Your Stupid Fight About Who's a Better Democrat Is Stupid

If my house is ever on fire, I won't give a shit who comes to put it out. I won't ask them who they voted for, I won't ask them where they're from, I won't ask a goddamned thing except that they put the fire out. In fact, while my house is burning, I don't even care if lack of fire safety on the part of the fire department is what caused the fire. I just want the fire out. I wanna make sure everyone in the other apartments get out okay. I want the animals to be safe. I don't want the fire to jump to other buildings on this block. And I wanna try to save some of my shit. I won't stop each firefighter and say, "Whoa, whoa, did you fill up the fire truck with BP gas today? No, you don't get to break down the door and rescue that baby."

And when the fucking fire is out, hopefully there's enough there to rebuild. That's when I'm gonna wanna know: what the hell went wrong? Did the building inspectors fuck up? Can we come up with better ways to fight fires? And do we need to recruit a better group of fire fighters? That's when we should make it better.

The feeling I get when I see the Twitter wars and meme battles on Facebook and Instagram and comment threads of the damned in too many other places is that Democrats across the board just need to shut the fuck up already and fight the fire. For the world is burning before our eyes. One by one, the very things that made the nation a relatively stable liberal democracy (I said, "relatively") are being burned like fields of diseased corn. Donald Trump and Republican majorities in the Congress and in state legislatures around the country are successfully reconfiguring the way the nation functions, right down to the right to vote. If someone is going to put themselves out there to successfully challenge the arsonists, then I'm gonna support them, whether they're a corporate teat-sucker who wants to get back to the pre-Trump status quo or a socialist maniac ready to reconfigure the social contract to make it tilt to the poor and disempowered.

It's not that I'm not taking a side there. It's that I don't think we have the luxury of being able to take sides in that fight right now. People are hurting and are going to be hurt more and more, and a family that is being torn apart by Trump's immigration policies doesn't much care if Kamala Harris is too cozy with Wall Street. Bernie Bros vs. HillBots is a bourgeois luxury that is meaningless to someone who gets cancer because of Trump's environmental deregulation.

As far as the 2016 election goes, I've been pretty clear: We don't know how Bernie Sanders, who I supported in the primaries, would have done against Trump because he never had the full force of the Republican machine focused on him. And Hillary Clinton should have done many things differently, like gone after Trump's business record and created more ads about issues. But, in the general election, the media was complicit in making Clinton seem like she was dirty. Mostly, though, too many of us underestimated how easily racism and hatred and ignorance could be exploited across the country. The "lesson" of the 2016 election is to own the goddamn narrative. The tricky part is how to do that.

And even though whenever I say that I think the fight among Democrats is bullshit, it's automatically assumed that I'm just shitting on the socialist/Bernie side of the Democratic Party. But I'm not. I'm actually way more aligned with the socialists in my beliefs than I am with the more mainstream Democrats. I want the most progressive elements of the party to take over and win elections. Yet I'm not on their side in this internecine conflict. I'm just on the side of whatever the fuck gets us out of this Trump clusterfuck of disastrous policies, destruction of the mechanisms of government, and degradation of the presidency. I don't care if it's the Russia investigation, the emoluments clause, the 25th Amendment, the "Deep State," or the 2018 midterms.

When Barack Obama was running, I was all-in on supporting him, fully aware that he was a moderate-liberal who had ties to Wall Street. But the nation couldn't take another Republican presidency, so I gladly let the Obama campaign go balls deep in my face and I swallowed happily. However, after the election, I thought that the time to push the party further left had arrived, and, if you take the time to read (I've been doing this shit for nearly 14 years), I was mightily critical of Obama and his hawkishness and approach to the health care debate and of the Democrats in Congress who needed to be challenged from the left. And I've been critical of corporate funding of candidates for years before Citizens United.

Right now, I'm mostly giving a shit about 2018. I'm not thinking about 2020; that's what primary fights are for and let's save that until after 2018. I'm giving a shit about governors' races and state races. I'm giving a shit about the House of Representatives. I want people to run who are going to stop the hemorrhaging. And, yeah, there are a few fucking non-negotiable things they need to support, like the right to choose on abortion, support for the ACA (with single payer down the road), climate change, and sane, compassionate immigration reform. I wanna get kickass candidates like Randy Bryce in Wisconsin and Amy McGrath in Kentucky.

And if you wanna wallow around, whining that the DNC was mean to your candidate or that leftist dudes are douches, well, it's your time to waste. Meanwhile, Republicans are closing in on being able to call a constitutional convention and let ALEC rewrite the thing.

In 2010, a whole fuckload of people who voted in 2008 didn't show up. If you don't show up in 2018, then whatever you believe is as worthless as the monetary value of your angry tweets.

Let's save the country first. We're in a political crisis that is about a year or so from becoming a civil rights crisis and, possibly, a violent crisis, if Trump is indicted. And if he's not, then we're gonna be in an economic crisis or just fucked by the climate relatively soon. Saving the country might mean you gotta suck it up, sunshine, and vote for a "corporatist" or a Democratic Socialist. Whatever your purity is, save it. I'm not playing this dumbass game right now. I've got fires to extinguish.

Once we do get the reins of at least some of the government back, we can have our pissing match.

(Note 1: If your response of "We'll never save the country if we don't totally agree with my side," hey, good luck. And you might wanna respond "Aren't you just telling everyone to agree with you?" Well, I don't think anyone disagrees with "Put out the raging fire in any way you can.")

(Note 2: Your variations on the burning house metaphor are adorable. Pat yourself on the back if you're thinking, "Well, the fire was started by Bernie voters" or "The DNC is the arsonist, man." And keep it the fuck to yourself.)