Op-Ed: Progressive groups cut off nose to spite face

By Mike Zonta, co-editor of OccupySF.net

DSA San Francisco and the SF Tenants Union have rescinded their endorsements of Shahid Buttar. The Harvey Milk Club is endorsing Nancy Pelosi and the SF Berniecrats have lowered their endorsement of Shahid to a recommendation.

Many progressives seem much more interested in maintaining their progressive bona fides than in making progress towards realizing progressive gains.

Former Buttar campaign director Jasper Wilde calls for Shahid Buttar to step back in favor of a feminist leadership. Why isn’t she calling for Pelosi to step back?

And why now? Shouldn’t Wilde’s call have come at a more opportune moment, like before the primary which selected Pelosi and Buttar?

Wouldn’t a candidate who supports Medicare for All, the Green New Deal, student debt forgiveness and other progressive ideas more naturally achieve feminist goals than a corporate Democrat like Pelosi?

I hope Ms. Wilde and the progressive clubs in San Francisco can take off their progressive halos for a moment and realize that the progressive movement is not a purity contest. It’s a consciousness-raising contest, a contest of who has the best ideas.

And it’s never a good idea to stab your own teammates in the back. Because rescinding Buttar’s endorsement is not just a blow to Buttar’s campaign. It’s a blow to all of us who were hoping to give Ms. Pelosi the challenge of her political life.

For the first time since Nancy Pelosi faced off against Harry Britt some 30 years ago, she is facing a Democratic opponent for her position. Let’s not use questionable allegations of misbehavior (sexual and otherwise) to derail the hopes and dreams that some of use have held for over 30 years.

The patriarchy is not just an old boys’ club. It sometimes includes women like Pelosi.

So we need to ask ourselves if we would rather fight a member of the old boy’s club like Pelosi or a self-described feminist like Buttar?

Let’s not let this opportunity slip through our fingers for the sake of petty posturing.

To quote Marianne Williamson, “George Washington warned us against political parties, saying it would create factions of people more concerned with their faction than with their country.”

The progressive political clubs have factionalized and fractionalized themselves to the point where they’ve lost the gist of what we are fighting for.

We need to be more savvy than we have been. If we want to fight for progressive ideas and a feminist future, as Wilde suggests, let’s do it.

Progressives in the city have cut off their noses to spite their faces. All I’m asking is that we look in the mirror and see how ridiculous, if not frightening, we look.

As Bernie said, “Not me. Us.”

So let US make the decision to work together to elect Shahid (or at least give Ms. Pelosi a good scare) and head together towards a more feminist future.

With our noses back in the middle of our faces.

And our eyes on the prize…

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One Response to Op-Ed: Progressive groups cut off nose to spite face

  1. Laura says:

    Shahid Buttar is out-of-touch in so many respects, as is Pelosi. His ideas are uninformed and uneducated, specifically around homelessness… lacking in knowledge of how addiction actually functions and results that we are seeing now in SF. His political agenda is largely focused on his own personal life experiences and what he wishes to achieve from his narrow lens. If you support him, perhaps you two should be buddies… in your own boys club, as you likely have similar values and life experiences. Don’t expect the rest of us to follow suit. I’m looking for someone that looks at the social issues as a whole, rather than from a personal experience vignette. Pelosi is not the answer either… hoping that someone else will step up with less ego one of these days, and who asks the public, and the professionals working in specific fields how to guide THEM.


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