Earlier this week I published a story in which I had the audacity, the temerity to suggest that maybe Progressive Democrats should stop whining and kvetching about Joe and also stop mis-using the term ‘progressive, which doesn’t mean and has never meant what they believe it means.
The Progressive movement was a reaction against government. Today’s Progressives believe that more government is a good thing, less government is bad. The contemporary misuse of the term ‘progressive’ was the handiwork of alt-right shitheads like Glenn Beck and if some of my liberal friends want to help the other side continue to denigrate honest attempts to solve our problems by joining them in mis-stating both political history and facts, go right ahead.
But the attempt to rewrite history doesn’t change what happened in the past. And since you really can’t use the past to explain the present, I’ll continue to call out the so-called Progressive wing of the blue team for making statements and promoting political arguments which, as Grandpa would say, are ‘nisht zehr’ (read: not true.)
The United States happens to be the only industrialized, Western country that has never supported any kind of organized, mass political challenge to its capitalist structure except for a brief decade before and slightly after World War I. So how come every other industrial society has managed to maintain a Left alternative to the profit-based economic system and we don’t?
Because for all kinds of very unique historical reasons, the United States never developed a labor movement that had a Socialist base. Do we have labor unions? We sure do. Workers are even now beginning to unionize Amazon, and the last time I Iooked, the United Auto Workers has nearly 400,000 active members and have organized casino workers along with the men and women who run the assembly lines in every automobile plant.
But with all due respect to Walter Reuther, who started out as a Socialist and ended up getting both the 40-hour week and medical coverage as a paid-for fringe (as well as paying the legal bills for the attorneys who argued Brown V. Board of Education) neither the UAW or any other American trade union ever challenged the basic legal or political structures which created and sustains the capitalist system in the United States today.
Over the course of my life, at different times I have been a member of three unions: the Teamsters, the United Steelworkers, and the United Federation of Teachers. When did I first meet industrial workers who called themselves Socialists? When I was a student at the Sorbonne in Paris and showed up right after the May Days of 1968.
These guys were not only Socialists who were members of a Socialist-led union their entire lives, but they backed up their rhetoric with a national strike which happened to be going on the day I arrived in France. After I cleared customs, I ended up hitching a ride from the airport into town, because there wasn’t a bus or a train running anywhere in France.
If my liberal friends who call themselves Progressives want to put something besides their mouths on the line, why don’t they sit down and begin putting together a political party which promotes an end to the profit system, or at least makes it clear that there’s a difference between what the word ‘Socialist’ means and the way that phony Bernie uses the word to raise funds?
Don’t want Joe to run again in 2024? Put together a ticket with Bernie and AOC and then you’ll have four more years to kick Trump around.
Or maybe you’d rather like to see Josh Hawley take the oath in 2025.