Progress Demands Clinton


Sec. Clinton in Phoenix, AZ, March 21, 2016. Photo Gage Skidmore, CC BY-SA 2.0.


By Jon Green

My friend Chris Laursen argues those of us who vote for Sec. Clinton have abandoned any claim upon calling ourselves progressive. I disagree.

In a different world, Laursen’s support of Dr. Jill Stein might be well-considered, even courageous. But not in our world. Regardless of whether we like it or not, the world in which we find ourselves is a messy place filled with flawed systems and imperfect actors.

By segregating us into black and white groups, Laursen and his fellow travelers would make the perfect the enemy of the good, forsaking the historic opportunity for progressive change we have fought hard to win.

We can spend from now until Election Day – Election Day 2020 – arguing over the best meaning of progressive, but I hope we might agree that progressives stand for, ahem, progress. Supporting Dr. Stein does nothing to progress our politics. In fact, it increases the potential of a Donald Trump presidency, which is anathema to progress. It is, plainly speaking, the regression Laursen decries.

Imperfect critters that we are, the moral arc of history does bend slowly toward progress. Not because of some law of physics, but because people fight at every turn. Because Democrats – sometimes helped along by others such as Sen. Bernie Sanders – have defined progress. Because Democrats have defied forces which would slow our progress, even if sometimes imperfectly.

Often our progress seems halting and insufficient and I do not argue we rest. I do argue the Democratic Party, the party of FDR, JFK, LBJ, Carter, Clinton, Obama and yes now Clinton again, is the best vehicle to continue that progress.

Dr. Stein and the Green Party represent a failed vehicle for change. They promise total victory but cannot deliver a federal legislative seat, or governorship, let alone the presidency. As valuable as their voices are to this contest, they have for years gone not with the half loaf of the possible, but without any bread at all, holding out for everything. And too often their absolutist positions have not only kept them from victory, but progressives fighting under other banners, as well.

Laursen is right that fear is a lousy motivation to vote for Sec. Clinton. I would encourage progressives to vote for her so that we may continue to win, often slowly, frequently frustratingly but nevertheless winning. A vote for Dr. Stein is not only a vote for no progress but a bet against it. That isn’t (merely) scary, it is the observed order of our world. I invite Laursen to join us in it.

One comment

  • To friend,Jonathon Green. My conscience and knowledge will never allow me to support the Clinton regime. Not taking a stand against these tyrants and voting party line for generations has brought us to this current deplorable situation. At some point,we have to say “enough is enough” despite the immediate consequences. That is how you effect change within the Democratic Party. Not by accepting a rigged nomination and then supporting the very entity that you oppose. We have to create a viable third party. This sort of”progressive” behavior reinforces our failed and broken system. What magically happens after November 8th to effect change within the Democratic Party? The Green Party is about real democracy and real solutions not just pandering to the base during the primary and then falling to the center right in the general election. Come join us,Jonathon. We need people like you!


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