YDATL Blog NOTE: The opinions expressed by our individual bloggers are their own, and not necessarily those of Young Democrats of Atlanta.
Sunday, April 16, 2006
Liberal Democrat - what's wrong with that?
I'm disturbed by a comment left by a recent visitor to Georgia Politics Unfiltered. This visitor claimed that Allen Thornell is at least as liberal as Nan Orrock (whose vacant seat in the 58th House district he is running to fill), and that this was somehow inimical to the interests of the state party.
Now, don't get me wrong – I'm all in favor of strategic positioning and messaging from our statewide candidates, and from our local candidates who have to win in moderate districts. But the 58th district is one of the most liberal districts in the entire state, and I see no reason whatsoever not to stand up and cheer for Allen, who promises to be an outspoken, much-needed voice for progressives under the Gold Dome. Why should we not be happy that the GLBT community will be represented by one of their own, not only a gay man but one who understands firsthand the challenges HIV presents to Georgia?
I see this same fear of outspoken liberalism in the whole Cynthia McKinney debacle. Cynthia has certainly damaged the Democratic cause with her recent dramatics, but there is no justification for attacking her outspokenness. Who else among Democrats stood up in those early Iraq months and took the attack to Bush for his administration's bungling of the war? Denise Majette may be less dramatic, but she will have a hard time equaling Cynthia's strength of conviction.
Why are some Democrats afraid to bring in heavy hitters from districts that can elect them? Without these strong voices speaking truth to power, our party is nothing more than Republican Lite, Sonny Perdue without the egregious fashion misstatements. Who will carry our banner when our enemies under the Gold Dome dredge legislation like the voter ID bill from the filth they wallow in? Let us be proud of our strongest warriors rather than sacrificing their ideals on the altar of centrism.