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Liberals cannot afford to apply “ideological purity tests” to candidates in the Deep South or Midwest if we are to have any hope of taking the House and/or Senate.
Democrats recently pulled off stunning upsets in deep red Alabama, and in a “safe” Republican district in Pennsylvania, because they were willing to tack to the Center, where they picked up moderate Republicans and independents disgusted with Trump.
Make no mistake: if they had espoused the same ultra-progressive ideas that win in places like New York and San Francisco, they would have lost by 20 or 30 points. “So what?” I hear some of you saying. “They might as well BE Republicans.”
With all due respect, that’s horse shit. Once in office, they will almost certainly drift back to the left — but they can’t do this unless they win in the first place — and you can rest assured that no Republican is going to govern as a centrist, much less a progressive.
If you don’t believe me, look at what happened with Kirsten Gillibrand, who was considered a “conservative Democrat” when she represented a red upstate New York district — but she used that support to win a Senate seat, and she’s now one of our most progressive Senators. And no, she’s not a “corporatist,” unless her voting record consistent with reigning in corporate excesses is just a clever ruse.
Holding out for people who sing all the right progressive notes when Trump and the GOP are rapidly phasing in their 21st-century American version of fascism is madness.