If you have to guess my opinion on the latest round of the progressive circular firing squad—the DNC vote against setting up a single-issue presidential debate on climate—you haven’t been paying attention. To be honest, I know that you haven’t, and I am very distraught that none of my friends called this right away.
As with most similar cases, the only tangible impact of Leftbook’s outrage will be reducing the chances that Democrats take back the White House and the Senate in 2020, which is our ONE LAST CHANCE to reverse a very broad range of globally disastrous policies of the current administration, including its policies on climate and environment.
Yes, climate is the most urgent issue we’re facing—that is, if you are refusing to face the prospect of a global thermonuclear war wiping all life on Earth within years rather than centuries.
But it is not the only problem Americans are concerned about. Being able to look that far ahead is a luxury many people cannot afford, not when they have to work three jobs just to feed and clothe their kids, not when their lives are threatened by unaffordable healthcare, gun violence, police brutality, and state sponsored white supremacist terrorism.
Making the entire Democratic presidential campaign about just the climate to the exclusion of everything else might reassure a small and vocal minority of progressive activists that the party leadership recognizes the importance and urgency of climate change, at the cost of telling every other American voter that their other problems are going to have to wait.
We even know exactly how narrow that climate hawk minority is, and how willing the rest of Americans are to vote for someone who makes climate action the cornerstone of their presidential bid. We had a candidate, Jay Inslee, who did exactly that, and had to bow out because he never managed to get more than 1% in the polls.
This is precisely how much climate is going to be worth in 2020, and no amount of yelling at DNC is going to change that.