It could have been the best of times, but they turned into the worst of times.
Election number 1: November 2000
After 8 years of relative peace and prosperity, it looked like a no-brainer for the Democrats. Unfortunately the liberal wing of the party got all dissatisfied with the pace of change and the view that perhaps Bill Clinton was not really a Progressive. And maybe he wasn’t. If social media had been invented then, the meme of the left would have been, “Bush and Gore, different sides of the same corporate coin.”
Along comes Ralph Nader to inject some “real Progressivism” into the race. Now we can talk all we want about mistakes Gore made and such, but for me it comes down to this: I voted Nader. We got 8 years of Bush and one disaster after another. Two SCOTUS picks. I still regret my vote even though my vote did not directly elect Bush in 2000.
Election 2: 2010 Wisconsin.
Just two years after the amazing victory of Obama in 2008 where he won Wisconsin by 14 percentage points with an overwhelming majority of counties supporting him, Scott Walker was running for governor. Some 700,000 people stayed home, the map turned from blue to red. Next thing you know, Walker was stripping teachers of their union representation and bringing in voter suppression measures.
The Conservative base votes in every election. We Progressives spend too much time complaining that our candidates are not perfect. Yes, they are not, but imagine how much further we would be ahead if Gore were elected. How much better off would Wisconsin be if we sent Walker home the first time?
Could the Democratic party be better? Of course it could. It is always better than the Republican party? You bet! Get out there and work hard for a Democratic victory, at all levels!