Home country: USA
Member since: Wed Aug 28, 2013, 10:14 PM
Number of posts: 789
Home country: USA
Member since: Wed Aug 28, 2013, 10:14 PM
Number of posts: 789
I\'m a Democrat.
That's a huge positive for Bernie, with the downside being they're only counted as 15% of the electorate in the entrance poll. I suspect if they actually make up more of the electorate, Bernie has a better chance than first thought.
Posted by DemocraticWing | Mon Feb 1, 2016, 08:26 PM (7 replies)
This morning Hillary Clinton got the inevitable endorsement from the Human Rights Campaign. I don't fault her for this, HRC is a well-known organization and I am sure it will benefit her. But when it comes to this endorsement, it unfortunately reinforces some of the criticisms of both HRCs involved here. Before people start accusing Sanders' supporters of throwing HRC under the bus, I should note that for much of the LGBTQ community, we've had enough of them for a long time. There are a number of systemic issues that indicate they are more interested in access for a very specific group of people, rather than full-throated inclusion for all parts of our community. Here's a sampler of the problems with the Human Rights Campaign:
Among the many complaints are a transphobic working environment; many trans employees stay closeted because they don't feel safe to be out at HRC. A major lack of diversity, and favoritism for white men, has also been criticized as well.
HRC has also been accused of advancing a corporate vision of LGBTQ rights, one that lets large corporations off the hook for past and current anti-progressive actions as long as they hit a few benchmarks for treating their LGBTQ employees no worse than they treat all of their employees. Not only do these benchmarks often overlook the economic inequality fostered by these corporations (certainly an issue where they may find themselves at odds with Bernie Sanders), but in some cases it has been suggested that their standards for corporations were really low when it came to the treatment of trans* employees.
Speaking of trans* people, HRC has a really horrible record of simply ignoring their issues over the years. Not only have they ignored their issues when lobbying the elites for equal rights, they have been engaged in controversy with trans* activists for so long that many doubt that current steps towards reconciliation will ever truly engender trust in HRC among many LGBTQ people. A key flash point was in their lobbying for ENDA, HRC once appeared willing to abandon trans* equality if it would make a bill for gay rights easier to pass.
Beyond that, HRC has even gone out of its way to endorse Republicans from time to time, even if their records are murky on LGBTQ rights. I believe their thinking is that incumbent and powerful officials will provide them more access, but this can leave them pushing aside Democrats with much better records on LGBTQ issues.
The record for the Human Rights Campaign is not great: racism, sexism, transphobia, and a disturbing tendency to rub shoulders with right-wing corporations and politicians. In the face of that history, Hillary Clinton receiving their endorsement over Bernie Sanders highlights a divide in the LGBTQ community that already is playing itself out politically. Clinton finds her strongest support with older and more well off gay people, while the more youth-driven activist movements critical of groups like HRC have been more inclined to support Sanders.
There's no bus for HRC to be thrown under, since most of us LGBTQ people who support Sanders have been dismayed by HRC for years.
Posted by DemocraticWing | Tue Jan 19, 2016, 09:36 AM (37 replies)
I think the most interesting polarization between Clinton and Sanders this year has not been ideological, racial, or even based on pragmatism. Hillary Clinton does her best with voters over the age of 45, and Sanders does his best with voters under 30. There are a lot more of the former, which I think helps explain most of the persisting lead for Clinton.
I am not saying that all members of any generation support any candidate. I know multiple people under 30 who are outright working for Hillary's campaign. They're good Democrats, and so are the people over 45 who prefer Hillary. There are also great-grandmothers and retirees who are putting everything on the line to support Bernie. They're also good Democrats, as are the young people who form Bernie's passionate young fanbase.
I don't know if the Democratic Party is ready for socialism as defined by Bernie Sanders, but polling indicates most of the party (including a slim majority of Hillary voters) have a positive opinion of socialism. We're not even talking about real socialism, it's basically a form of social democracy that doesn't go much beyond the platforms of Roosevelt and Truman.
However I don't think it can be overestimated how much the generational factor matters here. Bernie appeals to young people for his variety of liberal positions (free college, single payer healthcare, legalized marijuana, less war) that the Democrats of Clinton's generation pragmatically dismissed as positions too extreme to win a campaign on twenty years ago. I think the electorate is fundamentally different than what it was then, but it goes without saying that the bulk of the leadership of the Democratic Party is made up of people who were around when that decision was made.
25 year olds aren't going to take over the Democratic Party, even if we have someone like Bernie Sanders leading the fight. Perhaps the rest of this campaign surprises me and Bernie manages to pull the upset. But if he doesn't, I suspect the left-wing ideology espoused by his young supporters will have to find ways beyond a Presidential campaign to continue nurturing itself. Perhaps the young have things to learn about basic political machinations that will only come with experience.
One day the people of my generation will run the world. We're not there yet, but we have a voice. And every year that goes by that voice gets louder, stronger, and more powerful. If we don't get a socialist like Bernie Sanders elected President in 2016 (and we're sure as hell going to try) then we will try again with somebody else in the future.
Posted by DemocraticWing | Thu Nov 19, 2015, 01:27 PM (8 replies)
I can't believe Matt Bevin, that unconscionable idiot, is going to be the Governor of my state. He will be the worst Governor we've ever had.
We tried our best to keep him out, but Conway can't seem to win. All the downticket races outperformed him by a lot. He's now lost elections for the House, Senate, and Governor. The guy's just a loser.
Posted by DemocraticWing | Wed Nov 4, 2015, 12:38 AM (6 replies)
I understand the need to have our own candidate win the debate, and obviously either campaign would love to see their chief opponent struggle to get across their message or just downright look bad in some way. But that didn't happen for either candidate, both were on message and made their case to the American people in a fairly positive way. Neither could reach their objective of out-maneuvering the other candidate, but their secondary objectives were fulfilled. Here's what they were
For Hillary: The secondary objectives, behind making Bernie look bad or collapse, were to make her case for why she should be the nominee, explain why her values are Democratic values, and to protect her image as an experienced, qualified candidate for President. I think she succeeded in all of those things, but did nothing to separate herself from Sanders in the way she might have hoped.
For Bernie: The secondary objectives, behind making Hillary look bad or collapse, were to introduce himself to the people who might not have known about him before, make his case for why his brand of democratic socialism is consistent with the hopes and values of Democratic primary voters, and to protect his image as a principled, honest progressive candidate for President. I think he succeeded in all of those things, but did not find a way to knock Hillary down a peg. If he gets closer to Hillary in the polls it is through increased exposure, but he did nothing to move cleanly into the lead in my opinion.
I think O'Malley did not manage to stick out, which is what he needed, and make subsequent debates pretty make or break if he want to move into the top tier. I think Webb and Chafee reinforced their positions as bottom-dwellers with a poor argument for actually running, which can't be what they wanted. I expect at least one of them to drop out before Iowa, if not both.
The biggest losers of the debate were the Republicans, who look way worse in comparison to Bernie and Hillary. Joe Biden may have also lost because more people are giving up hope that he'll actually run at this point.
Posted by DemocraticWing | Thu Oct 15, 2015, 03:27 PM (1 replies)
It's confirmed he's met with Kim Davis, so let's sweep aside the conspiracy theories that he secretly didn't meet her. The evidence goes far beyond this, beyond even his allusions to defending her last week. He has spent two years walking back his more open minded statements, which were still anti-LGBT but with only a gentler tone. The man has repeatedly suggested that marriage equality is destroying society and the family, and quite literally believes like his predecessors that LGBTQ people are "disordered" sinners who will burn in hell.
His hatred of trans people goes even deeper. The things he has said about trans people are absolutely disgusting, as he's gone on record as saying that accepting the idea that people can change genders is unnatural, evil, and destructive for society. He is not an open-minded man. His heart has hate for our transgender friends and family, and I would argue he seems to have a very strong hate for gay people as well. He recently said the mayor of Rome was a "pretend Catholic" for daring to support marriage equality. Does that not sound a lot like the extremist rhetoric from certain bishops levied at Catholic Democrats like John Kerry and Joe Biden in the last few decades.
It is here where I think the American Left must reckon with this fact about a man who often says admirable things about climate change and income inequality. Indeed, much like his predecessors he is very critical of what we consider the conservative positions on those issues. But the fact remains that they too held the same positions, with much less applause from the Left. It is certain that Pope Francis does not fit neatly into categories, he's the Pope after all, not an American politician. I don't see a major issue with finding common ground with him on something like climate change, but going so far to have respect for the Pope considering his hateful beliefs seems bizarre to me.
I really my fellow members of the Left do not consider throwing LGBTQ people under the bus to score a few points out of agreeing with the Pope on some other issues.
Posted by DemocraticWing | Wed Sep 30, 2015, 12:14 PM (2 replies)
I was reading a certain other website that just trashed Bernie supporters up and down. I think everybody here knows what I'm talking about, but I see it on social media and even on DU too. We're accused of being Republicans, right wingers, racists, sexists, and homophobes. For supporting a candidate who is, get this, an actual socialist who supports full and uncompromised equality for women, racial minorities, and LGBTQ people.
I really have to scratch my head in confusion. Somebody actually said Bernie doesn't care about LGBTQ people. Yet he's had our back on marriage for a long time, at least back to when voted against DOMA. He's had our back when it comes to our people who put our lives on the line in the military, all the way back to when Don't Ask Don't Tell was put in place. He's had our back on nondiscrimination protections, all the way back to the 1980s when was mayor of Burlington.
When the Equality Act was introduced, I made it a point to find out where Bernie stood. I wouldn't vote for him if he didn't support it. I contacted his office right away, and was told he was going to cosponsor it. Of course he's going to stand up for LGBTQ rights! It's just what he does! He isn't "put off" by LGBTQ activists. He doesn't think gay people are "acting out." He's never given a speech in the Senate about how marriage was only for men and women, and the pesky gays shouldn't violate that "sacred bond."
I've supported a lot of Democrats over the years. I've had to support every homophobic piece of shit that landed on the ballot in Kentucky for my whole life, including a man who was elected Lt. Governor in 2007 after having been the sponsor for our state's gay marriage ban. I had to sit idly by while John Kerry said marriage was not for gay people, while Barack Obama said "God was in the mix," while Obama shared the stage and promoted hate-filled bigots during his campaign and inauguration. I remember two years of the most ardent Obama (and now Hillary) supporters saying even on DU that LGBTQ activists should stop "whining" because wanting to be treated like human beings was "begging for a pony."
I don't forget this shit, and I don't forget what portion of the Democratic Party was holding it all up for years and years. The moderate/Third Way/Centrists who would go out of their way to thrown LGBTQ people under the bus whenever it became convenient were almost as damaging as the Republicans. Sometimes still I wonder if Democrats aren't just taking LGBTQ people for a ride, pointing out how much better Democrats are than Republicans while never truly caring. But I overcome that to do everything I can for this party, and will keep doing it.
But I don't want to hold my nose and worry about getting stabbed in the back. I trust Bernie Sanders.
Posted by DemocraticWing | Fri Sep 25, 2015, 12:20 AM (67 replies)
I find it amazing that in today's political discourse, the bulk of the left in America is currently engaged in scaremongering about social justice activists allegedly cracking down on free speech. Armed with alarm from a new piece circulating through the media that cherry-picks less than 20 incidents from one of America's 5,000 colleges, the new anti-social justice left raises important challenges to the youth driven social movements that are prevalent in the social media dominated 21st century political space. A few important points from the other side of the equation
1. There are few cases where free speech is legitimately threatened. I will raise that sometimes people misdirect their anger, and aim for incorrect goals. This is quite common in politics, across all groups and all times. Yet a handful of events at a scattering of colleges does not a trend make. Few people want to silence controversial viewpoints, and those who do are not the mainstream among youth culture or social justice activism. Don't let the bogeyman scare you into disregarding an entire group of people! Any leftist worth their salt knows that's exactly the kind of false attacks used by the right to paint our side as dangerous.
2. Political correctness is not some stifling speech code that we wish to impose on America as law. You are free to say whatever you want, and will hopefully always remain so. However, young activists have made it crystal clear that speech has consequences in the social marketplace of ideas, and increasingly the economic marketplace as well. If you want to say the n-word, argue that gay people are evil, claim that women should stay in the kitchen, or that trans people scare you away from the bathroom...then go right ahead. But DO NOT assume that your freedom to say that means you have freedom to say that unchecked. We will call you out on it, and if you can't explain why there is any good reason to say the above things, we are not bound to respect you or listen to you going forward.
3. The panic misunderstands what words mean, and deliberately disregards the language of the marginalized. Trigger warnings, for instance, are a simple disclaimer that something may be graphic or traumatic to view. It is not a license to shut down discussion or avoid the topic entirely, indeed the effect is to open up the topic more by preparing those who need it with the proper context to engage the material. The vast majority of those who use or advocate for trigger warnings do not thing they should be used to stifle discussion, nor do we think that anybody should be required to use them if they don't like. Even if some wrongheaded people make such an argument, this is not actually what we talk about when we talk about trigger warnings.
4. Tumblr is a major social media outlet for young people, especially for young queer people. I don't have a Tumblr, but the vast majority of my friends do, and it is used for everything from memes to discussion to politics to porn. Some people with Tumblrs, much like some people with DU accounts, spew crap on a regular basis which has no basis in fact or reality. These people are a small minority, a non-zero amount of which are in fact parody accounts designed to mock the actual users of Tumblr. Yet many of the attacks on Tumblr seem to not just have a bent towards dismissing the tiny minority of nutcases, but to vilify the queer people (especially the less politically popular, like trans* people) who use Tumblr for being different. This is sickening and illiberal.
5. Having a fierce commitment to fighting racism, sexism, homophobia, transphobia, misogyny, ableism, classism, poverty, and capitalism is something that young social justice activists share with many, many other people, including many older liberals who populate somewhere like DU. What we wish is for you to engage us and work with us, and understand that we do not have much toleration for any of the aforementioned social ills.
6. We don't care if things were different in the old days, but also remember that we are more like you than you like to admit. Your parents felt the same way about you, if you might remember.
Posted by DemocraticWing | Tue Sep 15, 2015, 11:35 PM (60 replies)
I think Hillary Clinton is a good person, who has the best interests of the country at heart. I believe she cares about policies that will help the poor and middle class. I believe that she was an excellent Secretary of State, and despite her mistake on the Iraq War vote, will pursue a restrained and sensible foreign policy. I also think that Hillary will advocate for the civil rights of black people, LGBTQ people, and will be the biggest advocate for women's rights that we have ever seen. I think having Hillary Clinton as President would be a good thing for America.
I will not be voting for Hillary Clinton in the Democratic presidential primary. I believe there is another candidate that I agree with even more often than Hillary, and I believe his policies will be even better for the country. Regardless of that, whoever wins the Democratic primary will have my vote in the general election next November.
I think these opinions are common among many people who support Bernie Sanders. We aren't haters, even if sometimes people get a bit too enthusiastic about attack their opponents in a primary election. That tends to happen all the time, but we always come together to fight the Republicans in the end. I hope everybody on both sides of the fight understands that, and I certainly hope that anybody who has felt chased away from DU for supporting Hillary would come back. Just because Sanders supporters outnumber you does not mean we're all going to insult you and make you feel like a bad person.
Posted by DemocraticWing | Wed Aug 26, 2015, 11:24 AM (2 replies)
Julian Bond, a civil rights activist and longtime board chairman of the NAACP, died Saturday night, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center.
In addition to Julian Bond's achievements as a founder of SNCC and the Southern Poverty Law Center, his time as leader of the NAACP led to a focus on LGBTQ rights.
Posted by DemocraticWing | Sun Aug 16, 2015, 03:50 AM (6 replies)