If you put a group of conservatives in the same room chances are high you can predict how they are going to come down on different issues. Although there are some divisions between Neo-Nazis and libertarians, for the most part conservatives tend to be fairly unified on most issues.
This isn’t the case with those on the left. While you might find some unity on things like human rights or the important of democracy, we tend to be far more divided on things than our right-leaning counterparts. We have divisions within our own ranks. I have met liberals who support gun control measures but we can’t agree on how far to go. Environmentalists tear each other apart over issues from veganism to sustainable energy. About the only thing conservatives are divided on is which scapegoat they want to blame for their problems.
I never really considered myself a liberal necessarily. I tend to tell people I am a progressive, environmentalist, socialist, humanitarian with strong support for LGBT issues. Naturally within each of those there is infighting. How far left does a progressive go before becoming a liberal? Where do we draw the line on acceptable environmental impact for human comfort versus the extreme of eco-fascism? Even when it comes to socialism we have those who think communism is the end goal while others who push for reigning in capitalism without completely reforming the entire system.
Who am I? What is this? I am not a political pundit or even an expert in any field. What I am is a progressive who desires to improve the world we live in. I am disillusioned by the infighting within our own ranks. I even see this in the broader LGBTQ+ community. I discovered this shortly after beginning to appear as a former co-host/side-kick on the Transposed Podcast. I recognized the divisions were tearing our own community apart. It was recently I started paying closer attention to divisions in the environmentalist ranks.
What I started to realize were threads where a left-leaning or liberal-minded individual would try to engage with a conservative on some topic or another. As others on the left would chime in instead of uniting to dismantle the cons argument, the liberals would slowly divulge into tearing each other apart as one group said that wasn’t far enough, others suggest the con had x point but it needed to be refined, to those who just sounded like they were unwilling to risk being branded as liberals. I see this time and again. I saw it a lot during my time moderating the social media accounts for the news organizations where I worked in the past.
Everyone knows the trope. Don’t dive into the comments of a news article because of all the fighting. But I noticed a pattern develop more often than not. You have the conservatives on the right putting up a united front, save for the divisions between blatant bigots and those more subtle in their bigotry, against a divided left that ranged from let’s try to get along to compromise is equal to complacency. This is where we are weaker. We stop fighting our political rivals in favor or fighting amongst ourselves. This gets to be exhausting as threads turn into shouting matches riddled with constant name-calling.
This is not to say there aren’t divisions on the right. There are. If you put a Protestant, Evangelical and Catholic in the same room, throw a representative of the LDS church and a member of the Watch Tower, they’ll rip each other apart arguing over theology. But when it comes to politics they tend to set aside their differences and unite under causes those on the left champion. Even on the left when it comes to reproductive rights you have those who favor abortion for all against others who say only in cases of rape or incest yet still those who say ban it out right. On the right they’re fairly united against it in nearly all cases for the most part.
This is the same with LGBT issues. On the left we have infighting among TERFS, Gender Criticals and the “LGB without the T” movements against the LGBTQIA+ crowd, the kink or no kink crowd, the fighting between sexual orientation and gender identities and so on and so forth. What we see on the right tends to be if it’s not cishet it’s just flat out wrong. As despicable as the right are in the majority of their views, they have us beat in unity. Oh you could bring up the Never-Trumpers as “proof” they’re not that united yet the cowards all hid behind the red MAGA flags when that troll rose to power.
We can argue all day long how hypocritical it is for those who claim to be Patriots refusing to accept a vaccine THEIR OWN government they proclaim to be patriotic towards helped develop. It does no good to remind them that this vaccine was developed by the same “American exceptionalism” they chant at those MAGA rallies when bragging about how we eradicated polio or how we “own” the space race. It doesn’t matter because the anti-vaxxers are all united under the banner of “smaller government” and that’s been their mantra since at least the Reagan years.
Not so on the left. It does us no good because when we try to belittle their attacks or disprove their misinformation with facts we quickly devolve into our own arguments on how broken the health care system is. It doesn’t matter how effective the vaccine is when we’re too busy fighting over how far Medicare for all should go or too busy attacking the capitalists who are profiting off the development of the vaccine in the first place.
Sure we’re united on vaccine is good, anti-vaxxers are stupid but our tactics tend to eventually pit us against ourselves rather than making any progress. Which is why liberalism and progressivism are doomed to fail. We have to find some common ground, issues we CAN united under and push those, piece by piece, while we find ways to diplomatically resolve our own differences. Until then we can surely expect a red wave to sweep this nation again once the disgust with Trump has worn off, replaced by constant reminders how “confusing” liberals are. If we can’t stop fighting out selves how can we defeat our enemies?