|Protip: We're not Winning|
It was just obvious to me - you lived in a community, you helped the people in your community when they needed it, and they helped you when it came time for that. Why shouldn't a community use it's pooled resources to protect and care for everyone, before ever looking outside? And that was a worldview that scaled well, from neighborhood to city to state to the entire nation. If we were going to ask the people in our community to contribute resources via taxation, those resources should first and foremost go back into caring for the community.
From these simple observations, an entire ideological worldview emerges fully-formed. The answer to any question is always either 1.) does it contribute to the well being of the community or 2.) if it does not, is there any better application of those resources we should consider before committing them to any given initiative?
Most - if not all - of my friends are similarly aligned politically, mostly because conservatives and libertarians find me insufferable, adroit enough in my grasp of political history and economics to be equipped to poke an endless series of holes in their assumptions and fallacies. For that matter, I find anyone who is forced to believe false 'information' and fallacious assumptions in order to hold a clearly untenable worldview to be insufficiently intellectually curious to be tolerated.
But here's the thing. When we talk to each other, and we listen to each other, and we collectively point and laugh at the malicious mean-spirited buffoonery on the other side, we start to believe that EVERYBODY believes the things we do. After all, we talk on Facebook, we read Daily Kos and Kevin Drum and TPM and Vox, we see the ridiculous bile spewing from Fox and Limbaugh, and we just know that America is coming around to seeing things the way we do.
So here's a little reminder - think of it as a PSA, or maybe just a reality check. America is a place where diversity and tolerance are considered toxic, where tribal, racial and sectarian hatreds are taught from birth, where concepts like education and health care are socialism, that most un-American of concepts, where war and violence and incarceration and capital punishment - even torture - are American 'values'. "Liberals" are increasingly hated and feared - the leaders of the far right decry 'secular progressives' as their most dangerous and hated enemy. The stand united against everything America is supposed to be, and they stand under a banner that un-ironically says FREEDOM.
Whether you look at state and local government, abortion, guns, human and civil rights, even at something as uncontroversial as peace, we are not winning. Bernie Sanders has almost a million donors. Setting aside that ALL money in politics is bad, no matter who's money it is, there are 140 million registered voters in the US, and the vast majority of them HATE Bernie Sanders with a passion that even exceeds the hatred we felt for GW Bush. We keep thinking that demographics will eventually turn the US into a place we would recognize, but look around you. How's that working out for us?