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So many of my friends keep saying we need to elect Democrats at all costs or we will lose Roe v. Wade. And to elect those Democrats, they consistently tell me we need to appeal more to Republican voters. This approach completely baffles me. “We can’t nominate Elizabeth Warren!” they say. “She’s too much of a lightning rod! Republicans will never work with her!”

Winning Republican Voters

Is that why you nominated Hillary Clinton? Because you thought that after 30 years of attacks, Republicans were finally ready to choose bipartisan cooperation?

There’s a Jewish joke in which two men are being lined up against a wall to be shot by Nazis (sorry to bring up those wearisome Nazis). One man is trying to reason with the executioners, but this is making the other man nervous. He whispers to the first man, “Don’t make trouble.”

Any Democrat with an agenda that satisfies Republicans is a Democrat who has nothing to offer me. Protecting Roe v. Wade is important, but that is not the end of my progressive dreams.

Any Democrat with an agenda that satisfies Republicans is a Democrat who has nothing to offer me. Protecting Roe v. Wade is important, but that is not the end of my progressive dreams.

We’ve HAD Roe v. Wade for 45 years. In all that time, we’ve only achieved one other groundbreaking advance. We now also have gay marriage. But at that rate, it will take another 45 years to win single-payer healthcare. I won’t be alive in 45 years. Lots of other people voting today will still be around then, I suppose, but will they live another 45 years beyond that to see us win tuition-free college?

  • Will they be around yet another 45 years to win the elimination of private prisons?
  • Another 45 years to win the elimination of prison terms for non-violent crime?
  • Another 45 years to win a ban on fracking and new oil pipelines?
  • Another 45 years to win successful immigration reform?
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  • Another 45 years to win commonsense gun regulation?
  • Another 45 years to win automatic voter registration?
  • Another 45 years to win a shift from fossil fuels to renewable energy?

Even Methuselah wouldn’t live long enough to see Democrats make all the progress they need to make if we continue at this rate.

So no, I’m not willing to vote for the most right-leaning Democrat in order to make sure Republican voters are appeased. WE’RE Democrats. THEY aren’t. Yes, elected officials have to serve all constituents, but—news flash!—that includes progressives. If you keep dismissing us, you are going to keep losing. This is not a threat. This is not a tantrum. This is just the way voting works.

Would you tell someone, “Look, marry this guy. He won’t beat you every night like that other guy. Probably not even once a week….What? You want to marry someone who won’t beat you at all? Come on now, be reasonable. You can’t ask for the stars. Listen, I’ve talked to this guy. He promises he won’t leave any marks on your face that might embarrass you. I’ve been a matchmaker for years. I know what I’m talking about. I’m offering you this for your own good.”

Today’s moderate Democrat acts like an abused spouse afraid to ask permission to see a movie by herself because it might provoke another beating.

I’m not going to be happy with a Democratic leader who only abuses me once a week. You can tell me I’m stupid for not going along with your desire to appeal to Republicans. You can tell me all the problems of the world are my fault because I couldn’t just wait another 375 years to get everything I wanted.

I have a Biology degree. I know there are advancements in genetics every day. It’s entirely possible that in the next twenty years of my natural life, there will be a breakthrough allowing me an extended lifetime of an additional 400 years.

Johnny Townsend

But I still don’t have any intention of waiting that long for a just and humane society.

Johnny Townsend