An Open Letter to Democrats
Updated: Dec 17, 2019
PLEASE LISTEN!!! You're making the same mistakes you made in 2016, and if you don't change soon, Trump will get reelected!!! PLEASE, LISTEN.
Imagine a person.
Female or male. Black or white. Any identity. It doesn't matter.
For clarity, let's call this person "Jane" if female, or "John" if male.
-Is living paycheck to paycheck.
-Can't afford a 500 dollar emergency. Would go into debt if they had one.
-Works three jobs, totaling more than 70 hours a week. None of the jobs offer benefits, since they're all part time.
-Makes $9.00 an hour.
-Has developed chronic illnesses from the stress of working so many hours, with so little security.
-Has no healthcare coverage, or has inadequate healthcare coverage, and cannot afford the medical treatment they need. Regularly makes choices between food and medicine.
-Is already in debt from previous bills, the interest on which is a bill in its own right.
-Is barely making rent, and is in danger of eviction.
-Is preparing for the possibility of sleeping in their car this coming winter.
You can't call this person "lazy." They're working a full-time job. TWO full-time jobs, almost. It's not their fault they're not getting compensated enough to make ends meet.
-The company they work for (with help from both major political parties) just busted up the labor union that might have led to some improvements in salary and working conditions.
-One of their close family members, or best friends, is hooked on prescription opioids and can't access cannabis or psychedelic therapy for addiction treatment because all such plants and fungi are still illegal.
-Another loved one is in Afghanistan fighting for who-the-hell-knows-what. And when he gets home, he's going to have PTSD, because he just spent 5 years killing people for no reason, and no matter how hard he tries to come up with a reason, he can't think of any, because there isn't any. And no one in politics is providing any. They're not even trying. The mask has come off, and the leaders of our country are not even bothering to TRY to justify the absurdity.
-They're watching as the already fabulously wealthy get even fabulously wealthier, and use that money to buy elections and buy politicians, to pass legislation that makes them even more fabulously wealthier, at the expense of squeezing our Jane/John even tighter.
-The Amazon (the real one) is burning
-The Congo is burning
-Australia and Indonesia and Southeast Asia are burning
-The Arctic is burning and belching billions of tons of fart-gas into the atmosphere
-California is burning
-The oceans are turning acidic and hypoxic
-Species are going extinct at 10,000 times the background rate, and scientists are telling us we have just one decade to completely redesign our entire civilization from the bottom up, or risk the total collapse of all life on this planet.
If our Jane/John is a member of a younger generation, he/she has no future to look forward to. And if she/he has kids, then those kids definitely have no future to look forward to. They're looking at death by literal starvation or thirst, as the food and water sources dry up from climate chaos and ecological collapse.
Here's the question:
What public issue do you think this person - our Jane/John - cares most about?
Is it... The Steele Dossier?
No, probably not.
Is it the Tower Meeting?
How about the pee tape?
The Ukraine phone-call?
No. How does this impact our John/Jane's life in any way?
What about the Russians?
No, not that either.
A bunch of Tom Clancy-esque spy-novel intrigue in the Whitehouse?
Couldn't care less.
The president's nasty Twitter tweets? All the "decorum" he's breaking?
None of these things make even the top 100.
Neither does impeachment.
Americans are too poor to care about impeachment.
How is someone supposed to care about any of this spy-novel celebrity drama, when they're barely able to put food on the table, or in danger of living on the street?
And guess what: This isn't a tiny minority of people. Our Jane/John is the majority. While you weren't looking, half the country became poor, as corporatist policies pulled the rug out from under the economy. Things have been going great for rich people, who just keep getting richer... but for everyone else, the bottom is falling out.
This problem is older than the Trump presidency. The factors that are causing it, they go back decades, and presidents of both parties are responsible for it. The hollowing-out of the economy was a bi-partisan project.
And if you're like most Democratic Party loyalists, you're not aware of this, mainly because the big corporate news networks never talk about it. They've insulated you. They've failed to keep you informed of what's really going on in this country and this world.
And that's why, in 2015, you were caught off-guard by Trump, and didn't see a demagogue like him coming, and why, in 2016, you didn't foresee any possibility of him actually winning. The media ignored the pain, and you had no idea how much of it there was, and what desperate measures it was driving people towards.
Perhaps you've suffered some too. Perhaps you're dissatisfied with the way things have gone. Perhaps you're even mad.
If you have the time and resources to focus on Trump and Russiagate, rather than the economic and environmental shitstorm engulfing the working class, then you're not in that much pain - not nearly as much as the people in the middle of that whirlwind.
If your anger is mainly directed at Trump, and you think the biggest thing to worry about is Russia, then you're not experiencing the same pain and insecurity that the majority of the world is now dealing with.
There is a term for this. It's called class privilege.
Your economic class (middle and up) gives you enough comfort to focus on cloak-and-dagger spy-intrigue in the WhiteHouse. You wouldn't be thinking about that drama, if you were poor.
If ALL you care about is Trump and impeaching him, and you don't care about the things in this list, this is a sign of your *privilege*. You are rich enough, comfortable enough, white enough, square enough, well-connected enough, "normal" enough, and powerful enough, within the current economic system, to afford to not care about these things.
And here's your big blind-spot of the past 4 years:
You assume that most of the country is in the same comfort as you are. But they're not. The "comfortable class", which has the time and room to rage over Trump's bad manners and phonecalls to Russians, now constitutes only about 20% of the population. The other 80% are perched on the edge of an economic cliff. Half the country is downright poor. Half cannot afford a 500 dollar emergency. Half.
Their lives are constant emergencies.
You might think Trump constitutes an emergency. But the difference is, for you, the emergency is on TV - while, for the other 80%, the emergency is in their day-to-day lives. You have the comfort of being able to turn your emergency off. You can withdraw from it, by turning off the TV.
But they can't switch theirs off. You can't switch off poverty, chronic illness, job and rent insecurity, and a dying planet, just by flipping a switch on a remote.
And that is most of the population's situation. And you are never going to get them on your side by focusing on the Russians and the potty-mouthed president. They are too poor to care.
You will not win the election that way. You will not win by making it about Trump.
PLEASE, PAY ATTENTION HERE:
The more you focus on Trump, the more you convince the poor and struggling that you're not paying attention to them. That you - and more importantly, your Party - don't care about them.
Every time you mention his name, you are driving more votes away from you. Every minute spent talking about him is a minute spent not talking about ways to actually improve lives and solve problems. And that convinces the struggling masses that they have no reason to vote for you, or your Party. That even if you win, nothing will change for them.
They couldn't care less who occupies the WhiteHouse. No matter who gets in, nothing will change, and their situation will just keep getting more desperate, while the rich get richer, and the media ignore them, and politicians of both parties laugh in their face. Whether it's Trump, Pence, or Pelosi, the agenda will stay the same: Squeeze the poor, service the rich, bomb brown people, consolidate corporate power, rob the young of any possibility of a future, and erase biology from the only planet in the cosmos where biology is confirmed to exist.
And whenever you act like "Trump" and "Russia" are the biggest problems facing America, you're just reinforcing that pattern, and re-confirming this near-universal assumption that Democrats don't give a crap about real problems, and even if a Democrat wins the WhiteHouse, nothing of substance will change.
And in this condition, most people stay home on Election Day. Or worse, they vote for Trump. They're drawn in by his rhetoric of "feeling their pain."
Yes, he's conning them.
Yes, he's probably laughing behind their backs.
Yes, he's only pretending to care about them.
But at least he's doing that. At least he's talking to them. At least he cares enough about them to address them... even if he is lying to them.
But the Democrats? The corporate ones, like Biden? They can't even be bothered to do THAT. They won't even ADDRESS the struggling masses. They openly - BRAZENLY - dismiss them all with a wave of their hand and a chuckle.
Here's Joe Biden saying he doesn't care about the struggles of millennials:
And you expect millennials to vote for this man? After he publicly declares his apathy towards them? And laughs at them?
Here's him responding to a man with a question about government corruption and nepotism, by calling him "a damned liar" and "fat":
How is this "electable"? In what universe have you been living?
Wait - there's an answer to that. It's your media environment. The billionaire press has not been keeping you informed of what others are going through. Since they don't tell you, you might believe Joe Biden when he says they have nothing to complain about!
This is electoral suicide. If you nominate this man - or any of the others with the exact same policy agenda as him, like Buttigieg, Harris, Warren (look at her record, not her words), or Bloomberg - you will lose in a 50-state clean sweep. No one will bother to come out to vote for the nominee. Except for the 20% in the comfortable class, who are enraged about Russia. That's it.
How do we know? Because it's exactly what happened last time.
Last time, in 2016, you did the same thing. You nominated a candidate universally loathed by everyone except your own Party's loyalists, who offered nothing to those who were struggling. She didn't even bother to promise anything. She didn't run on any kind of message - she ran on her opponent. Her message was:
"Trump is bad. So you have to vote for me... to stop him... or else you're a bad person. No, I'm not offering you anything. No, your problems don't matter to me. But you have to suck it up and vote for me, because Trump is bad, and if you don't vote for me, the Party and the Media will shame you for the next 4 years. You will be persona-non-grata, expelled and shunned by polite society. So you better suck it up. You better vote for me. You better swallow it."
And for good measure, here's Jill Biden telling voters they have to "swallow" her husband's repulsive candidacy:
Do you realize how humiliating it is, for a person already under the boot and barely staying above water, gasping for air, to be pressured and shamed and threatened into voting for a candidate who openly and brazenly declares he/she doesn't give a shit about them, and has no intention to help them?
The poor might not have much, but one thing they still feel they have is their dignity. And if they stay home (or vote for the Green Party), at least they can keep that.
So here's an idea, for starters: Instead of trying to win votes by threatening to shame and ostracize those who don't vote for you, how about listening to them? How about asking them WHY they didn't vote for your candidate last time?
Here's a good video about some working-class African Americans, who voted twice for Obama, but stayed home in 2016 and didn't vote for Clinton:
They felt Mrs. Clinton didn't care about them, and that the Democratic Party had abandoned them.
And crucially, NOTHING HAS HAPPENED IN THE PAST 4 YEARS TO CONVINCE THEM THAT ANY OF THAT HAS CHANGED.
The Party is doing it AGAIN.
John/Jane is watching as your party leader - Barack Obama - the hope and change guy - whom they voted for - twice - because he promised to "change" things - goes around on speaking tours, telling everyone why they should stop hoping for change, because that would be "too far left", and anyone who still has the audacity to hope for change is a crybaby who needs to suck it up and stop complaining.
He's still bragging - BRAGGING - about having expanded fossil fuel production more than any other president in history. Even with all the awareness that's coming up now, even with Extinction Rebellion, and Greta Thunberg, and the Green New Deal, and all of it, he STILL, to THIS DAY, brags about how much he expanded fossil fuel infrastructure, and how many new dirty pipelines he built.
He brags about it while he's giving speeches to rooms full of bankers for almost HALF A MILLION DOLLARS a pop.
That's $400,000 an hour to assure a room full of billionaire bankers that they have nothing to fear from his Party - that the Democrats won't fundamentally change anything. That's $400,000 an hour to explain, to the country, why those in pain should stop asking for help, and fall in line behind whatever apathetic corporate shill his party bigwigs and their banker financiers decide to nominate.
Have you ever stopped to think about why a speech - ONE SPEECH - is worth that much money?
It's not. They're not paying him for a speech. They're paying him for what he did WHILE IN OFFICE. Like, for instance, refusing to prosecute ANY bankers for wrecking the economy in 2008, and costing taxpayers TRILLIONS of dollars. And for allowing the "too big to fail" banks to get even bigger. For refusing to break them up. For allowing the entire Wall Street community to get away with myriad forms of murder and pillage, for 8 years, with nothing more than a few slaps on the wrist - you know, for the cameras.
Think about this. Barack Obama - the hope and change guy, who was admired by millions of people because he promised to change the system - is getting paid $400,000 per HOUR, by the very bankers whom he refused to prosecute, even after they stole $10 trillion from the economy - from US - in a single year, the year he was first elected.
If you or I stole a pack of chewing gum from the gas station, we'd go to jail. But the people who stole BILLIONS and TRILLIONS of dollars got nothing more than a stern talkin' to. Obama wagged his finger at them. Elizabeth Warren wagged her finger at them. But then, neither of them recommended prosecutions. NONE. Not a single one. And then they all put on their coats and went to the gourmet fundraiser dinner and dined on caviar and champagne together - the bankers alongside the politicians who just pretended to hate them.
And now that he's out of office, they can hand him bags and envelopes full of cash, as repayment for letting them off the hook for those 8 years. This is brazen bribery.
And he's running around doing it right out in the open. In the past, politicians tried to hide this kind of thing. But now they just do it, right in our faces, and the media spins it as perfectly acceptable.
And the struggling masses SEE THIS.
Imagine that our Jane/John has a close friend who just went to jail for selling weed. Selling weed to pay for his insulin. Imagine them seeing jail for him, wine and caviar for the criminal bankers who destroyed the entire country, and $400,000 speeches for the former president who looked the other way.
Imagine how they're feeling.
The Party isn't bothering to hide it. The facade has come off. Establishment politicians aren't even talking to the poor anymore. The poor - who now make up half the country. The Democrats *used to be* the party that the poor could look to for some measure of representation - but not anymore.
Here's Mayor Pete Buttigieg, not only refusing to allow the press to cover his private fundraisers with billionaires (so that the public can see what those billionaires are saying to him, and what he's promising them in return for their cash), but brazenly refusing to give any REASONS FOR WHY:
Look at that. He just says "no", then smiles, then walks off stage.
If there was a way to say "go fuck yourselves", without actually using the F-word, that would be it.
This man - and ALL the corporate establishment Democrats - are openly telling voters to go fuck themselves.
And your entire party and media establishment is fine with it. In fact, they call *us* names, like "picky", for condemning it. This is GROSS. You're defending open, brazen, in-your-face bribery. WHY?
Why do you think this strategy will lead to anything but a total electoral blowout in November?
And that's not all. The rot goes deeper. This is just the tip of the iceberg of DISGUST the majority of people are feeling right now.
Here's George W. Bush - a proven, admitted, open war criminal - someone who would have been prosecuted at the International War Crimes Tribunal in the Hague, had he been president of any other country but this one - DANCING with Democrat icon Ellen Degeneres:
He started two wars, and killed over a MILLION people through bombs and secondary effects, to make money for Wall Street and the fossil fuel industry. He dropped depleted uranium munitions all over Iraq. In the city of Fallujah, the birth defect rate is the highest in the entire world - higher than Hiroshima and Nagasaki. It will be like that for the next 10,000 years.
That is a war crime. He should have been prosecuted. If the Nuremberg Protocols were followed, he would have been HANGED.
Instead, he's enjoying his retirement, dancing with Ellen on her show. He's her new football game buddy. And the media - YOUR media, like MSBNC, CNN, the New York Times, and all the major networks and papers - fawns over them.
This is disgusting. And we, the masses, CANNOT STAND IT. We cannot stand this hypocrisy. It grosses us out. When well-respected TV personalities, the ones who are supposedly "liberal", and supposedly "aware", and "not knuckledraggers", go out PLAYING with WAR CRIMINALS, and you're *fine* with this, it makes most of the world (and the electorate) want to vomit.
You know what also makes us want to vomit? Whenever we see you fawning over Obama, and acting like he was a "great president."
Barack Obama, the champion of "wokeness", continued the wars Bush started, and started FIVE NEW ONES of his own. He presided over a drone-bombing campaign that had a 90% civilian death rate. That means that out of every 10 people killed by an American drone bomb, 9 of them were not even the people who were being targeted. They were just bystanders. For every 1 "enemy" who gets killed, 9 bystanders die.
And it begs the question of what an "enemy" even is. Even the people who are fighters - what exactly is their crime? Defending their homeland from a foreign military invasion? Why does that make them bad guys? Why do you call them terrorists? Why does the U.S. military need to be over there? Why?
No one ever answers this. Try to find an answer! You won't. No one knows. Not even the ones in favor of the wars can tell you why they're in favor. It's a complete mystery.
Until, of course, you realize that there are corporations making massive profits off of it all. Those bombs and missiles and tanks and planes - someone has to manufacture them. All the equipment - someone makes it. And these companies are getting insanely rich. And there's the oil. And the trillions of dollars of mineral assets in the ground underneath these places. It's all about money. Our country is waging war - killing people and destroying whole regions of the planet - for money.
The presidents who presided over this - Bush and Obama - are war criminals. Obama is a war criminal. If we followed international law, he and Bush would be cellmates. Yet Democratic Party loyalists seem to have a penchant for sharing flattering pictures of him, with smiley emojis, saying things like "We miss you", and "Best president ever." For a WAR CRIMINAL. Every time we see you do this, we want to throw up. You're grossing us out.
Now you might be thinking, "What about Trump?" After all, he's continuing the same crimes.
And yes, that means Trump is a war criminal as well. He should be the third cellmate.
But there are two problems with focusing on him, on this issue. If you get outraged over HIS execution of the drone-bombing campaign, but you *didn't* express similar outrage over Obama doing it, then you're giving people the impression that you either:
(A) Think evil began with Donald Trump, showing total ignorance of recent history
(B) Have a double-standard (also known as partisan hypocrisy)
Both things - historical ignorance, and partisan hypocrisy - are repulsive to most people - including the vast majority of people whom you're going to need to VOTE for you, if you want to win this election.
Oh, one more thing to add about Obama. His "signature" achievement (read: his ONLY achievement) was the Affordable Care Act, a pro-business healthcare overhaul, originally crafted by the right-wing Heritage Foundation. It was previously known as "Romney-Care", because Mitt Romney implemented it when he was governor of Massachusetts. Then the Democrats stole it, rebranded it, and sold it as a "solution", despite it leaving 50 million people uninsured. 50 million people who apparently aren't good enough to deserve to, you know, *LIVE*.
He sabotaged universal healthcare... for that.
Now what do you think those 50 million people are thinking? Should they be happy that YOU got a small improvement in YOUR healthcare - even while they still don't have ANY? Should they happily roll over and die from that strep throat, satisfied in the knowledge that those richer than them will at least get to have more spare change for leisure purchases?
And even more importantly, why the hell should they VOTE for you?
They didn't, last time. And unless something changes, they're not going to this time, either.
Did you know that only 23% of the voting-age population voted for Trump? 24% voted for Clinton. 3% voted for other parties (Libertarian and Green). And 50% did not vote AT ALL.
Did you know that?
Does the corporate media you watch ever talk about that?
More importantly, do they ever explore the reasons why?
50% of the voting age population did not vote for either of the two big parties - neither Trump nor Clinton. That is an enormous chunk of the population. And while you fought over the 2% of voters that are known as "swing voters", you completely ignored HALF THE POPULATION. That half could have come out and voted for you. But didn't.
Instead of just pointing fingers at them, calling them names, and shaming them for not voting for you, don't you want to know how you can actually REACH them, and CONVINCE them to vote for you?
Do you actually want to defeat Trump? If you do, wouldn't it make sense to figure out why THREE QUARTERS of the country did not vote for your candidate, and HALF THE COUNTRY didn't bother to vote at all?
And more importantly, what you can do to win them over, this time?
Well, here's a list. Here's what can you do if you actually want to win:
1. Stop focusing on Trump.
Stop making everything about him. Stop making him the center of the stage.
Stop talking about him, and his family, and his cronies, and Russia, and Putin, and impeachment. Just STOP.
You did that LAST TIME, and it DIDN'T WORK.
IT DIDN'T WORK.
IT DIDN'T WORK!!!
STOP DOING THINGS THAT DON'T WORK!!!!!
You thought you could win last time by focusing on him and ignoring everything else. You thought you could just repeat "he's bad", again and again, and that would be enough. But it wasn't.
Every time you mention Trump - every time your mouth opens and the word "Trump" comes out of it - you are sending a message, to all of these struggling people, that YOU DO NOT CARE ABOUT THEM. You're busy following the White House Game of Thrones, and ignoring the REAL ISSUES that are facing people.
We already KNOW he's horrible. You don't have to convince us. When you shout about how bad he is, you're preaching to the choir. We KNOW THIS ALREADY.
But we don't CARE.
Here's a quick, handy chart to show you why:
See? Evil did not begin with this one man, nor will it end with him. And it's embodied on BOTH SIDES OF THE ISLE.
2. Stop defending the Obamas, the Clintons, and the corporate warmonger Wall-Street Democrats.
Refer to the chart.
Stop saying Obama was a great president. Stop sharing "we miss you Barack" memes. This man is a CRIMINAL. He's a MASS MURDERER.
And stop acting like the Democratic Party establishment is any better. Start being honest. Start calling them out for what they are. Pelosi and Schumer were, and continue to be, willing collaborators in all of these war crimes, and all of this corruption.
The DNC is part of it. Almost all elected officials, of BOTH parties, are part of it. And you need to admit this, if you want to stop being repulsive to the masses whose votes you're going to need.
And the Clintons, especially. While Hillary Clinton was Secretary of State, she helped them spread death and destruction around the world. She spread FRACKING around the world. She's on video laughing and cackling about having turned Libya - which had the highest standard of living in Africa (higher even than South Africa, because the latter's wealth is only enjoyed by a small minority of the population, whereas in Libya, it was far more evenly distributed) into a failed state with OPEN AIR SLAVE MARKETS.
Yes, from the most developed country in Africa:
...to total chaos and open-air slave markets:
...due to the regime-change intervention by the Obama administration.
These are monsters, and you need to admit it. Yes, self-reflection is hard. Coming to see the evil in those you used to admire is a hard thing to do. It requires courage - both intellectual and emotional.
But DO it.
Do it if you want to win.
If you want to defeat Trump, then you need to gather up this type of courage.
And to be fully equipped to contribute positively to this process, you need to:
3. Learn about what's actually going on in this country.
To really get a handle on what's going on, outside your class bubble, you need to start watching some independent journalism.
Your media - the corporate media - is not keeping you abreast of what's going on. They are not reliable sources of information.
The New York Times
The Washington Post
The Huffington Post
Most major newspapers
...and any media source that's owned by a large corporate conglomerate.
After all, these folks got everything wrong.
Your media told you:
1. Trump would never ever gain any traction with voters.
2. When he gained traction, they told you he would never win a single state in the primary.
3. When he won a state, they told you he could never win the nomination.
4. When he won the nomination, they told you it was impossible for him to defeat Hillary Clinton.
5. When he defeated Clinton, they told you the Electoral College would pull a fast one, with "faithless electors", and stop him.
6. When the College confirmed his election, they told you someone, somewhere, would stop him, somehow, before he got inaugurated.
7. When he got inaugurated, they told you he'll be impeached within his first year.
8. When he completed his first year, they told you he'd be impeached once Robert Mueller put together his Russiagate report.
9. When the Mueller Report flopped, and no indictments were recommended, they told you that the SDNY (Southern District of New York) would indict him on financial crimes.
10. When that didn't happen, they told you they'll impeach him for the Ukraine phonecall. But you can see where this is going. There are not enough votes in the Senate to convict him, and he's not going to be removed from office, and you KNOW THIS. But they're still acting like "this is it." "This is the one."
Again and again, your media keeps getting it wrong. Fantastically, spectacularly wrong. Wrong by EPIC proportions.
Meanwhile, independent journalists got it RIGHT. They predicted the correct outcome, at every stage.
So don't you think it would be better to listen to them? Instead of the people who got it WRONG at every stage?
Why are you still watching the SAME pundits and programs? WHY?
Stop it. Wake up. Get out of your bubble.
And start watching/reading INDEPENDENT media, with INDEPENDENT JOURNALISTS.
Redacted Tonight with Lee Camp
And specific journalists (people who actually GO to where stuff is happening, including active war zones, and report on what they see, rather than merely receiving a script from their bosses or the CIA and then reading it to you):
Professor Richard Wolff
Want a specific place to start? Watch Noam Chomsky's classic documentary, called "Manufacturing Consent", which explains how big business colludes with the major media networks to manufacture consent - YOUR consent - for whatever policies they want to enact, and whatever crimes, domestic or abroad, they want to commit.
These are just a handful of names and organizations to get you started. If you start looking at independent journalism, you'll be much better informed. You'll have your finger closer to the pulse of what's really going on, for the majority of people outside of your socioeconomic class.
If you do this, you can come to understand the importance of the final suggestion:
4. Nominate a progressive candidate who is not owned by corporations.
What is a "progressive"? Perhaps you've heard this word a lot recently, and aren't sure what it means. Well, a progressive is:
Someone who wants to evolve society forward - not just bring it back to where it was during the Clinton or Obama years, but actually forward.
Someone who recognizes the corrupting influence of corporate money on elections, and refuses to accept it, and instead relies on individual donations, from real people, and does not accept corporate PAC money.
Someone who wants our country to stop being an Empire, and to stop waging wars all around the world, and stop overthrowing other countries' democratically elected governments to install puppet rulers.
Someone who doesn't think poverty should be a capital offense, and doesn't want poor people to die in the street just because they can't afford medicine or housing or food.
Someone who doesn't think young people should be forced into a lifetime of debt peonage just for getting an education.
Someone who recognizes that the wealthy have been waging class warfare against the rest of us for decades (perhaps centuries, or even millennia), and believes we have the right to defend ourselves.
Someone who recognizes that none of these problems can be solved if we keep killing the planet, because there won't be any people around to solve them. We need a planet with a healthy biosphere in order to survive. We are in the midst of a Great Extermination of all biological Life on this planet, and if we don't stop it, it's OVER. This is the most important issue in the world, and a progressive is someone who refuses to bury their head in the sand.