In an op-ed at The Hill, Leader Dr. Joe Chuman surveyed recent history to argue that it’s the responsibility of progressive forces to maintain a pragmatic political unity in the face of specific policy disagreements in order to meet the challenges of our moment:
Criticisms of Biden’s extraordinary plans have been already voiced from sectors on the Left: His plan doesn’t include Medicare for All; it omits a federal $15 minimum wage (though he is now calling for it), and his plan isn’t sufficiently ambitious to significantly combat climate destruction.
I agree – all true. But I would strenuously argue that progressives should not — must not — earn their subjective feelings of righteousness on the anvil political purity. The stakes, including the very viability and future of democracy hang in the balance.
This does not mean giving up on one’s ultimate vision or goals, Utopian or otherwise. But ends themselves do not mandate the specific means by which to achieve them.
I maintain that moving ahead politically involves a nuanced and calibrated pragmatism. At times militancy will be required; at other times, labored compromise with others on the progressive spectrum who may hold to a somewhat different vision of ultimate goals. Failure to compromise, when reality requires it, risks tipping the boat and opens the door again for conservatism to enter and gain a foothold.
Anathematizing and marginalizing those on the progressive spectrum with whom we may disagree, may be tempting, but we shouldn’t go there.
Let’s not repeat the mistakes of the past.
Let’s not splinter and divide over issues of purity.
The dangers of doing so are too great.