Lamenting Losing Democratic Friends

May 15, 2016 3 By Michael
The author Harold Michael Harvey lamenting the fact that he is losing too many of his Democratic friends. Photo Credits: Sharon Dowdell

The author Harold Michael Harvey lamenting the fact that he is losing too many of his Democratic friends.
Photo Credits: Sharon Dowdell

I am losing far more of my Democratic friends than I care to lose this year. Albeit, many of these Democratic friends I only know via social media. Nevertheless, I regret the strain that the Democratic Primary has placed on the relationships I have enjoyed with my Democratic friends on social media.

I lost many social media friends in 2008. A few more during the 2010 mid-term election year; and a great deal more in 2012 and 2014. The friends I lost during this time period were my Republican friends. They fell out with me over objections to their disrespectful attitude toward President Barack Obama.

I tend to like the people who disagree with me. I am always searching for ways to bring them into the light. It seldom happens. I simply enjoy the verbal gymnastics involved in this pursuit. I do not miss the bombastic negativity of my departed conservative friends. I do regret that we could not remain friends in spite of our differences of opinion on the course the country should take in these uncertain times.

This year’s presidential primary election  cycle has removed people – Democratic friends – from my sphere whom I rather enjoy. Most of whom share the same aims and goals that I do. We tend to agree on political solutions for resolving the issues confronting our country at home and abroad.

Losing them is particularly painful. I am afraid that this schism between Democratic friends may portend a rift inside the Democratic Party that cannot be mended by the time “Early Voting” starts for the 2016 General Election.

I began this campaign season, as a politico without a candidate, who merely desired to see a spirited debate between two or more strong Democratic contenders. This desire put me at odds with my Democratic friends because most of them had penciled in their support to Secretary Clinton long before Martin O’Malley and Bernie Sanders paid the qualifying fee to run.

Any position that advocated an open discussion on the issues was rebuffed by Clinton’s supporters in ways reminiscent of the manner in which my Republican friends pontificated about the deficiencies of President Obama before they closed the door to friendship.

Although, I voted for one of the three candidates on the Georgia Presidential Preference Primary ballot in March, I still remain open to a good debate. I hope that whoever emerges as the winner is the best candidate to represent the party.

This year, Democrats have watched with amusement, the Republican infighting, as 17 candidates jostled for the right to face off with the Democrats in November.

My Democratic friends came to the conclusion that the Republicans were in such disarray they could never get their act together again. Little did Democrats know, that their presumptive nominee was executing a campaign strategy in her effort to win the nomination, that would drive a wedge right down the middle of the Democratic Party.

First Secretary Clinton questioned Senator Sanders’ authenticity as a supporter of the 1960s Civil Rights Movement, and queried where Sanders stood during her 1990s quest for universal healthcare, then she adopted Sanders’ far leftist progressive positions as if they had always been her positions, while at the same time, denigrating Sanders’ proposals as pie in the sky and laughed at his ability to get results. Sanders’ posse took offense to this attempt to muddy Sanders’ work of a lifetime.

Secondly, Clinton’s supporters, my Democratic friends, parroted her characterization of the Sanders’ candidacy. It is this political hot-air that has been blowing back and forth between the two political camps which threatens to derail a Democratic victory in November.

We are beginning to see the fallout of the Clinton plan to delegitimatize the candidacy of Bernie Sanders.  Supporters of Sanders punched back and hit Clinton hard on the issue of trustworthiness, questioning her character in ways that will be hard for Donald Trump to match this summer.

This war of words that has built up between Democratic friends has caused inter-party discord that is not likely to be undone before the next president is sworn into office. In the meantime, we are all losing some good friends in this war for the heart and soul of the Democratic Party and progressive politics in this country.

I’ve lost far, far too many of my Democratic friends. At the end of the election, the political bosses could care less if the people are on good speaking terms, so long as the bosses maintain their power to control who gets what, how much and when. This after all is the objective of politics. The object is not closing the door in your Democratic friend’s face.

Harold Michael Harvey is an American novelist and essayist, the author of Paper puzzle and Justice in the Round. He can be contacted at haroldmichaelharvey.com.