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Opinion Progressives, Push vs Pull

Discussion in 'The War Room' started by Fawlty, Apr 26, 2019.

  1. Fawlty

    Fawlty Memesy were the borogroves Platinum Member

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    Okay this is more theory than nuts and bolts, but it's something that is repeatedly occurring to me as the face of the Democratic Party becomes more progressive. I think there could be a very important difference between "push" progressives and "pull" progressives, and it could even impact the voting behavior of Independents.

    First, I need to delineate the term "progressive." It has come to mean, in major part, a set of political positions that is in some ways opposed to the "mainstream liberal" or "moderate." Those sorts of definitions would cloud this discussion, so I'd like to avoid them. Progressiveness is a position of advocacy for reform.

    Progressiveness can also consist of a xenophobic brand of racist anti-immigrant sentiment that exists right alongside pro-suffrage positions, which is anachronistic as hell yet a very important period of U.S. history. But today, progressiveness is exclusively a liberal movement, so the best definition to use today is that a "progressive" is a liberal advocating for reform.



    The "Pull" Progressive

    Because this is an idea I don't have fleshed out, I'm keeping it simple. Please feel free to kick my ass if I'm out of line.

    The Pull Progressive is the one who drags you, kicking and screaming, toward the reforms that they feel are required by their political and moral beliefs. I say "kicking and screaming" which is not a fair evaluation, but is an effective image. They generally place more importance on the acquisition of political power, which will allow them to pass their proposals (Mitch McConnell would be a "pull conservative" by comparison).

    The Pull Progressive begins at a position based on values like "healthcare is a basic human right" and seeks to instill that value in you, overcoming your hesitation with the force of good morals. The fact that healthcare costs are out of control justifies the value that healthcare is a basic human right that should be administered by the government. The Pull Progressive is more likely to demand a switch to UHC.

    I choose healthcare for this example because I agree with that "pull" value, and since I am arguing against Pull Progressives, I want the example to be against my interests.



    The "Push" Progressive

    The Push Progressive is the one who progresses with the electorate, in a more literal sense, toward reform. They generally start with values that are more politically neutral, look at results and analyze options, and try to push you toward the solution they favor. They place more importance on consensus and bipartisanship, so that less raw political power is required to effect change. Instead, political power is more of a currency.

    The Pull Progressive begins at a position that the state of American healthcare is insufficient, and convinces you that the government must become more involved by pointing to public opinion and the failure of capitalism to control drug prices. The fact that healthcare costs are out of control justifies the departure from the status quo. The Push Progressive is more likely to expand Medicare to the public option and/or try to salvage the ACA.



    My intuition is that Independents (who lean a bit right in the U.S. today) are going to be more receptive to the Push Progressive than the Pull Progressive. They will feel as if they are being dragged, kicking and screaming, if the Pull Progressive gets his way. This is independent of any actual results that the Push or Pull Progressive might achieve. This is about the political approach in light of American attitudes and values. The Push Progressive is something closer to a political ally, somebody closer to the "centrist" team (not necessarily centrist but the word will suffice for this discussion).

    Something working against this idea is that the Push Progressive is more reliant on data, on science and studies, and American Independent voters are not always the most receptive to facts and analysis, as they are skeptical of knowledge. The Pull Progressive is more reliant on values-based persuasion, which is something that American voters seem to respond to.

    On balance, I like a Push Progressive who is a skilled enough orator to appeal to values while making the case for progress from the center (rather than progress initiated from the wing), but the cost of this in terms of airtime, concision in messaging, and the appearance of consistency makes this a difficult tightrope-walk requiring a full range of political skills. I guess calling for a perfect politician is a big ask.

    But if I have to choose between the two styles of progressiveness, I choose the Push Progressive because on average, he is using harder analysis, coming from a place that is more relatable to the political center of the country, and can effect more change. This approach might also reduce the variance of political gains and losses, making the country less swingy and more stable, though that is not necessarily true.


    What is your impression? Is this a fair distinction to make, and does it make sense or even matter? In any case, I think it's a good thing to think about.
     
    Last edited: Apr 26, 2019
  2. Anung Un Rama

    Anung Un Rama Idol of Millions Platinum Member

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    without knowing if there are already definitions for this it sounds like you have the definitions reversed.
    A Pusher sounds like somebody who is advocating and pushing a policy. Whats Sen X pushing today?
    A Puller sounds like somebody who is pulling a position from its original path toward something closer to their own values (good or bad).

    Push - lets get this out there
    Pull - lets manipulate this

    Either can be good or bad.
     
  3. Fawlty

    Fawlty Memesy were the borogroves Platinum Member

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    The thought is that the one pulling you is reaching out and grabbing you and pulling you over to his position, while the one pushing you is physically closer to you, pushing you along. Could look at it differently but that's the most intuitive to me.
     
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  4. Anung Un Rama

    Anung Un Rama Idol of Millions Platinum Member

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    I'll work with your definitions as they are much more thought out and defined than my initial intuition.
     
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  5. Higus

    Higus Gold Belt

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    I'd work on the terms to reduce confusion. Pushing and pulling are both forcefully moving an object. The distinction you are making seems to be more about force vs influence.
     
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  6. Fawlty

    Fawlty Memesy were the borogroves Platinum Member

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    I don't really want to spend the thread on semantics, as the distinction is clear. Both are forms of "coercion" at least intellectually. Manipulation, at least.
     
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  7. BarryDillon

    BarryDillon Black Belt Platinum Member

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    Moderation good, ideology bad.

    That's my takeaway from this thread. Actually believing in something and having morals is objectionable, and obviously more moderate people use facts and data instead of feels. Makes total sense.


    <DisgustingHHH>
     
  8. splendica

    splendica Black Belt

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    What about the pitching and catching analogy?

    [​IMG]

    j/k, pushing seems like the better of the two from the OP.
     
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  9. Higus

    Higus Gold Belt

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    I'll disagree on the clarity, but try to move past it.
    I'd say in general that a Push politician is going to sound more attractive on paper, but I'm not sure that it's an effective type of politician these days.
     
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  10. Fawlty

    Fawlty Memesy were the borogroves Platinum Member

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    Not objectionable to me or to you, but possibly objectionable to Independent voters. Both approaches are progressive, working toward the same ends. The example I used was healthcare, and I'm an "actually believing moral objector" when it comes to the institution of UHC.
     
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  11. BarryDillon

    BarryDillon Black Belt Platinum Member

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    I think trying the same electoral and governance strategy that has gotten Democrats trounced in the last decade is literally insane. Ceding ground before the actual debate begins is asinine.

    We need a bolder approach to elections, and we need a more ruthless approach in dealing with the Republican Party. They WILL NOT act in good faith.
     
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  12. tonni

    tonni 2019 Snitch of the Year

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    What about seduction? [​IMG]
     
  13. Fawlty

    Fawlty Memesy were the borogroves Platinum Member

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    The target is the independent voter, and I fail to see how the power-based progressive tactics are effective on that demo.

    A caveat here, the election may not even turn on this factor at all. It might not actually be important at all, it could just be important to me.
     
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  14. Fawlty

    Fawlty Memesy were the borogroves Platinum Member

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    I understand that impulse and I think it might well be right to just ruthlessly grab power, and pick fights. Not confident in the advantage of any particular approach, really.
     
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  15. Not to mention the push ones are actually just buying time to keep appeasing their corporate overlords. I mean that. They want gradual change come to by meeting in the middle of two parties (Rep and Dem) bought and paid for by the same corporate money and interests

    They are fucking liars supported by media that also has vested interest in keeping things they way they are because they are getting rich the way things are. News anchormen and women are some of the highest paid people in the world....... think they might have an interest in keeping the status quo?
     
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  16. Fawlty

    Fawlty Memesy were the borogroves Platinum Member

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    I don't think any progressives have corporate overlords. But I think some of them recognize that, for instance, big corporations will lead the green revolution. Food for thought?
     
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  17. Not really no it ins't food for thought. There are progressives in name only and they are serving corporate interests and the establishment and then there are those who actually want to change something and work for the people.

    Edit. To your point of convincing independents. It would help greatly if any MSM would actually cover progressives in an honest way but they almost never do. They lie and mock and slander instead.
     
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  18. Fawlty

    Fawlty Memesy were the borogroves Platinum Member

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    Again, the main premise is about the impact on the independent-minded voter, who is somewhat of a "both-sides" person who is skeptical of knowledge, and who can be convinced to support progressive policies some of the time, and the idea that how you approach him matters.

    Interested in other opinions too, and criticism, but if we could keep it reasonably on point that would be cool.
     
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  19. Fawlty

    Fawlty Memesy were the borogroves Platinum Member

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    You deny the very existence of people shifting to the left? I find that highly implausible, as I've never observed a progressive make a quantum leap to the far left without the use of drugs or the acquisition of magical hippie pussy that tastes like warm Fanta.
     
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  20. <Huh2>


    I did not deny people shifting to the left.......
     
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