President Obama

Smart Accountability and the Far-Left

I was reading some of the comments under this post and wanted to clarify an important point. I'm part of the "far-left." I consider myself quite liberal, with only a couple of exceptions. Anyone who has been reading my stuff for the last six years will probably agree.

However, I also consider myself to be a pragmatist with a strong sense of history. I understand the slow, incremental functioning of American politics and government, and if there's a favorable administration -- an administration that's endeavoring to slowly move the country leftward, as the Obama Team is doing -- I refuse to undermine that effort, though I will try to present an honest assessment of mistakes that are made along the way.

Some fellow leftists would rather augment their political-hipster cred by falling in line with a group of writers and activists whose career goals depend upon ignoring the successes -- even the liberal successes -- of the Obama presidency. They engage in whiny and unreasonable foot-stomping under the guise of holding the president accountable. As I've always said, accountability is important, but this subgroup is utterly failing to present a fair evaluation of the Obama Team, and, consequently, they're only breeding counterproductive disillusionment.

If this subgroup represents the whole of the "far-left," then maybe I'm not, in fact, someone who is far-left. I believe that we can encourage the president to keep pushing leftward without convincing other members of the far-left to either stay home or to support a pathetic third party.

Smart accountability.

As part of this effort, I believe we ought to be spending our time convincing voters on the ground that progressivism is the better approach to American government, and how our current problems are due to right-leaning Reaganomics. Once we convince voters, Democratic politicians will feel safer promoting liberal policies.

If you're unable to see the value in this approach, convince me of a better one -- an approach that will realistically create a more rapid and successful leftward push. I'm listening.