I’m thrilled to welcome you to my set of contributions for this blog. I thought, what better way to get at one of the major themes outlined in our pre-amble than to talk a little bit about Ed Schultz.
Why Ed Schultz? Because Ed’s roles as a TV personality during MSNBC’s prime time lineup and his daily talk show makes him one of the most visible “progressive” pundits in the United States. Which means that not only does Ed influence how Democrats talk about their legislative agenda, he is a reference point for the rest of the nation’s idea of the American left. So considering his prominent position, what is Ed Schultz’ advice on how progressive voters should excersize their right to vote this election season?
(In order to find this clip I had to resort to linking to a right wing blog).
Not voting for a Democrat isn’t something that Ed Schultz has to sell to hard to me, I’ve little faith in the party. But our political culture is SO ridiculous that Schultz’ only message to disaffected liberal voters is to sit on their hands in this election. Really Ed? If Ed Schultz is at the point where he’s willing to advocate Democratic voters not participate, would it have killed him to push for folks to merely find candidates in these races, regardless of their party, whom they do agree with? Considering recent evidence that Democratic voters are often bunched together in close proximity it is likely many of Schultz listeners have the option of a Green party or other leftwing party candidate they can vote for in their districts. What’s particularly troubling about Schultz’ Apathy Now! sloganeering is that he doesn’t seem to get it that low voter turn out is exactly what allows Democrats to give in to corporate donors when they demand that the public option be stripped from the healthcare bill or scrap a (questionable) Cap and Trade bill. The Senate’s assumption is that voters aren’t really paying attention anyway and the only voters who are energized are the over-counted members of the Tea Party. But strong for third party left wing candidates in the midterms would send a clear message that there actually is an American left and that we’re a constituency worth paying attention to. But no. Ed Schultz actually wants his listeners to feed into the meme that there is no American left.
So what to do with Schultz useless dramatics? Well, surprisingly we should take half of his message to heart. The Democrats are ineffectual and it seems have no plans on changing course. The solution? Vote for progressives on local tickets, vote for progressives on state wide tickets and vote for progressives in Congress. Do not boycott the election. Voter turnout effects media narratives, don’t let them say the left doesn’t matter.