Sometimes you find something so incredibly stupid and so utterly irresponsible on social media that you have to address it. Last weekend was the Peoples' Summit in Chicago, where a coalition of Sanders supporters and left-wing activists flocked to a three-day event to discuss about where the movement, which started back in 2016 behind then-candidate Bernie Sanders, would and should go in the Trump era, including whether the Democratic Party can be (or should be) saved, or if the time has come to abandon the party and start a new People's party instead. Enter The Young Turks correspondent Nomiki Konst and her thoughts on why the Democratic establishment should accept and embrace independents who don't lean either with the R's or D's in primary battles.
"No open primaries for Democratic Party equals voter suppression and racism with young independent voters" @NomikiKonst #PPLSummit— Holly Mosher (@FilmsForChange) June 10, 2017
*Rolls eyes HARD for several minutes*
Yeah, you read that correctly: not allowing independent/progressive voters to cast a ballot in closed primaries is akin to voter suppression and racism. Allow me to retort:
During the Jim Crow Era, Southern states pulled every trick in the book to try and disenfranchise black voters: literacy and civic tests tests were enforced, knowing that blacks who couldn't read or write wouldn't pass (If you were an illiterate white man? Just say your grandpappy was a Confederate in the Civil War, and you're good to go!). A poll tax was enforced, just to make sure if a nigger could read, said nigger couldn't pay the hefty fine to participate in the democratic process, depending on which state in the South you were in (Again, if you were a poor white, just prove your family tree was able to vote before the start of the war, and you're golden!). The ratio of owning land to the size of the property you had, having pertenant information on you when you showed up to the polling station, character and moral fiber tests were enforced if a black man could read, as well as had the money to pay the tax were also established in order to assure that voting was as white as possible. And, hey: if all those tactics didn't work, then there's nothing a little forceful intimidation couldn't fix!
During the Civil Rights Era, African-American protested, struggled to change hearts and minds, bled and died so that I didn't have to worry about being singled out because of my skin color at the ballot box. Still today, minority voters - AA's, Latinos, the LBGTQ community, and women of color, face voter suppression tactics in places like Pennsylvania, Ohio, Florida, Arizona, and in the deep-Southern states by Republican-led state legislatures and Governors who enact laws which make it more difficult for us to vote......but a well-off white woman thinks that progressives who are too indifferent to identify themselves as a Democrat for five minutes are being victimized by the Powers-That-Be.
Ms. Konst could have made the argument that closed primaries stifles turnout and sends a message that independents aren't that important to Democratic or Republican politics, and thus, don't give us better candidates, and I would find some agreement in that argument - We, as Democrats must do a better job of reaching out to voters who have felt alienated by the process and presenting candidates which speak to a broad range of individuals, but that's not what she said, and that wasn't the argument she was trying to make. Konst basically argued that white progressives like her are just as much victims as minority voters who face actual voter suppression.
Excuse me while I speak as bluntly as possible:
Take your persecution complex and shove it straight up your privileged white ass!