During the build-up in the 2016 election, tensions between traditional democrats and leftists were constantly growing. The conversation about the unity of the left has been about making sacrifices for the greater good, but the burden of sacrifice has been on the leftists as opposed to the traditional democrats.
To be clear, the difference between leftists and traditional democrats or liberals is that liberals believe in reforming an imperfect system while leftists believe in tearing it down and starting back up from the grassroots.
As made clear by the blatant racism and the radical conservatism coming from the Trump administration, it is time for that burden to be placed on the traditional democrats and for the left to unite under a set of truly leftist ideals.
To give a little context, democrats or liberals in this case refer to those who believe in the system; they believe that the issues in government or issues like racism and sexism can be fixed with reform. They call for the election of more people who represent communities that are not traditionally represented in places of power.
The issue is that when those in power betray the interests of the communities they claim to care about, they turn a blind eye.
The leftists refuse to look away.
Instead of joining the post-Obama administration hype train, the leftists were the ones who said “good riddance” to the man who deported more people than any U.S. president in the history of this country.
Instead of wearing pussy hats and shouting “I’m with her”, the leftists were the one who had doubts about voting in a woman who claimed at-risk black youth were an emotionless group of people called “super-predators”.
Historically, including the last presidential election, the leftists have always been the ones having to vote for these objectively problematic politicians in the name of unity. The lesser-of-two-evils conflict has been necessary in the past, but in 2016 this thinking worked against all of us.
When the Trump administration promised change and used fear mongering and racism, the democrats put forth a career politician promising she would keep things the same but insisting that her being a woman would mean something.
The fact that we put our faith in the lesser of two evils and the greater evil still won is a call to abandon that thinking and put forth not the lesser of two evils, but very simply put forward a representative of our best interests who simply is not evil.
Trump managed to gain support because even though it was through evil means and with evil intentions, he provided hope that all the things that have hurt his supporters will be changed.
The left has historically represented marginalized groups, but the democrats we are forced to vote for insist on supporting the establishment even when in turns against marginalized groups.
How can we expect unity when we are asking marginalized groups to vote against their own well-being?
Unity most comes from the abandonment of liberal ideals. Politicians on the left, in order to save the left, have to stop protecting the system and move farther left. It is time to stop calling for reform, to stop calling for compromise, and call for revolution.
Trump is a racist, billionaire, TV show host who was capable of doing the same; what could happen if the left decided to do the same, but instead of fear mongering and ignorance, they advocated for a country and for institutions that act in the interest of those who have been disenfranchised by it?
The state of this country is the fault of a broken left. The broken left is the fault of liberals who for too long demanded that their radical counterparts follow them for the sake of the greater good.
The greater good has been abandoned. If we wish to do anything good without dramatic change then we have already lost.