“… a circular firing squad where you start shooting at your allies because one of them is straying from purity on the issues.”

former President Obama describing progressives

Progressives that want to help Trump to be reelected are free to do so in two ways: a) they can refuse to vote for President; or b) they can vote for someone other than Biden. If enough of us form a circular firing squad, Trump wins in November. 

Yes, we have Trump as President for a variety of reasons, including poor voter turnout, Clinton’s very poorly run campaign, the manipulative DNC and rotten Democratic internal politics. However, it is also an undeniable fact that one reason Hillary Clinton lost is that she was an establishment moderate that turned off progressives. 

I’m a strong progressive, especially on social issues like race relations. I’ve had nearly 800 opeds and columns published which have strongly and clearly expressed my progressive views on a wide range of topics. But, as opposed to some left leaning people, I’m also a pragmatist that understands politics, has run for office, and been elected twice. As Bono says: “idealism detached from action is just a dream. But idealism allied with pragmatism…It’s very real. It’s very strong.”

I didn’t like Hillary or many of her policies, but I voted for her. It was not a hard choice. Prior to running for office, Trump had a track record of racism, misogyny, manipulative nationalism, and deceit. Other progressives strangely chose to help Trump (see above). And, it’s not the first time. 

In 2000, W and Gore were in a virtual tie for electoral votes. W won Florida by .05%. Third party candidate Ralph Nader got 1.6%, denying Gore the win. Think about how different our 9/11 response would have been under Gore and how many innocent lives, Americans and Middle Easterners, would have been saved. But progressives clearly did not learn their lesson about binary Presidential politics. 

In 2016, Jill Stein ran as the Green Party candidate. The race was razor thin in Florida, Wisconsin, Michigan, and Pennsylvania. Stein’s votes were one factor in Hilary’s loss in those states, although voter apathy and poor turnout (including my fellow progressives and minorities) was clearly an even larger factor. 

I’m heavily into social media, especially progressive Facebook sites. What I’m seeing there disturbs me.  

Here are just a few of the comments (many were not printable) from progressives to my Facebook post reluctantly endorsing Biden in an obviously binary election: “racist mass murderer Biden”; “stop vote shaming”; “Biden’s legislative record is reprehensible”; “withholding my vote from the corrupt DNC, writing in Bernie, don’t care if it counts.”; “when I see a candidate worth a Vote will I CHOOSE to do so”; “NO SUCH THING AS A SPOILER CANDIDATE. YOUR PARTY SUCKS” and “Trump it is. Dems are so corrupt”. 

It appears as though we may be headed for another disaster of our own making. If there are enough progressives who think like these people, we are truly in trouble in November.

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Image Credit: the feature image of the circular firing squad cartoon was created by Abigail Shenkie Allison
UppercaseElephant.wordpress.com and via DailyKos.com.


Jack Bernard

Jack Bernard

Jack A Bernard is a retired SVP with a national healthcare corporation. He was Chair of the Jasper County, Ga Board of Commissioners and Republican Party. He was also on the Board of Health for Jasper County and is currently on the Fayette County BOH. Bernard has over 100 columns published annually, primarily in the South.