As I hoped, Ellison, who represented the “progressives,” has lost the race for the DNC Chair to Perez, who represents a more mainstream faction of Democrats. I’m certainly not a Democrat, and so all I was comfortable doing was watching it unfold from the sidelines, but I have to admit that I’m pleased with Perez’s victory. However, it has not had the effect that I hoped it would have.
Progressives–and I’m going to continue calling them “progressives,” though there isn’t anything progressive about them–have a wildly overblown ego and understanding of their own importance and political popularity. This really kicked off and became out of control around Occupy Wall Street, when they convinced themselves that they “represented the 99%,” a point that South Park hilariously dug into by having reporters ask protestors, “Technically, I’m part of the 99%… So what do I think about this situation?”
It’s a real problem.
There are countless Facebook pages and groups professing to be the One True Voice of the majority. There’s “The 99%.” There’s “The Other 98%”. Jill Stein repeatedly stated throughout her campaign that she represented the 99%, even though, no, objectively speaking she represented the inverse of that; she represented about 1% of the people. The actual numbers, though, don’t seem to matter.
To a certain extent, it’s only worth it to roll one’s eyes at the almost constant proclamations from progressives that they represent this huge supermajority of people, despite all evidence to the contrary, but there is a bigger problem–they seem to actually believe that they are speaking for a huge, unspoken, mysterious supermajority, and, generally, anyone who states otherwise needs to shut up and surrender their voice to the progressives who represent this alleged supermajority. This incongruity between reality and their imagined self-importance has caused them no end of trouble, and I think it’s going to get worse.
So allow me to be the one to inform you candidly, progressives…
You don’t represent “most people.” You don’t represent 99% of people, 98% of people, 51% of people, or even 49% of people. Based on the numbers, at absolute best, giving you the benefit of the doubt in major ways, we can estimate that you represent about 4% of people. You are not a supermajority; you are not even a majority. You’re a stupefyingly loud minority with an exaggerated sense of self-importance, and if you truly believe that you represent anything that is even remotely close to a majority of Earthlings, Americans, young people, or any other division of things or people, then you are hopelessly out of touch with reality.
Progressives went into the Democratic Primaries firmly believing themselves to represent, if not 99% of everyone, then at least 51% of people. As such, they literally could not even when Sanders lost the nomination per the written rules of the Democratic Party to Hillary Clinton. While I’ve lambasted Hillary as much as any progressive and while I firmly agree that the DNC conspired with Hillary to win the nomination, it doesn’t matter, because they didn’t actually do anything against the rules. No one expects the DNC Chair or the RNC Chair to be completely neutral, and progressives don’t expect that, either. Their ire is a result of the fact that Debbie was not a Sanders supporter, not that she wasn’t neutral.
They immediately did what progressives have been doing since the primaries started: bitching, complaining, shouting, and rioting. It was Sanders supporters–progressives–who caused the riot in the Nevada Democratic Primary, and Nevada was not the only state that this happened in. While they did not riot at the Democratic National Convention, they were so boisterous and loud at having lost that Sarah Silverman famously told them they were being ridiculous. And they were, but how could we expect anything else? After all, they firmly believe that they represent 99% of people, or at least 51% of people, so any democratic result must have their side winning–that is their understanding. If the vote doesn’t go their way and they represent 99%, 98%, or 51% of people, then clearly the election was stolen from them. That’s their logic, and that’s how they understand these events.
Their hostility and anger stems from that severe misunderstanding–the fact that they’ve fallen for the bullshit political rhetoric that they’ve been telling themselves year after year. In their echo chambers, all around Buzzfeed and Facebook and Twitter, they’ve been telling each other over and over that they represent 99% of people. Like one progressive who said after Trump’s election victory, “When the top trending tags on Twitter are #AmeriKKKa and #NotMyPresident, that should tell you that this isn’t what America wants.”
Right. The top trending tags on this platform that isn’t limited to just Americans and that doesn’t contain anything even close to all Americans–primarily because Twitter has a notable bias toward banning right-wingers, thereby denying them the voice that might have prevented #NotMyPresident from trending in the first place… are how we should gauge the American pulse. Not by having some day where literally every American adult citizen can firmly and unequivocally state their preference. No, as Sargon of Akkad joked, “What’s Trending on Twitter” is clearly how a government should determine its rulers.
But the point is that they do think that–because Twitter is an echo chamber. And so is Tumblr. The numbers are actually in here, and it’s a proven fact that liberals are far more likely to block people over political views, with over 44% of self-identified liberals stating that they had unfriended or blocked someone over political differences. We have a word for this, when a person or group consistently refuse to associate with people who disagree with them: it’s called an “echo chamber.” And though we can’t extrapolate too much from the studies, if nearly half of self-identified liberals are isolating themselves from people who disagree and demonstrably hold institutional power in places like Twitter, where tweets like this are determined to not be violations of the policy:
… then, obviously, yes. Yes, they’re going to become wildly out of touch. And if, on top of that, they repeatedly tell each other all about how they represent a majority or supermajority of all people, after they have already ensured they won’t even hear the voices of people who disagree with them, then what on Earth could possibly be the result, if not exactly what we see today?
So after Sanders lost the nomination, some progressives defected to the Green Party and bolstered Jill Stein’s numbers to the 1% that she ultimately received, while others refused to vote and still others bit their tongues and voted for The Devil in a Pantsuit. The widespread assumption, of course, is that Sanders would have beaten Trump. This, naturally, ignores the fact that Trump didn’t have very good turnout, either, because a fair number of Republicans–among them George H. W. Bush–actively preferred Hillary over Trump. If Hillary had not been the Democratic nominee, then those Republicans who didn’t vote or who voted for Hillary would have had more invested in the outcome. And as much as George H. W. Bush, Mitt Romney, and all the others disliked Trump, believe me when I tell you that they hate Socialism a whole lot more.
So if we assume–which we certainly can–that Stein’s boost came from jaded Sanders supporters who refused to vote for Hillary, and we reduce her numbers back to 0.3%, then we add less than 0.6% of voters to Sanders’ side, while we probably take at least that many Republicans away from Hillary and restore them to the Republican nominee. This sort of speculation is worthless, my own included, especially since the demographics and Electoral College system complicate matters, but my point is just to say that, mathematically, there is no reason to believe that Sanders would have beaten Trump. As many liberals stayed home because they refused to vote for Hillary, just as many Republicans stayed home because they refused to vote for Trump. If you instead offer up a candidate who represents literally the opposite of everything they profess to stand for, then I’m not sure they’d have complacently sat at home.
Take, for example, my uncle and aunt, who considered Sanders such a threat to their way of life that they voted in the Mississippi Democratic Primary, despite being registered Republicans. Or they attempted to. Thankfully, Mississippi requires party registration, so they weren’t allowed to commit such a travesty of voter fraud by interfering in another party’s election. I realize progressives don’t understand that people like that exist–and I realize that I’m preaching to the choir because progressives have long since stopped reading this–but they do, and in shockingly large numbers. Contrary to their proclamations of representing majorities and supermajorities, the reality is that Americans absolutely hate communism–it’s why we fought the Cold War. Well…
And to the average American voter, there isn’t a difference between Communism and Socialism. To them, it’s two ways of saying the same thing: “Fuck you, fuck your liberty, fuck your rights. Do as we say, or we’ll shoot you or throw you in the Gulag.”
And when progressives are out there inflicting violence on people for not agreeing with them, and threatening to revolt because the Democratic Party didn’t “do as [they said],” we can’t really blame the average American for thinking that. If it looks like a duck and quacks like a duck…
Then chances are… it’s a duck.
At literally every vote that has been held, progressives have lost. They lost the Sanders nomination, they lost the 2016 election, and then they lost the DNC Chair. Yet this delusion of theirs that they represent a majority of people persists, and that is the heart that must be attacked.
You don’t. The numbers suggest that progressives represent, at best, 4% of the American population. This is so obvious that it shouldn’t need to be said. The best we have right now is that roughly half the population even cares enough to vote. Only half of those are Democrats, so we’ve immediately reduced the progressives’ “supermajority” to no greater than 25%. And since evidence suggests that they are far more motivated and likely to pursue political matters than the average Democrat–as the saying goes, the unhappy minority screams the most, or something like that–losses in the nomination and DNC Chair mean that progressives can’t represent more than 12% of the population. Giving you guys a third of that 12% is being extremely generous, because you guys are animated, loud as hell, and extremely disruptive.
Most people are surprised to learn that the average Democrat accepts Trump’s victory. Most people are surprised to learn that the average Democrat didn’t care much one way or another between Trump and Hillary. There’s a reason that Primary turnouts–not to even get started on historical turnouts to vote for a party chair–are so much lower than turnout in the general election: people just don’t care that much. Perhaps because they recognize that the overall impact the state has on their day-to-day life is negligible, and that changing presidents is going to result in fuck all changing. Regardless, it’s certainly the case that the loud, “woke af” progressives are surely going to appear disproportionately to their actual numbers. And this disparity is so great that they believe themselves to be “the 99%” when they actually represent about 2%.
My Advice to Progressives
First, look at the actual numbers to determine what portion of the American population you actually represent. Strictly speaking, you don’t represent any portion of the American population. When a person speaks, the only person they are truly representing is themselves. But let’s put that aside and just say that you represent all people who share your ideology. It won’t be anywhere near 99%, 98%, or 51%. In fact, it will be closer to 1%.
Secondly, stop blocking people who disagree with you. This week, I had a progressive block me on Facebook. When you block people who disagree with you, you insulate yourself against disagreement and completely become disoriented about the popularity of your views in the world. You’re rather like certain anime fans who have been living and breathing their favorite anime for so long that they have completely lost touch with the fact that their show isn’t popular; they insist that it is, because familiarity is generally how we gauge popularity. If you block people who disagree with you, then you’ll obviously end up believing that very few people disagree with you, and you’ll only become more familiar with people who do agree with you, until you’re finally so convinced of your own popularity that you state you are the 99%.
Thirdly, accept that you live in a world with other people, and not all of them agree with you. Moreover, they believe they are right just as strongly as you believe that you are right. And even more over, you aren’t objectively correct. They are just as objectively correct as you are, because neither of you–indeed, no one–is objectively correct. You’re arguing your subjective opinions against their subjective opinions, and I know you feel really, really, really hard that you’re truly correct. But you’re not. You just think you are. And so do the people who disagree with you.