We’ve been reminded of this constantly during Obama’s term, as the American Left is now dominated by those who will angrily chastise a Republican politician for advocating atrocious tax, trade, war and civil liberties policies and then cheerily praise a Democratic president for advocating the exact same policies, or worse. Essentially, many liberals are desperate to see liberalism in their president, even if it’s not there. And so on an issue such as gay marriage, Obama deftly plays to that vanity with terms like “evolve” — promising-but-meaningless words that prompt his base to insist that he has a stealth scheme to make gay marriage legal — and that any pressure to force his hand somehow undermines the overall cause.
As David Sirota explained today, this demonstrates why it is so vital to always apply critical pressure even to politicians one likes and supports, and conversely, it demonstrates why it is so foolish and irresponsible to devote oneself with uncritical, blind adoration to a politician, whether in an election year or any other time (unconditional allegiance is the surest way to render one’s beliefs and agenda irrelevant). When someone who wields political power does something you dislike or disagree with, it’s incumbent upon you to object, criticize, and demand a different course. Those who refuse to do so are abdicating the most basic duty of citizenship and rendering themselves impotent.
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