The Liberal Nation Magazine Laments: ‘The Left is Tearing Itself Apart’

Mark Judge | July 20, 2017
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Writing in the Nation magazine, Danny Goldberg claims "the left is tearing itself apart" and warns that “lefty infighting” is handing victories to Republicans.

"This coming October 9 will mark the 50th anniversary of Che Guevara’s murder,” writes Goldberg. “Yet the pathology underlying his famous quip that when the American left is asked to form a firing squad it gets into a circle is as relevant today as a Rachel Maddow response to Kellyanne Conway’s spin du jour.”

Goldberg argues that the “mainstream” of the Democratic Party has to stop believing they are the more pragmatic than the activist base, as that results in more establishment candidates like Hillary Clinton. At the same time, “an intellectually honest left should stop insisting it has a monopoly on virtue or that both major parties are the same. This was not true in the 1960s, and—notwithstanding the frustrating limits of what the Clinton and Obama years accomplished in terms of progress on health care, the environment, the minimum wage, militarism, and civil liberties—millions of Americans had much better lives than would have been the case if Republicans has occupied the White House during the same time periods.”

In short: more centrist liberalism is bland and the far left is intolerant and self-righteous. 

Nevada Democratic

Security is called at the 2016 Nevada Democratic Convention.

 Goldberg observes that “lefty infighting has been the norm for so long that some progressives have come to view it as a permanent, vaguely endearing fact of life.” Perhaps that’s the case because leftism is based a utopian ideas of human perfectibility, asserting everything as a “right,” and godless self-creation that ignores nature. Thus it is prone to splintering into smaller and smaller tribes who demand more and more and police the thoughtcrimes of all others, including their own true believers. 

Goldberg: “In order to have any chance of reversing the right-wing trends that began in the Reagan years, mainstream Democrats and progressives have to find ways to disagree without destroying the ability to accomplish their shared goals. Theories and tribalism must be subordinate to knowable or probable policy effects on the most vulnerable, on the 99 percent, and on the planet.”

Judging by the bickering in the comments section that follows Goldberg's piece, that's easier said than done.

I’ll get the popcorn.

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