Bernie says you can’t be a progressive and a moderate at the same time. This reminds me of the Republican Tea Partiers who want to close down the GOP to all but the radical right. Efforts to create the Republican “Big Tent” have failed miserably and the GOP has been weakened significantly by that failure.
This has been the Achilles heel of Republican party in the last few Presidential elections. Ultra conservative Republican candidates have forced their more moderate and electable candidates to adopt stances which are more conservative than they are comfortable with in order to win their party’s nomination. Once they have that nomination those stances have been their downfall in the General Election.
That is exactly what Bernie is doing in an effort to win a pitiful few delegates in in extremely liberal New Hampshire. While now Sanders is obviously in it to win it, one the prime goal of his campaign early on has been to pull Hillary further to the left. He is succeeding.
I strenuously object to the notion that one cannot be a progressive and moderate at the same time. I like many Clinton supporters believe strongly in many of the same progressive values which Bernie professes. We disavow many of the values that Republicans seem to cherish. We are all on the same side folks. What makes some of us moderate progressives is how far we are willing to go to accommodate political reality.
This is what the the Democratic party should be about – a party which deeply rooted in progressive values, but realistic enough in its positions to take and keep the White House. Political ideals without political power is the height of frustration. We cannot be like the Republicans who eat their own, who make their candidates virtually unelectiable.
We can not afford to make the same mistakes as the Republicans. We cannot be constantly fighting among ourselves because that weakens us to external forces. We can and must build a big tent in the Democratic Party where progressives from the far left to the very moderate can all peacefully coexist together. We must succeed where the Republicans have failed. That is the only way we will have the strength to put our ideas into practice.