I’m probably going to get yelled at for saying this, but I’ve been thinking about it off and on for a long time. Hell, I may have said it before and I just don’t remember, but today’s events brought it back up in my mind, so here we go.
What do the liberal left and the religious right have in common? Frustration.
The religious right worked for years to attain a majority for the Republican Party in the House and Senate, spending countless hours working for people that purported to share their views, giving money and all that stuff. They did this to get rid of “activist judges” so they could get their own “activist judges” that reflected their views. They were faithful warriors in the “Cluture Wars”, fighting for their long-held beliefs. What did they get in return? Nothing.
The majority of conservative legislation that passed had more to do with the real power holders of the Republican Party, the Club for Growth guys than anything the Religious Right ever really pushed for. Gays are still in the military, abortion is still legal, and the 10 commandments still can’t be displayed in courthouses.
If the Republican Party is wondering why they lost their asses the past two elections, blowing off their “boots on the ground” base may, just may have something to do with it.
On the flip side, since 2001 liberal activists have been working to help build a Democratic Majority. The loss of the White House under dubious circumstances in 2000 ignited the liberal left. While the party may have taken a hard right turn in the post-911 environment, by the end of 2003 the liberal left was working it’s way back into the hearts and minds of Democrats, still fearful of the term “liberal” but willing to use us when it benefited getting the Party back into the majority.
While our gains in 2006 were largely attributed to dissatisfaction with the Bush administration’s handling of the war, it was the liberal left that led the charge on that front. Criticizing the Bush Administration was something that struck fear in the hearts of rank and file Democratic candidates. By September of 2006, the chorus was growing, and it was fashionable to be critical, finally.
Since 2006, with a majority in the House and a slim majority in the Senate, Democrats have flipped and flopped their way on issues of great concern to the liberal left. By and large, we on the liberal left, while unhappy, have still gone out of our way to make sure that Democrats get elected. In some cases we worked to primary candidates deemed too far to the right. Still ultimately, we worked for Democrats.
Liberals aren’t exactly getting what we want either, but we’re still working for Democrats, for now. Eventually, we’ll get tired of not getting what we want, or getting mocked, and once again the Democratic Party will be wondering where their base went, just like the Republican Party is doing right now.
Religious Right, we may disagree on just about everything, particularly as it relates to policy, but we know how you feel. It sucks, but the reality is, it’s not gonna change for either of us anytime soon.