The Religious Right and the Progressive Left: Same Boat, Different Day
originally posted on 2008-07-13 10:31:58. Bumped, interesting questions. Phillips suggests that the Religious Right will be sitting this election out. Weiler asks an interesting question: Are the staunch progressives considering the same? -- cho
Ronald Reagan rode the Religious right to power, as did George Bush Sr. and Jr. From the Clinton era to two years ago, Congress was controlled by Republicans who rode into power on the same horse. The religious right faithfully voted for their party because . . .they had no place else to turn.
If we view all those years from their perspective, they got very little bang for their buck. There was a lot of talk about the resurgence of social conservatism, but most of the change was on the very fringes of what they wanted. Congress and the President threw them a bone now and then by holding back stem cell research and mildly tougher abortion laws, but it was not even close to what they expected.
The religious right was not happy with the Republicans, but they weren't about to suddenly turn and vote Democratic. They were stuck and the Republican party knew it. The party faithful were not rewarded, quite the opposite, they were taken for granted.
I bring this all up because we are the progressive left. We are the party faithful who would never vote Republican, and just like the religious right, we're stuck and the party knows this. We can expect that Obama and Congress will talk up a storm about all the social change we can expect, but in the end, will produce only a little bit and even then only on the fringes. They will do just enough to prevent a full scale revolt, but nothing more.
We've already seen this in the Democratic Congress. They have done nothing to seriously challenge the status quo because they don't have to. They have taken our votes for granted and quite frankly, what's to stop them? Are we going to suddenly switch parties and vote for McCain? Not likely. Because of that, we have very little real leverage with the party. In a word, they can ignore us without repercussions.
We can expect the same treatment from our party, as the religious right received from theirs. As I've said before, real change will have to come from somewhere else.
Sad, but true.