So the Justice Democrats decided to shoot themselves in the foot recently by asking for the resignations of founding members Cenk Uygur and David Koller. Both are also founding members of the online news show The Young Turks.
While I do not support what Cenk and David had to say which you can read about there https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/justice-democrats-ousts-cenk-uygur_us_5a3eb4d1e4b025f99e178181
I do support the right to free speech, and recognize that speech and actions are two separate things or at least they should be. As noted in the article, Cenk said some really stupid things about women over 18 years ago, he apologized for them and deleted them 12 years ago and apologized for them again recently. So sure, he said something stupid, but what he did wasn’t illegal so why are the Justice Democrats shooting themselves in the foot and asking him to resign.
Let’s try to be objective about this, because part of their reasoning is good. They want to be a party that actually has values, and that’s a good thing, and they say his statements violate their core values.
However, no crime has been committed here and honoring the first amendment should be part of the values of any political organization in the US. So NOT honoring them is now something the Justice Democrats and Republicans have in common. Actually, sadly this is true of most of the political organizations at this point because they’re really private corporations and do not reflect the values set forth in the constitution.
Also, no one gave the Justice Democrats more of a boost than TYT Network and specifically Cenk Uygur. They even recently created a show for progressive candidates called “Rebel Headquarters.” It was one of the only places that we actually got to hear from progressive candidates, and I hope that won’t come to an end. I think TYT Network and Cenk are big enough to keep doing the interviews, etc. but who knows.
So the Justice Democrats shot themselves in the foot on this one, or another way to put it might be that they cut off their nose to spite their face. At a time when the Republicans routinely support candidates that should be in jail for actually assaulting children should we really be attacking Cenk and David for some blog posts they made 18 years ago?
I think the tweet from William LeGate (a person I know nothing about personally by the way) puts it best. “Now, you’re calling for the top progressive leaders in your organization to resign over WORDS—not actions—they wrote nearly 2 decades ago, deleted 12 years ago, and have publicly apologized for & condemned.”
I guess no one can learn and grow anymore. At least not when the Justice Democrats are too busy polishing their halos to stop and look at the 1st Amendment. It doesn’t say that you have to agree with what people say. Just that they have the right to say just about anything they want.
This is why the progressives never have anything and why we can’t get rid of the Corporate Democrats or the Republicans. The Corporate Democrats like Patty Murray, Cory Booker, Maria Cantwell… the list goes on, don’t even blink an eye at accepting money from big Pharma companies that charge a child $7,000 a month for cancer medication. Of course they charge less in other countries for the same medication, we’re just really “lucky” in the US and get to pay those rates. I think that’s far more of a crime than some 2 decade old blog posts, but hey at least they talk like respectable people in public right? I guess that’s more important then their actions now.
So while this kind of stuff is going on, the Justice Democrats are cannibalizing their party over some “he said she said” blog posts from 18 years ago in violation of a huge supporters 1st amendment rights. Sure, you don’t have to agree with Cenk, but to boot him for something he said and not for something he did, especially something he said almost 2 decades ago, and apologized for. Well, that’s fascist. We need progressive candidates now, what a stupid reason to lose our best shot at a better future.
The episode “Majority Rule” of “The Orville” deals with what happens when you let huge masses of poorly informed people judge everyone in the court of public opinion. Especially a populous as immature as our own. Sure, it seems democratic but the result is always over the top because it’s easy to let others suffer when you’re disconnected from their suffering and most people really don’t stop to think about what they’re doing before they do it.
In my own home town we have a 52,000 square foot, publicly owned, unoccupied building downtown that we could house a huge portion of our growing homeless population in, but we won’t open it up. Government officials, who always “say the right things,” are willing to let the homeless freeze to death instead while they use the police to forcibly sweep the homeless out of camp sites and drag their feet on legislation to help them, but hey at least they didn’t say stupid things on their blogs in their late 20’s. Probably because most of them are too stupid to figure out how to setup a blog in the first place. So I guess that’s what’s important now. What you say, not what you do. I think it should be the other way around.
“Freedom of Speech, Just Watch What You Say…” — Ice T