The three liberal wings need to get together

The left did best when not awkwardly explaining why, but boldly asking why not.

What will come to stand as a watershed election in U.S. history, an election that will ultimately determine how our nation interacts with the coming century, has failed to produce any coherence among what is termed Liberal America (who, it just so happens, compose the true majority of the country’s electorate, according to the popular vote of the 2000 presidential election, considering that Al Gore and Ralph Nader combined approximately 3 million plus votes more then President George W. Bush).

Instead, what we find is a three-way division in the politics of the left into: The Democratic Faithful (i.e. the traditional party, the unionists, the social progressives, intelligentsia and the populists), The Moderate Diaspora (i.e. the reserved, often disfranchised element of liberalism who might not approve of certain excesses of the far-left, but recognize the benefits of a socially supportive government, environmental regulation and gun laws) and The Radicals (i.e. the smaller but influential Greens, Socialist, Naderites, etc. who stimulate Liberal America with open and frank dialogue).

The division has naturally been exploited by Republicans, who have convinced the Moderate Diaspora to forsake their political reason out of demagogic fear of terrorism, demoralized the Democratic Faithful as a defunct status quo and demonized the Radicals as street-punk pinkos.

Unfortunately, this exploitation has further divided Liberal America, rather then united it. The Moderate Diaspora can’t understand how the Democratic Faithful became so weak, the Democratic Faithful fail to see the Moderate Diaspora and see the Radical movement as undermining the United States’ liberal tradition, and the Radicals look upon the other elements as pawns and push-overs.

Yet, these divided parts compose a majority of Americans that share a common fundamental ideal, which is an open forum where their issues will be discussed. Thus, this election is not about any one policy or issue per se, but rather, it is about the forum in which these policies and issues will be discussed. Only if united will a liberal forum prevail.

The Democratic Faithful remember that they did best when they were not awkwardly explaining why, but boldly asking why not. Their strength will be with voter turnout; it is not the “undecideds” that matter, but the “unlikelies,” the dispassionate Moderate Diaspora.

If the election affects anyone, it will be the Moderate Diaspora who tend to be lower-income working folks and families who always get the short end of the stick when jobs go overseas and social programs get cut. The Moderate Diaspora must shuck its hesitation that voting Democratic is a vote against security and come out and support its social progressivism.

And above all, the Radical elements of Liberal America must come to understand that though their voices might be small in the concert of the American left, they are not heard at all on the right, and if any of their ideas are ever to reach the national agenda, it will only be in a national forum favorable to liberal, progressive debate.

This November, the U.S. people will vote to shift the national forum either back to the moderate, socially progressive Left or even further to the conservative, reactionary Right. Hopefully, if there is unity and action among Americans, it will shift in the direction of the true majority.

Charlie Willis is a University student. Please send comments to [email protected]