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The Democrats are deliberately boosting the far-right Republicans. This will backfire | hamilton nolan

AAn alarming number of people employed as professional political strategists by the Democratic Party don’t seem to understand what “politics” really means. If this sounds too good to be true, think about it another way: if all the professional political strategists employed by the Democratic Party do they understand what “politics” really means, they are careless and willing to do harmful things for short-term gain. Either way, it’s not good.

The most blatant manifestation of this in the current election cycle is the fact that Democrats across the country spent millions of dollars to boost the candidacies of right-wing Maga candidates in the Republican primaries, under the theory that those extremists would be more easy to beat in the general election

washington post found that Democrats had spent close to $20 million in eight states on ads aimed at raising the profile of far-right candidates and election deniers running for governor and for Congress. Several of those candidates, like the manic Christian fanatics Doug Mastriano in Pennsylvania and Darren Bailey in Illinois, actually won their primaries, theoretically setting up easier races for Democrats to win in those states, because, in theory, voters undecided prefer not to vote for lunatics.

A common objection to this strategy is: “What if one of those lunatics wins? And did you help him? Wouldn’t you feel stupid?” sura But that objection, reasonable as it may be, accepts the underlying premise that it is right or wrong to spend millions of dollars to increase support for dangerous religious fascists within one of the two major political parties America comes down to whether or not those dangerous religious fascists win the 2022 election. of politics begins to show its true uselessness.

Because – my God, it’s hard to believe – politics is more than the next elections. Yes! Time moves endlessly into the future! And the things we do today help shape the things that happen next in an endless and largely unpredictable chain of cause and effect! It’s crazy, I know. It is now accepted as conventional wisdom, for example, that perhaps it was not strategically wise for the United States to arm mujahideen fighters in Afghanistan who were fighting the USSR in the 1980s, because later some of those same people with those same weapons were fighting the US.

But this same kind of elemental intuition hasn’t caught on in the world of Democratic consulting. If you help strengthen the Maga candidates today, it is possible that this will have negative social and political consequences, even if they do not win the elections in November 2022. The reality, which is real, develops slower and longer than a campaign politics, which is an artificial construct with an arbitrary timeline. Fool.

Imagine for a moment the possibility that the goal of “politics” is not just to win the next election, but to reshape the world’s deepest power arrangements in a fairer way. In this conception of politics, the important thing is not simply to bring a handful of top officials to achieve a 51% majority vote in Congress, but rather to evolve the opinions of hundreds of millions of people in a way that will bring officials along with them

Electoral politics follows social change, not the other way around. And “changing society,” rather than “targeting a narrow slice of undecided voters,” requires deep and ongoing organizing, the kind of organizing that builds movements, not campaigns.

When you take a moment to step back and see history for the endless stream of struggle that it is, it’s not hard to see why it’s foolish to devote resources to making the Maga Republicans more visible and viable within their own party. . You are promoting a horrible ideology in the hope of winning votes, but in the long run, politics is a battle of ideology. The votes follow the ideology.

The consultants are fighting on the wrong battlefield, and no matter how many polls they have, they are not smart enough to predict the long-term chaotic effects of nurturing a movement that is the opposite of the movement we should be trying to build.

Part of wisdom is understanding your limitations. Neither you nor I nor the Democratic National Committee can predict the future with confidence. What we can do is fight for justice today. We can do the hard work of organizing today and tomorrow. We can try to push society in the right direction. By changing society itself, we can make the ground more fertile for political candidates who will do the right thing.

The historical figures who have done the most to promote justice did not do so through deviously clever manipulations of voter data. They did so by fighting for things that were right. Spending money to try to trick unlucky Republican voters into backing the dumbest fascist is not just stupid; it goes against justice. Misleading people is not part of the organization.

These sophisticated Democratic strategists are pouring poison into the well that we all, sooner or later, will have to drink from.

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