House Frey of the Progressive North
MSNBC had a surprisingly progressive morning show a couple weeks back that I, being a Progressive, should be happy about. But being of the left I’m not allowed to be happy and here is a long explanation as to why.
MSNBC Suddenly Realizes Bernie Was Right
Despite not getting much help from major media outlets, Progressive policies do very well in polls. The policies that don't poll well tend to gain traction the more they are actually heard and given fair consideration. As a person’s worldview goes leftward they inevitably end up for:
- Single Payer / Medicare for All
- A Living Wage / $15 minimum wage
- College Debt Relief and 16 Grades of Public Education
Even detractors of such policies do not really disagree with the underlying goals at hand, they just don't think it can be done, or don't want it to be done, by the government. Everybody wants the world to be a better place, but it is hard to change it in any real way that undermines entrenched industries. We know to make progress for Progressive policies it will take movements. That is lots of people pooling their resources and time to push the leaders of government to make the necessary adjustments at the Federal level. This process is noted as a struggle, as a battle.
‘Battle’ may feel like an exaggeration but for many this isn't just a metaphor, it is literal in the sense that in a real battle lives are at stake. If you have lost someone because they were worried about the financial liability their health posed and didn't get care in time, the battle is real. For those currently scraping to get by despite working two jobs, the battle is real.
I may be a privileged SOB who isn’t in any real dire need and doesn’t know anything about real battle, or wars, but I've read that you need to know who your friends and enemies are.
Dunbar's number says we hit a limit of 100-200 people within our closest network. This is due to limitations of our time and energy. As groups get larger it becomes too difficult to track friends and allies from foes. And here we are in the modern-day predicament of tracking who to count on in a world of vast nations, political parties, billion-dollar industries and the media outlets that cover them. It leads to having some appreciation for the segments of the opposition that make it clear they are enemies to Progressive Policies. The right leaning factions that can't help shouting out, 'socialist' and 'communist' as slurs against anybody thinking perhaps it’s time the floor of society was lifted an inch. At least with them while there is a fight to be had the lines are clear. But Progressive Policies and Leaders haven't even been able to get to that fight.
Again and again, the Progressive faction of the Democratic party fails to get out of the preliminary rounds and then is held at arm's length away from influencing any key policy initiatives. Primaries in theory should be civil, respectful disagreements among allies on details of policies and tactics. Yet when the dust settles Progressives often watch as Democratic leadership is friendlier with the Moderate Right than with any Progressive leaders.
With this all the quotes and literature about knowing your enemies from your friends in war come to mind. One vivid example from the popular Game of Thrones (GOT) books and series, would be that of the House Frey. Not being property cautious of this false ally ended up being red-wedding fatal. But spoiler alerts are not needed here as I'm only concerned with the general premise of the House of Frey. Some GOT geek knowledge for the uninitiated:
Their military strength is formidable, allowing them to raise four thousand troops by themselves - almost 10% of the total strength of the Riverlands. The current Lord Frey's father was involved in the scandal of the Whitewalls Tourney, when the Second Blackfyre Rebellion was halted in its tracks, roughly ninety years ago, leading to the current Lord Walder Frey being a cautious man, extremely reluctant to commit himself to any cause until the outcome is certain. During Robert's Rebellion he delayed the arrival of his army at the Battle of the Trident until Robert Baratheon had secured victory. For this, Lord Frey's liege, Hoster Tully, dubbed him "The Late Lord Frey", a nickname which has stuck, to Walder Frey's fury.
In short House Frey were allies that were late to a key battle, only showing up to it after it was won. This leads to harbored suspicions of how much to count on their alliance throughout the novels. Yet despite nicknaming House Frey with a moniker to serve as a reminder of the questionable nature of their alliance, other members of House Stark are forced to rely upon House Frey leading to disaster. And that is how I feel about major left media outlets that put out great important pieces on Progressive policies and movements. We need these platforms with large national audiences but when it comes to delivering key information and stories for Progressive; the more critical the pieces could be the more likely they’ll be frustratingly late, after the fact.
Here is a list of such frustrating moments that I know of but please reach out to me and let me know of any you are aware of. The Progressive Left is too small to go around cancelling people, but we should keep our eyes wide open when allies show us glimpses of the extent of their support.
- MSNBC Clip in Early January: MSNBC Suddenly Realizes Bernie Was Right
- Vice News - Bernie Blackout - Aired 5/13/2020: https://www.imdb.com/title/tt12300682/
- [Can't find it..help] NYT/Washington Post article on the virtues of single payer that fails to mention Bernie's name
- Similarly UBI without mentioning Andrew Yang
- Bloomberg's shift in coverage of Bernie when he moved into the front runner position after Nevada