#IVITEB – I’m voting in this election because…

#4 – I Am a Progressive

I’m voting in this election because… I am a progressive. 

And I’m voting Biden-Harris (already did, in fact).

Wait a cotton-pickin’ minute! yell the litmus-test progressives. If you vote for Joe Biden and Kamala Harris, you definitely are not a progressive! You’re a fake. Turn in your credentials on your way out the door, and don’t let it hit you in the ass as you pass through. 

The litmus-testers don’t like Trump, either, mind you, but in their minds Biden is only slightly not as awful. 

They have good reasons for their dislike and distrust of the candidate, not to mention for the neoliberal-controlled Democratic Party overall. I agree with many, if not most, of those reasons. And like progressives everywhere, I’m sick of setting my ideals aside for the next election. Again.

Even so…

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Henry David Thoreau, a fairly progressive dude himself, once wrote, “As if you could kill time without injuring eternity.”

He could have been speaking directly to many of today’s progressives.

A second Trump term will bring the destruction of the very foundations upon which progressives build our ideas, initiatives and platforms – not to mention a future for the planet upon which we depend for our existence.

Image of progressive holding sign: "Not my president."
Photo by cottonbro via Pexels

It’s all intertwined.

We’re all intertwined.

And right now, biding time by voting third party or sitting out the election altogether will only continue the evil unravelling perpetuated by Trump and his GOP enablers for at least another four years.

We must put a stop to it. And in my judgment, the only way to do that in the manner it needs to be done is to vote Biden-Harris.

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We can hash out the Democrats’ – the candidates’ and the party’s – shortcomings on this country’s challenges all day long:

The climate crisis. Police brutality. Women’s rights. Guns. Incarceration inequality. Rigged courts and proceedings. The rights of Black, Indigenous and People of Color. Workers’ rights. LGBTQ+ rights. Immigrants’ rights. The USA’s standing in the world. Domestic terrorism. The resurgence of white supremacy. Attacks against our democracy by other nations. Trade. Economic inequity. Healthcare as a right. Covid-19. 

But the reality is that no matter what Biden or Harris has done or not done on any of these issues, what Trump has done or not done has been exponentially worse. Likely worse in some cases, definitely worse in most.

The other reality is no one – NO ONE – will make one iota of progress in any of these areas over the next four years, and maybe much, much longer, unless we make absolutely sure Donald Trump is kicked out to the curb, the refuse of a devastating presidency.

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Biden and Harris don’t align with some progressives’ definitions of ideal. I get it, but here’s something I say to my kids all the time:

There’s the ideal, and there’s what we deal with.

If my logic doesn’t do it for you, this brief Facebook story should.

What we’re dealing with right now is the fact that only two tickets have a chance of winning this election:  Biden-Harris or Trump-Pence. And given Trump’s actions and the actions of his GOP enablers, only one of those is acceptable.

What’s more, given what Trump and the GOP have been doing in recent months and weeks, the Biden-Harris ticket needs to win in a landslide. It needs to be an overwhelming victory, not only to remove Trump from power, but to repudiate Trumpism in all its manifestations and avoid judicial intervention in the outcome. Only with a landslide in the antiquated Electoral College, coupled with higher percentages of blue votes in reliably red states, can we indisputably refute claims of the election being “rigged” and a “hoax” without rulings from courts packed with Trump and GOP appointees.

With a third-party vote or no vote at all, we’ll risk leaving the door open a crack for Trump.  

With Trump, we’ll get a continuation of catastrophe. 

With Biden-Harris, we’ll have a chance to make at least some progress on the inconsistencies, inequities and prejudices that keep too many of our brothers and sisters down.

And one more thing. 

Progressives who take the high-and-mighty, litmus-test road will leave people we supposedly care about swinging in the wind, more vulnerable than ever to the worsening attacks of Trump and his cronies. 

That’s not charitable. 

That’s not kind. 

That’s not progressive.

It’s just privileged.

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I am a progressive. 

I am not about to kill time or cause further injury to eternity.

If you’re like me, if you want to halt this country’s backslide, if you want at least an opportunity to move forward, please:

#VoteBidenHarris  |  #VoteBlueDownBallot

Please be sure to read the other posts in the #IVITEB series on IV Words:

#1 – The Climate Crisis
#2 – Women’s Rights
#3 – Policing, Criminal Justice & Incarceration Reform
#5 – Guns Are Killing U.S.
#6 – Workers’ Rights & Protections
#7 – Voting IS Our Duty
#8 – Attacks on Press Must Stop
#9 – Not Better Off. Not By a Long Shot.

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Featured image by Artem Podrez via Pexels.

Martin C. Fredricks IV

Martin C. “Red” Fredricks IV here. I’m husband to an amazing woman who is also my best friend, dad to three outstanding kids, Fargoan (North Dakota, that is), proud introvert, veteran messaging strategist/copywriter, blogger (https://ivwords.com) nonprofit founder (https://theclimateknights.org/) and big-time reader. As they say, if you're gonna write good stuff, you have to read good stuff. A ginger, too - ergo the "Red" - although some of it's going white. Cinnamon-Sugar, I call it. Tattooed to boot; seven so far. At age 54, I'm stilling crankin' AC/DC & Metallica, but now and again I spin some Eric Church and Black Uhuru, too. I love hanging out with my (much) better half, spending time with our kids, writing, hiking, riding my mountain bike and reading.


bz · October 15, 2020 at 7:47 pm

Here’s something to consider about those “litmus-test Progressives.”
They’re not actually litmus-test “Progressives” or progressives of any sort. What they really are is left-claiming Authoritarians.
It’s the “full circle” in action; go far enough ‘left’ and you have crossed over into the ‘right.’
Authoritarians and Fascists are very like each other, if there’s any difference at all.

    Martin C. Fredricks IV · October 16, 2020 at 9:27 am

    That’s an interesting thought. Definitely something to chew on over the weekend. Have a great one, Bruce!

#8 – Attacks on the Press Injure U.S. Democracy - · November 1, 2020 at 7:47 am

[…] – The Climate Crisis#2 – Women’s Rights#3 – Criminal Justice Reform#4 – I Am a Progressive#5 – Guns Are Killing U.S.#6 – Workers’ Rights & Protections#7 – […]

#7 - John Lewis Told Me To - · October 28, 2020 at 4:57 pm

[…] – The Climate Crisis#2 – Women’s Rights#3 – Criminal Justice Reform#4 – I Am a Progressive #5 – Guns Are Killing U.S.#6 – Workers’ Rights & […]

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