Political Bullying, As Dangerous to Our Democracy as Voter Suppression.

As A Matter of Fact, That’s Exactly What It Is.

We are all Chelsea Clinton. If you haven’t seen the clip of her being bullied by an angry member of the far left (and yes, she was angry), count yourself lucky. It’s disturbing to see a patient, pregnant Chelsea Clinton respond repeatedly with kindness while being accused of somehow contributing to the massacre of Muslims in New Zealand.

But haven’t all reasonable people been there? You take some responsible position like, say, putting political resources into turning winnable red seats blue instead of using them on pushing safe Democratic seats farther to the left, and the next thing you know someone is accusing you of supporting the corporate agenda and maybe even contributing to climate change.

Enough. We cannot beat Trump if we are beating up on each other. Democrats must treat one another with respect and consideration. We must remember what Democrats stand for: opportunity, equality, protecting the earth, and strengthening our democracy. Democrats are not the problem. It’s the far right that’s the problem. They don’t believe in opportunity for anyone but themselves. They believe that equality would put them at a disadvantage, and that environmental regulations hurt their bottom line. Above all, they believe in suppressing the vote. They do so because they know that the fewer of us who vote, the more likely they are to win.

The irony. While we are fighting to increase voter participation, some of the folks on the far left are engaging in bullying and intimidation tactics that make people want to turn away from politics. But that’s the very last thing we want people to do. What we need more than ever is to draw people in, make them feel welcome, and want to be part of the solution, with voting as its ultimate expression. It’s called democracy, and that’s what’s really worth fighting for.

Written by Left of Center Co-founder Mara Dolan