The Sad Politics of Realism

by Bob Schwartz

Besides the politics of pessimism being peddled by Republicans, we have a new wrinkle courtesy of some of Hillary supporters. The sad politics of realism.

While most advise being gentle with Bernie Sanders in the upcoming debate to avoid alienating his supporters, others are pushing her to take him on as promoting unrealistic ideas that are “pie in the sky.” According to Politico:

“I think she needs to show that she isn’t taking the nomination for granted and that Bernie’s ideas are not realistic,” a Nevada Democrat said….

Added a New Hampshire Democrat, “His pie in the sky policy ideas, while wonderful, have received very little scrutiny by the press. It’s about time they did.

The sibling of realism is expedience. Not quite twins, but very close, sharing much of the same DNA.

Optimism and aspiration are never out of place in politics. Without them, all you’ve got left is the past and the present, and a future that looks like some version of that. Of course for some, the idea of redux, of say, another Clinton White House, is an outcome worthy of killing dreams, interesting ideas and hope, unrealistic fables appropriate only for children. Grownups know what it takes to win the real prizes, unpretty and sad as the path may be.

Suddenly the politics of pessimism doesn’t look so bad, or at least won’t be so lonely in the company of its companion, the politics of realism. Please put down that pie in the sky. You just might get ideas.