happens to be true.

Many progressives wish the Democrats had nominated someone they like better. That’s understandable, but understates the power of lobbying. A Democrat who wins a seat with support from both progressives and moderates will fear a primary challenger more than any Republican, and they’ll vote accordingly.

All of our priorities are different from what Republicans have done for the past two years. If there’s any lesson we’ve learned from the tax cut debate and Kavanaugh hearings, it’s that Republicans and Trump don’t value compromise or popular opinion.

This debate has been repeated ad nauseam since the summer of 2015, and I realize there’s nothing new in this post. We have differences, and some will be difficult to reconcile. But democracy is supposed to be messy, and I’d rather fight over how quickly we’re moving left instead of trying to avoid moving farther right.

Across the board our differences are minor compared to how Republicans view the future of America, and our best chance is to vote together on November 6th and start lobbying the winners on November 7th.

For progressives especially, I feel your frustration at not moving fast enough. But I think you’ll be surprised how quickly so-called moderates move to the left once they’ve won an election and the lobbying starts.

To that end, the analogy below is pretty dumb. I apologize for that, but if you’re sick of moderates like me asking (and even pleading) for us all to come together for this election, this is how we view the stakes.

* * *

Imagine Republicans are holding a book burning south of town and everyone else plans to attend a music festival up north, and the county council has announced only the highest attended of the two will be held again next year.

You’re driving as fast as possible to the festival, and naturally get frustrated at those who can’t keep up. At the same time, most likely the book burners are driving as fast as you (if not faster), but are going in the opposite direction.

So you have choices. Do you get to the festival early and accept the others will be a little bit late to arrive, reverse course and drive at top speed but to the book burning instead, or choose to skip both events?

If you continue to the festival, it’ll win the contest and you’ll likely play a larger role planning next year’s version. If you go the other way, the book burning will win and happen again next year. If you skip both, it’ll be too close to call.

Ultimately, it’s your vote and your choice. Our differences aren’t going away, but neither are the other side’s goals. I believe we can find common ground together, and hope you agree and work together to take back Congress. Thanks for reading.

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