Skip to comments.Oh my goodness! Progressives really do exist (Delusional Liberal Alert)
Posted on 09/26/2004 6:04:58 PM PDT by qam1
Something amazing happened last Tuesday. For the first time in my life, a candidate I supported actually won an election. I should be happy, but at the moment I'm simply stunned, as if I suddenly discovered gravity could work backwards.
At 27 years old, I fall within that range of apparently "disengaged" 18- to 30-year-old voters, all 43 million of us (25 percent of the electorate) who, according to the Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement, have the worst voting record of any age cohort in America. I suppose then that I am a statistical anomaly, since I have voted in every local, state and federal election in the past nine years. But I'm hardly enthused about it - no one I supported ever won. I was raised by two liberal parents, one a member of SDS, to believe in certain ideals of social responsibility and societal pluralism. The icons around whom my parents rallied (that procession of acronyms JFK, RFK, MLK and LBJ), however, are about as tangibly real to me as Shakespeare or Napoleon Bonaparte. I see evidence of their deeds, but they belong to myth and legend. The progressive candidates of today? Paul Tsongas lost. Bill Bradley lost. Robert Reich lost. Ralph Nader, whether he deserves it or not, has become persona non-grata. Bill Clinton won, but as a centrist Democrat who dismantled welfare, passed the Defense of Marriage Act impeding gay rights, refused to sign global environmental treaties and laid the groundwork for the anti-terrorism legislation that has gutted our civil liberties. And this was supposedly the guy on my side. A similar situation may be shaping up with John Kerry, a pro-war, anti-gay marriage Democrat who, unless he changes his campaign face, runs the risk of presenting young, liberal voters with another "lesser of two evils" choice in November. It's difficult to motivate a mass of voters with "lessers of two evils," particularly when we young people do not have the memory of the days of real progressives to bolster us when casting that ballot. Most of us figure, why bother?
But last week, something changed all of that for me. When Carl Sciortino decided to challenge Rep. Vincent Ciampa for our district's Democratic nomination, I felt the stirrings of hope once again. Ciampa, to me, represented the "new, centrist Democrat," with his anti-gay marriage stance and his lackluster support of public education funding and of health care. Sciortino had real progressive ideas reminiscent of those mythical Democrats of the 1960s ... the kind my parents keep telling me can't win today. "Kerry has no choice but to move right," they sigh. "We don't want another McGovern."
Well, I never saw McGovern, either, and I don't know if they are right ... but here, last week, on the local level, Carl Sciortino proved them (and many other critics) wrong. He won, and a major reason was his ability to mobilize young progressive voters. I played the smallest of roles in his campaign (one night of door-knocking and one hour of sign holding), but doing so gave me a chance to see the energy and commitment of his staff - most of them under 30. Among the sign-holders on election day outside the Powder House Community School, it seemed that Ciampa's supporters were mostly baby-boomers in suits and ties, while the Sciortino camp boasted GenX and Yers in T-shirts and sweats.
I make these observations not to incite "age warfare," but rather to announce what appears to be, in our small community, in this election, a return of engagement from my usually "apathetic" cohort, a return I credit to Sciortino's courageous campaign that actually presented real liberal values. When you look beyond their voting record, you see that my generation is extremely involved in politics; according to studies in 2001 and 2002, we participate in volunteer work and activist demonstrations at a rate far higher than our parents. We care ... we care a great deal. Voting, though, has seemed a useless exercise in a field with no real choices (according to the July 17 issue of Newsweek, 64 percent of young voters believe the U.S. needs a third major political party). Carl Sciortino did not aim for "the centrist swing vote," but rather gave the young liberals of Somerville a viable choice this fall, and in return, they gave him the election. Maybe John Kerry could learn a trick from Sciortino's play book.
David Nurenberg is a resident of Moore Street.
Things cant be going to well for the Liberals if they get this excited about a real progressive winning in Massachusetts
Lucky most Gen-Xers aren't like this idiot
Ping list for the discussion of the politics and social aspects that directly effects Generation Reagan / Generation-X (Those born from 1965-1981) including all the spending previous generations (i.e. The Baby Boomers) are doing that Gen-X and Y will end up paying for.
Freep mail me to be added or dropped. See my home page for details and previous articles.
If this nitwit were to move to frogland then his candidate would always win.
I suppose then that I am a statistical anomaly, since I have voted in every local, state and federal election in the past nine years. But I'm hardly enthused about it - no one I supported ever won.
Loser. Probably voted for Nader and Gore.
I am so confused here. How can anyone look at The Constitution of the United States...and decide to be 'progressive', let alone left wing or even 'liberal'?
Am I the only one who considers this some form of delusional insanity?
Does Davy want a medal or a monument?
Of course, if you want progress, you must be a conservative. Liberals are merely defending their sacred cows, which, after we slaughter them, are mighty tasty!
No. Intelligent & Liberal can not be properly used in the same sentence.
He puts JFK in the same box? Doesn't the idiot know that JFK CUT INCOME TAXES!
Swell. That would be the sort of social responsibility that involves bombing those who disagree with you and the sort of societal pluralism that merely shouts them down. One can only guess at what objective this budding "progressive" intends to progress toward. World socialism?
Hey, whiz kid - they have existed for a long time. But when most of us were growing up (operative expression), we called 'em what they are -- communists.
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