Progressives, in 2024 the Largest Voting Group in California?

Progressives (in green) vs. liberals (in yellow) voters in 2016 primary

Progressives (in green) vs. liberals (in yellow) voters in 2016 primary

BEVERLY HILLS, CA 2024/2/11 – In 2020, the liberals, the Clinton Democrats, won the Democratic primary, with Berniecrat progressives a close second. California progressives had a lot more voters than the conservatives, the MAGA Republicans.

California Progressives vs. Liberals Voter Map 2020 (source Wikipedia)

  1. Liberals (Clinton): 2,745,302 votes (in Yellow)
  2. Progressives (Sanders): 2,381,722 (in Green)
  3. Conservatives (Trump): 1,665,135 (not shown)

Asking California voters to identify as leaning either Conservative, Moderate or Liberal is a false choice. Moderates, the Lincoln Republicans, have since been purged or sidelined by MAGA Republicans and no longer have significant voting power.

After the liberals lost the presidential election in 2020, progressives have been gaining influence in California and nationally. The 2024 Democratic candidate for president offers a mix of liberal (race), conservative (border) and progressive (environmental) policies.

Why There Hasn’t Been a Political Party for Progressives

Progressives typically identify as a Berniecrat or AOC Democrat, but may be found in any party. Progressives like to get things done, are often the voice of reason urging the embrace of progress. No well-funded political party embraces progressives. American political parties are funded primarily by big business, whether Wall Street or the oil industry. Progressives can’t expect, and may not want, donations from the very industries that progressives seek to reform.

Bernie Sanders has done well, making an art of raising small donations from ordinary voters, but can’t match the big checks of lobbyists buying influence and favors. Political committees exist to raise money from donors. Progressive candidates unwilling to dispense favors in return for political favors later can’t curry support from lobbyists or political parties. However, because 98% of incumbents get re-elected, progressives like AOC can keep winning after getting into office in an initial surprise upset.

How the Democratic and Republican Parties Flipped in 1964

Until president Johnson passed the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Democrats had been the party of the South, the party of segregationists and of secessionists and State’s Rights advocates. Enraged by the passage of the Civil Rights Act by Democratic president Johnson, Dixiecrat segregationists switched parties, became Republicans.

The Republican party leadership embraced the Dixiecrats because the party needed the Southern vote for Nixon to win the presidential election in 1968. This flipped the character of the Republican party from being the social justice party founded by Lincoln, the party that had fought to defend the Union and that had ended slavery, to being the party that is home to segregationists and State’s Rights advocates who claim the U.S. Constitution isn’t the supreme law of the land.

After winning in 1968, Republican president Nixon opened trade with China.  In 1994, Republican president Reagan opened trade with Mexico (NAFTA). Globalization and access to foreign labor resulted in cheaper and more diverse goods that Americans craved, including more fuel efficient cars from Japan and cheaper TV sets from Korea. It also created big profits for big businesses, companies that fund political parties. An outcome not so nice was layoffs of American workers, with business processes transformed by just-in-time supply lines that lower costs through efficiencies and by finding the best price for anything anywhere in the world.

The embrace of Southern segregationists and the Republican shift toward White Nationalism is not as drastic of a shift of philosophy as it sounds. Many Republicans, including Lincoln, sought to remove freed African-Americans from America by sending them to Africa. Being opposed to slavery did not necessarily mean wishing to see the descendants of African slaves born in America as African-Americans equal in human rights. It would be 150 years before an African-American would serve as president. An achievement that MAGA Republicans did everything they could to block and are still trying to erase.

American blue color workers had made a good living, by working hard in tedious assembly line jobs or as skilled machinists in industry. They have been replaced by CNC machines, assembly line robots and cheap foreign labor. Attempts to retrain these American workers for the information society were largely unsuccessful. It isn’t easy to retrain 50-year-old coal miners who didn’t want to do anything else, who had accepted doing dirty and dangerous work because it seemed a heroic sacrifice, stable, well-paid and didn’t require deep thought. The Clinton Democrats dismissed these disenfranchised voters in the 2020 election as hopeless deplorables living in fly-over states, as being too stupid to understand that it was the Republicans who had outsourced their jobs. Clinton lost.

Republicans went the other direction, embraced despair, fear and race as vote-getters, electing a president in 2016 who campaigned on vilifying immigrants, promised to build walls to keep out Mexican “rapists”, implemented a travel ban based on religion, and expected to Make America Great Again (MAGA). That is, be like America was before the Civil Rights Act of 1964, back when private business owners could discriminate against people based on their race, religion or gender.

The Empire Strikes Back Against the Progressives

Clinton and Trump were the two most unpopular presidential candidates to ever run. Before the primaries, polls predicted the outcome of a 3-way presidential race by Sanders, Clinton and Trump, as Sanders first, then Trump, then Clinton. Clinton won the Democratic primary, but as early polls had predicted for a 3-way race, lost the presidential election to Trump.

The Democratic Party, funded primarily by the Clinton machine then, won the 2016 primary. Bernie Sanders was defeated by Clinton after the Democratic Party stole the secret questions that would be asked in the debate and gave them to Clinton, so that she knew what the questions would be and could prepare her answers ahead of time. After Clinton won the primary against Bernie Sanders, Berniecrats were made unwelcome and purged from the Los Angeles Democratic Party.

After their Trump win, MAGA Republicans sought to purge any trace of progressive thought from the Republican Party. Although the Lincoln Republicans continue to resist the Republican shift toward White Nationalism, the MAGA Republicans have prevailed. The Los Angeles Republican Party is toxic to progressives. They call the Lincoln Republicans RHINOs, that is, Republicans in Name Only. Berniecrats cast adrift by the Democratic Party wouldn’t be joining the Republicans.

Any progressives joining the Green Party in 2016 were disappointed to discover that party had been infiltrated by the Republican Party. The Greens even released a press release in support of ARAMCO, the world’s largest oil company and major environmental polluter, when ARAMCO was bombed by rebels in Saudi Arabia.

The Republican Party was eventually found out to be secretly funding the Green Party. The Republican Party had implemented a strategy to split the Democratic Vote and undermine the Greens. The Green Party of the of New Mexico, revealed as being secretly run by Republicans, was decertified and removed from the ballot. Many other state Green parties ceased to exist. Greens are no longer on the ballot in enough states to mount a successful presidential campaign. To elect an American president in 2024, the only viable choice is between a Democrat or a Republican.

Any progressives who joined the Democratic Socialists of America, that AOC made well known by joining, would have been disappointed to find that Party also in disarray. The mission of the DSA was to reform the Democratic Party from within. However, the Democratic Socialists were engaged in their own internal battle between social justice progressives and hard-line Marxists. In each state or city, a different faction gained control. In Los Angeles, the party’s hard-line Marxists and anarchists prevailed. Hard-line Marxists are no-compromise extremists who urge violent revolution to take power, who reject capitalism and oppose the ownership of private property. Progressives were purged or sidelined from the party for being pacifist and capitalist.

Vote Progressive

Robin Rowe

Robin Rowe

Progressives embrace change and diversity. Progressives stand for environmental rights, social justice, fiscal sanity and timely workable plans that will get things done. Mostly Democrats, some independent.

In Beverly Hills, California, the progressive candidate in the March 2024 election is Robin Rowe.

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