I don’t play chess but if I did, I am sure I would equate today’s politics with three-dimensional chess. And in the game, the middle class and the poor are likely to be ill-prepared to win. Centrism has powerful allies.
It must be repeated ad-nauseam, the American political game is played between two rails both moving biased to the right. Parties attempt to keep flanks on their particular side of the rail attempting to prevent derailment. Over time this is consequential. Like the frog that stays in water as the temperature gradually increases to its eventual cooking, our political reality is sealing our economic demise.
We attempt to maintain the status quo by steering everyone to a mythical center, that rightward skewing center. Stray too far from it and we incur the wrath of the “liberal” punditry and media. One should not forget that Donny Deutch, a “liberal pundit” who at times has good Democratic marketing ideas, once blurted out that he would vote for Donald Trump if Bernie Sanders or Elizabeth Warren won the nomination.
But this should not be a surprise. National Director of the Working Families Party Maurice MItchell made a statement at Netroots Nation 2019 that caught my attention. Encapsulated within is the analysis that should define the progressive narrative and path.
In order to shift folks towards our side, the only way that could happen is by actually saying and standing on what we actually want. And so there’s a lot of folks who are fearing us from doing that indeed in the interest of false unity. Whenever anybody talks about unity, it’s actually a surrender. And whenever anyone talks about ideology, they’re always talking about progressives. For some reason the radical centrists don’t have ideology. You are being way too ideological because we’re talking about our values. They’re talking about their values. They’re talking about their corporate values. So to me, the intervention needs to be like we need to demystify some of these terms and stop pretending that these are neutral terms. These are loaded terms. These are political terms that are designed to steer us towards a particular politic. And we need to resist that.