Where is the Leadership From the Left?

In this Dec. 19, 2015, file photo, then-Democratic presidential candidates Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton takes the stage for the debate at Saint Anselm College in Manchester, New Hampshire.

By Tom Gilson Published on June 18, 2017

Before this week I would have said our nation is drifting dangerously toward violence. Now we’ve had a gunman barely thwarted in an attempt to mow down dozens of Republican lawmakers. It’s no drift now. We’re there.

He wasn’t crazy. His wife appears totally believable when she says she had no idea he had this in him. His only motive appears to have been political.

Politically motivated violence has been rising in our streets, on campus, and now in Washington. It’s coming almost entirely from the left. Where then are the leaders of the left? What are they doing about it?

Sanders, Clinton and Obama

The shooter was a fan of Bernie Sanders. Sanders stood up on the Senate floor and said he was sickened by that. He told us he deplored violence. Well, of course he felt that way. Who wouldn’t? But has he taken to the airwaves, looked his followers in the eye, and told them it’s time to stop it right now?

Hillary Clinton tweeted on Thursday,

2 sides take the field tomorrow, but we’re all ultimately on one team.

My thoughts are with the members of Congress, staff & heroic police.

Just try to think of something more trite, bland, cliched and ineffectual she could have said. I’ll bet you can’t.

And what about Barack Obama? Last winter I wrote that he was in danger of becoming the first president in memory who failed to lead us through a peaceful transition of power. That story is still playing out, and his final part in it has yet to be told.

He still has power: he has the ear of faithful Democrats. He’s still in a position to be able to promote peace. What has he done with that power? What has he said to stop the violence? Nothing. He’s “reached out” to a Republican Senator. He needs to reach American Democrats with a message to calm down.

Where are the Democratic Leaders?

Leaders lead. Do our top three Democratic leaders know what that means?

Pundits and leaders have been talking about how our toxic political atmosphere has contributed to the rise in violence. Silence is adding to it, too: silence on the part of these three Democratic leaders. They have followers, which is obvious enough — but what that also means is they have influence. Any one of them could go on a TV, or even on an anti-violence stump, and the effect would certainly be a reduction in the violence.

It could mean lives saved. It could even mean that the American political process is preserved for the next round of elections. A week ago I might have thought that was putting it too dramatically, but not now.

Leaders lead. Do our top three Democratic leaders know what that means?

Do they want to know?

Print Friendly
Comments ()
The Stream encourages comments, whether in agreement with the article or not. However, comments that violate our commenting rules or terms of use will be removed. Any commenter who repeatedly violates these rules and terms of use will be blocked from commenting. Comments on The Stream are hosted by Disqus, with logins available through Disqus, Facebook, Twitter or G+ accounts. You must log in to comment. Please flag any comments you see breaking the rules. More detail is available here.
  • Kevin Carr

    It would not be believable from this trio, plus I don’t think they would mean it. Hillary “they are deplorables and irredeemable”, Barack “if they bring a knife, we bring a gun” Obama, constantly telling minorities this country has done you wrong, he and Hillary give a wink and a nod to corruption, as long as it is theirs or from their side. That is the Progressive leaership.

  • Howard Rosenbaum

    Leadership ? Perhaps cattle herding would be more descriptive for what has been mistaken for the superintendence of the party of resistance. History is full of despots that have corralled their constituency right where they wanted them. We already heard the spin many
    on the left have since perpetrated in the aftermath of the recent tragic events on that Republican playing field. Mr Gilson is correct to make suspect the leadership intentions of those “top three Democratic leaders”. Time for the conscientious objectors saddled w/the Democratic label who are opposed to the strategies promoted by the left to raise up their voices or hold back their votes the next time “leadership” raises it’s disingenuous head. That’s already begun. The recent monumental losses on the left speak volumes in that regard. Meanwhile the rank & file card carrying herd will allow themselves to be blindly led down that path which leads to the”death” of a once legitimate political entity. In spite of questionable policies presented in time past. Besides, even if the few credible Democratic voices left were to rise up & take some real leadership positions, the MSM would likely fail to report it …

  • Gary

    When people loathe each other as much as the Left and the Right do here, you can expect occasional violence. Go ahead and expect it because it will happen again. Maybe a lot. The next civil war, if there is one, will feature many things similar to what happened at the congressional baseball practice.

    • Charles Burge

      I don’t think it’s really about Trump. The left thought that the election was all but theirs, and they are furious that it was “stolen” from them (in their eyes). Had Cruz, Rubio, or even Fiorina beaten Clinton, they would just as mad – probably even more so. These are people who have openly flirted with ideas that are subversive to democracy. I’m not all surprised that their “condemnations” of violence – if you could call it that – have been so anemic.

  • Patmos

    Where is the leadership from the left? It’s where it’s always been: Right behind us, trying to figure out what’s most popular so it can take that position.

  • Jim Walker

    Sorry, the former President is busy trying to get speech deals from all his global friends.

I Am No Angel, He Said
Bobby Neal Winters
More from The Stream
Connect with Us