The exclusivity of leftism

Leftism generally excludes people not widely recognized as intellectuals. This is at least when we’re talking about modern politics, where working-class people turn their sights to populist politicians, after the disappointment they experienced after voting for, for instance, a social democratic party. There are probably dozens upon dozens of examples of this phenomenon, so I’ll mention just three. 

Many people got to know my home country of Hungary in Israel this year, mainly as an example of what not to do in order to keep a country a democracy. Prime Minister Orbán and his party control about two-thirds of the national assembly, so, as probably many can imagine, there isn’t much room for opposition. Indeed, it wasn’t always like this, but it has been for the twelve years Orbán has been in power. He knew that the left and center-left parties in Hungary don’t care for people living in small towns or even villages, so he took it upon himself as a mission to visit and campaign in just about every village in the country. This closeness obviously appealed to rural voters who never see politicians campaign in their towns. This strategy helped him to power and kept him there for the last decade. 

We see the same thing in the United States. Rural areas, in places like the South or parts of the Midwest, are generally known as red, Republican-leaning areas. Despite the fact that the Republican party has not done anything for the working class since the parties switched ideologies, Americans living in small towns have consistently been voting for conservative candidates. This is, of course, because the Democratic Party’s marketing has been quite unsuccessful in positioning itself as a people’s party, and also because of the inability of candidates to show up anywhere outside urban areas. 

Thirdly, the exact same thing happened in Israel. A few years after the establishment of the nation, Israel started the rescue missions of Mizrahi Jewish communities, after they began suffering from antisemitism. These missions took tens of thousands of Jews from countries like Iraq, Morocco, and Yemen and flew them to Israel in order to save them from the same antisemitism that the Jews of Europe experienced in the forties. The only problem came after the rescue missions. Most Jews in Israel knew Hebrew or Yiddish, so, they were able to communicate. With the arrival of the Mizrahis, a power imbalance was created, and suddenly, there was the ruling class, the Ashkenazis, and the working class, the Mizrahis. Ashkenazis served in the government and other positions of power, meanwhile, Mizrahis could do ‘unskilled labor’, like construction. This power imbalance, which, despite their efforts, Labor-led governments were not able to solve, caused the Mizrahis to turn away from the party that is supposed to represent them. This eventually lead the country to the victory of Menahem Begin and the Herut (Freedom) party, or as it’s known today, the Likud. Of course, the Likud is a right-wing party, one that advocates for the use of a free market, that completely disregards economic equality in order to benefit the rich and wealthy. Again, the right succeeded in reaching out to an oppressed group without carrying out any of its promises and since then, since Rabin, there isn’t any doubt of Likud’s rule. 

It’s time for the left to turn to efficient propaganda that’ll convince working-class people to vote left. 

When no politician shows up at your doorstep, in your town, village, or farm, you’ll start to cast your vote for just about anybody who’s willing to do that. 

It’s that simple. People living in cities are used to big campaigns, many politicians at once, and the privilege of a choice. But when there isn’t anybody on the town square, it suddenly doesn’t matter if the only one who shows up isn’t a good politician with good policies, because they’re the sole ones there. Leftists, but even center-left parties have to reach out to everyone, not just ‘intellectuals’. 

When people realize voting for a party is in their best interests, they’ll start to listen, representatives of the party just have to be there to speak to them. 

About the Author
Fred is an 18-year-old writer sharing his many thoughts about American and Israeli politics. He was born in Budapest and since he was 11, he is also an Israeli citizen.
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