We Need to Talk About the Rift on the Left

the rift on the left, Democratic Party, DNC
The rift on the left was made more apparent during the 2016 U.S. Presidential Election. Photograph by A. Shaker/VOA [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons.
The 2016 election was one of the ugliest in recent memory. I know many will agree with me on that, but for different reasons. Regardless, one thing that cannot be ignored is how this past election — and the primary alone — exposed the chasms that already existed within the Democratic Party and deepened the rift on the left overall.


What Led to This Discussion

This month, I really wanted to get into what it meant to be a conservative and what it meant to be a liberal (and a progressive) to establish some clear definitions (or at least make it clear what I mean when I bring up certain terms. In addition, many posts I made this year (like the ones about angry voters) and during the election cycle have been leading up to what I want to write about now and in the next month or so.

I wanted to wait until the end of this month to talk about this subject. But as I was writing other posts, doing research, and revisiting the past election, I realized I would have to make a series of posts to tackle this subject. And it is a big subject because it was years, even decades, in the making. Yet an introduction was easier to make.


The Point of This Discussion

Before I get to that, I want to address anyone reading this: I know this might make some of you angry, but that is not my aim. And if you have a dog in this fight I kindly ask you to leave your own anger at the door.

This is not your house. If anything, it’s mine, but that’s beside the point. And I promise to present my argument in the most respectful way possible.

Now, what I want to do is air grievances and talk about the underlying issues contributing to the rift on the left. Everything needs to be discussed, even stuff that will make you mad.

(It would help if I had extra input from Democratic voters, regardless of who they supported in the primary, but I am eager to hear from more of Hillary Clinton’s supporters. A questionnaire would be in order, but I have such a hard time getting input like that.)

I’ll admit: This rift could hurt the Democrats moving forward, because they should be focused on the 2018 elections (and special elections being held this year to try and chip away at Republican majorities).

Also, I know many of us are asking why we might have to rehash old wounds. That’s the thing, though: These wounds were never healed. And this isn’t a silly rift, because there are real concerns and serious allegations being made.


How I Want to Address the Rift on the Left

These are the topics I want to address so far, but the list can be adapted if I come across any more pertinent information:

* Two of the topics look like they might be redundant, but they address different aspects of the Democratic Party. When looking at the politics within the DNC, I will talk about how the party if being run. The following post will be about fallout from the past 8 years: the effect on the voters and the overall demographics. However, there is some overlap with the leaders within the party.

(Also check out Shmaltz’s Political Dictionary, which has terms I plan to use in this series.)

In the end, I would like to form one coherent message for liberals moving forward and present an ultimatum. Again, I consider myself to be under that umbrella, even if I’m not affiliated with a party. Regardless of what you think about that, Democrats need help from independents and moderates and to embrace more people on the left.

But first, we must understand that no one can solve a problem without first discussing it. There cannot be “unity” until all grievances are aired and all sides are able to come to an amicable agreement. Unfortunately, too many people want to hand-wave the problems away without discussing them. That is a mistake and I’ll explain why.

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9 thoughts on “We Need to Talk About the Rift on the Left

  1. Howdy Shmaltz!

    Many thanks for the ping-back! It is an honor.

    Given your introduction and the scope of your project, I’m salivating for those future articles. There is a rift on the left of that there is no doubt. It leaves us vulnerable to exploitation by provocateurs. A year ago, I wouldn’ta believed that a coordinated campaign of disinformation was possible, but, now, of course, it obviously took place and is still taking place. We must secure our house before we can move forward. Any bickering is easily exploited by stoking the flames and provoking anger and discord.

    I keep waiting for some conservative troll or Bernie bro to comment on my blog. I’ve encountered some on Twitter and FB, but none directly on the blog, yet. Have you had much by way of angry tolling comments?

    Like I said. I’m looking forward to exploring the issues with you.

    Huzzah!
    Jack

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    1. Nope, I haven’t dealt with trolls, but I have seen supporters from both camps bickering with each other, even earlier this month. That was elsewhere, and I even got in some arguments, too. But I stated my case and things calmed down.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Howdy Shmaltz!

        I’m a recent twitterer. I find it a very uncomfortable platform. It moves too fast for my tastes, but it is useful for pimping the blog, and keeping up with a lot of the political discourse. That’s where I’ve seen most of the arguments and bickering taking place.

        I haven’t been able to be on FB as much because over coming the Chinese internet restrictions often make the pages too slow to load. When I was able to regularly participate in FB, though, there was a lot of sniping between various liberal progressive camps.

        I find if you don’t take the bait but respond calmly and with well-reasoned arguments, the trolls leave and you can have a fairly decent exchange with people.

        I hope you hear from some voters and can summarize the various sides of the argument.

        Huzzah!
        Jack

        Liked by 1 person

        1. I’m not comfortable with Twitter, either. I made a Twitter account for this blog last year and use it for promoting my posts, too.

          I know there are guides out there that can help users like us use Twitter for full effect. Also, the Blogging University courses help by teaching people to create schedules for blog posts and social media posts. It takes a lot of time, but if you were to monetize your blog, you might need to invest some time to do that to grow your audience even more. (I should also take my own advice. ^-^ )

          This morning, I took a look at Twitter and searched for a couple of hashtags. There will always be hate for HRC, but from what I saw, most of it was coming from Trump fans. There were also Trump fans hating on Sanders, with the occasional criticism from HRC supporters.

          I have also seen some sniping on Facebook, but I rarely go looking for it.

          The anger still burns bright for some people.

          I might make a questionnaire and put it up on Google Docs. If I did that, would you like to participate (and find some Democratic voters who would like to, as well)? Of course, I will ask some of my friends to participate, too.

          Liked by 1 person

        2. Howdy Shaltz!

          Yes, I would like to do that. I have a loose connection to Democrats Abroad here in China, I could see if I could post it on one of their forums and another forum that I regularly post at.

          Monetizing the blog is a goal, but I’m not sure of the best way. I’ve seen pros and cons of AdSense. I’ve met a few bloggers who make quite a bit with AdSense. Then, again, I’ve always hated the way it looked when I’m on blogs with ads. You can sell a product, too. And, I’ve seen blogs that are flogging their own gear and e-books, too. And, then there are the ones that beg for donations. And, some do all of it. Uncertainty abounds.

          I try and publish on a Wednesday-Saturday schedule. I usually get close publishing at least one article Tuesday-Thursday and one Friday-Monday. I also try and prep articles in advance to make it easier to write them on schedule. Between work and family it doesn’t always work out that way.

          Last year I did the Blogging U courses. I really liked the set goals thing. I am developing a second set of goals for myself for this year. I wrote about them in the one year anniversary post.

          When I get the attention of Mike over at Crooks and Liars for his Mike’s Blog Round Up, those are usually good days for visitors and viewers. Otherwise, I try and optimize my SEO and run a cheap ad on google. I have a helluva India following because of it.

          Let me know about the google survey. I’ve got a gmail account which makes it easier.

          Huzzah!
          Jack

          Liked by 1 person

        3. You’ve bought ads? I haven’t done that yet, but that it can be an important part of website promotion. SEO should be the primary discipline, though.

          For the survey: I’m debating whether to make it a written questionnaire or a multiple-choice survey. I need to do some research, but put this out as soon as possible.

          Basically, I want to get a feel for how people viewed the past election and the two major political parties in general. The Democratic Party will get a heavier focus.
          One of the posts in the series is largely written, but it might help to get some input from various sources before publishing.

          Also, I think it’s fair to warn you: I intend to be brutally honest about Sanders, Clinton, some groups of voters, and both major parties. I’m addicted to the truth right now, at least when it comes to civics and the state of governments. It might be hard to take, but my aim is not to be mean-spirited at all. I might get some angry comments.

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        4. Thanks for sending it. Do you mind if I share the link with Democrats Abroad, on my blog, on my FB page, and my Twitter feed? I’m happy to help in any way I can.

          Huzzah!
          Jack

          Like

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