by Christopher Paslay
Most 2020 Democratic candidates stayed clear of the hard-left event. Not so for Elizabeth Warren.
Netroots Nation, which hosts the largest annual agitprop convention for progressives who hate Trump, the Koch Brothers, and now Nancy Pelosi, set up shop this past week at the Convention Center in Philadelphia. The three-day event, which took place from July 11 – 13, offered more than 70 panel discussions and 60 hands-on training sessions, along with progressive film screenings, caucuses, networking opportunities, and social events.
According to Real Clear Politics:
Just four Democratic hopefuls traveled to the City of Brotherly Love to address the progressive faithful Saturday at Netroots Nation. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand of New York, former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julian Castro, and Washington Gov. Jay Inslee made the trip. All rank at less than 1% support in the polls. The only top-tier candidate to attend: Sen. Elizabeth Warren.
The fact that only a handful of presidential candidates attended the convention suggests there’s a clear fracture between the more mainstream members of the party, like Joe Biden, and the hard-left Democrats, like Warren.
Still, it was quite a convention, at least according to the Netroots Nation online agenda. On Thursday morning, angry activists were invited to begin the day by doing some light yoga to help channel their rage against an oppressive, racist America, where unemployment rates for minorities are at an all-time low. After some breathing and relaxation exercises, the program turned its attention to a panel discussion on impeaching Trump. “No greater modern threat exists to modern American democracy than the administration of Donald Trump,” the agenda description read, detailing how Trump was responsible for voter suppression and the appointments of lower court and Supreme Court judges “with little to no regard to the law.”
The Trump bashing workshop was just one of many offerings. In another room, there was a separate panel discussion about how big tech is inherently racist. According to the agenda:
Large corporations and our government are using digital tools that further cement a white racial hierarchy in our society in the pursuit of profits and political power. Companies like Amazon, Facebook and Google are providing a megaphone for racists to spread hate speech and algorithms that discriminate against people of color. Government agencies are also using the tools of surveillance to criminalize communities of color.
After a short break, where activists were encouraged to gather their morning coffee and recharge for more fear-mongering and race-baiting, there was a lecture on how to use the “Daily Action” app to shut down streets, and how to create resistance and rapid response through the use of digital media. Still another morning training was titled “How the Future is Organizing Us: They’re Texting in Class,” a program designed to recruit and teach youth “to utilize the online tools that are a part of their daily life” for progressive causes and additional agitprop campaigns.
At 11:20 a.m., there was a “mid-day mindfulness moment,” moderated by MoveOn strategist Reggie Hubbard, who claimed to “simplify chaos, build and nurture relationships, inspire others and execute stated objectives while maintaining calm focus and a positive attitude.”
The afternoon portion was rife with pandering to identity groups, like the screening and discussion of the film “Rigged: The Voter Suppression Playbook,” which insisted voter ID laws were oppressive, and that updating voter rolls (removing the names of people who have moved or who are dead) was racist. Then there was “Strategies and Tactics for Targeting Corporations—and Winning,” which taught activists how to harass companies to bring about change. “Want to use social media, ads and direct action to disrupt and annoy companies?” the training description asked. For those curious about “brand-jamming, astroturfing and other clever tactics,” this was the workshop for you.
Then there was this panel discussion: “Can We Evict the Bigots from Congress Once and For All?” This forum claimed to shed light on why “notoriously bigoted politicians seem weaker than ever,” and how activists could remove “some of the most entrenched bigots in Congress,” like Ted Cruz, Steve King, Duncan Hunter, Mark Harris, and Dave Brat.
At 5:00 p.m. was the opening keynote address, given by several progressive speakers, one of whom was Alicia Garza, co-creator of Black Lives Matter, the organization that praised cop-killer Assata Shakur and human rights violator Fidel Castro.
To end the night, there was the “Laughing Liberally Comedy Jam” and “Netroots After Dark: Sex, Politics and Karaoke Sponsored by Planned Parenthood Action Fund,” where you could unwind, mingle, and relax after a full day of trashing America and coordinating ways to annoy corporations, call people bigots, indoctrinate children, and indirectly pay homage to murderous dictators and cop killers, and successfully shut down streets.
Friday and Saturday was more of the same. There were dozens of panel discussions and trainings on how to successfully agitate and spread divisive propaganda to people in mass quantities; ironically, Nancy Pelosi was the target of some of this progressive venom because she recently dared to criticize Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s juvenile behavior. And speaking of AOC, one of her “squad” members, Michigan Democratic Rep. Rashida Tlaib, proudly attacked Trump at a breakout session by proclaiming, “We’re going to impeach the MF’er, don’t worry!”
The kicker, though, was the grand appearance by Elizabeth Warren. As reported by Real Clear Politics:
The Massachusetts liberal was the undisputed favorite at Netroots, and the conference was clearly her home turf. So much so that when protesters interrupted her, complaining about the treatment of illegal immigrants under the Obama administration, the crowd self-policed, shouting, “Let her finish.”
“This is our moment to live our values and that means down at the border when people come here who are desperate,” Warren said, “then we need to treat them with humanity, and we need to follow the law.”
Follow the law. Yeah, that’s rich.
Nonetheless, the crowd erupted over the presence of the liberal senator, and Warren solidified her status as a radical progressive whose agenda has gone completely outside the mainstream.