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Wed Oct 31, 2012, 03:16 PM

Style and Substance - What it means to be a Democrat

I am posting this here because it seems the only safe place to do so. Not because I use any forbidden words, but because of the poisonous atmosphere that has been generated by a small group of posters across the rest of DU. Intelligent and thoughtful comments appreciated.
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There is a certain group of people of DU - and everyone knows who they are - who have made a logically fatal miscalculation in their tactics of constant disruption and attempts to sow the seeds of division at this site, and that is a pathetically misguided confusion of window-dressing with structure.

I have been a left-wing Democrat since I was old enough to understand politics. I have never failed to support and vote for the most liberal Democratic candidate available as a choice in every election in the last thirty-plus years. I supported the ERA back in the day, and support for it was a litmus test for getting my vote. All the candidates I have supported have been staunchly pro-choice, pro-equal rights, pro-pay equity and for the expansion of health care and on those issues the candidates for which I have voted share my ideals, convictions and goals. As one DUer recently posted, we must always continue to “work on the real problems of unequal pay, unaffordable day care, the glass ceiling, attacks on reproductive rights, lack of affordable medical care, and a whole long list of inequalities that need to be corrected.” Those are the issues being fought for in the only real ground that matters in everyday life - in the places where laws are made.

LadyHawkAZ recently stated that “Feminism seeks to counter by achieving equality, by legal and social advancement as well as empowering women in traditionally male areas (workforce, politics, sexuality etc).” I certainly agree with and endorse this statement wholeheartedly and I cannot imagine anyone who cares enough about liberal/progressive/Democratic politics to be here would find one word of that with which to disagree.

I am sickened by the fact that Repukes want to defund Planned Parenthood, meddle in health-care decisions which should always be within the sole province of the affected woman, mock rape victims, oppose equal pay, oppose re-enacting the VAWA, and disparage full and true equality before the law for all women. I am equally sickened by homophobia and transphobia and recoil in disgust at the demeaning of our GLBT brothers and sisters when they forcefully and rightly assert that their lives and relationships should be treated with the same respect and recognition as those of straight folks.

Again, I suspect that the vast majority of DUers concur in full with what I have said above. Yet for some people here this is not enough. Because we defend the right of people to be silly, obnoxious, or even offensive, some of us are repeatedly and continually called “misogynists” by a small and very loud cadre of DUers. Would a “misogynist” be outraged by attacks on abortion-service providers and all the other attempts to provide women all across the country from having full opportunity to exercise their Constitutionally guaranteed right to decide to terminate a pregnancy and have full access to contraceptive services? Would a “misogynist” scream to high heaven about the Repukes’ attempts to redefine rape downwards? Would a “misogynist” support the Lily Ledbetter Act? Do “misogynists” contribute to Planned Parenthood so that it may continue providing desperately needed health-care services for low-income women? Do “misogynists” denounce cave-dwellers like Rush Limbaugh, Todd Akin and that goofball Mourdock? The answer is self-evident.

I am not defending people who come on DU to deliberately throw crap like the monkeys in the primate house or other trollish types, but attacking people for the words they may intemperately use without knowing one thing about the actual policies they support on the political battlefield is stupid and shortsighted. It’s petty and mean-spirited keyboard-commandoism. Telling people what they “really” think or mean is bullying and assholism. Goalpost-moving and blatant intellectual dishonesty are particularly egregious kind of assholism. Attempting to run off people based on nothing more than language usage when they are good Democrats, progressives and liberals who support the goals the Democratic Party has stood for from FDR to JFK to LBJ to George McGovern to Jimmy Carter, to Bill Clinton to Barack Obama is counterproductive and a generally shitty thing to do.

DU is one of the best online communities in all of the Internets. I’ve run across many wonderful people here on DU in the 7 ½ years I have been here on and off. It’s a funny, stimulating, enlightening and thought-provoking place. Because we are Democrats, we never agree on everything but we do overwhelmingly agree on the real issues of peace, justice and equality. But if anyone has that many problems with DU and so many DUers, maybe this is not the right place for you.

Our enemy is not common vulgarities, even if they may be inappropriate for DU. Our true common enemy is out there trying to destroy everything we stand for and there could be no better representative of that enemy than the greedy, selfish corporate nihilists on the Republican ticket and those for whom these monsters are a mere front. Anyone who forgets that should just leave DU. The internet is a big place, and you should easily be able to find a new home online.

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Reply Style and Substance - What it means to be a Democrat (Original post)
hifiguy Oct 2012 OP
rrneck Oct 2012 #1

Response to hifiguy (Original post)

Wed Oct 31, 2012, 09:22 PM

1. Well said.

There is a big difference between "deference" and "homage". When people try to buy the former, they are expecting the latter. Ideological consumers keep the producers of umbrage in business.

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