I was a Bernie Sanders Delegate at the Democratic Convention in Philly. I supported the policies he articulated then and still do today. I went to Philly to fight as hard as possible to ensure that we would get a more Progressive platform. I have written both at DailyKos and at my site about the strengths and flaws of each candidate as I saw them. Bernie Sanders supporters and Hillary Clinton supporters in almost equal amounts paid for my trip to the convention. They all knew where I stood and were confident that I would do what was best for the party. That is what I truly believe is necessary for any party and its policies to succeed. One must move forward and work on persuading for the next cycle.
When the process was over, I proudly supported the nominee of the Democratic Party, Hillary Clinton, one hundred percent. To be clear, I had always thought even when she ran against President Obama, that she was the most qualified on paper, immediately ready to run a government. In 2008, I initially supported her but switched to then Senator Obama after his South Carolina win. I leave that story for another day.
There are currently a lot of animosities between factions in the Democratic Party. Many women and men, especially baby boomers feel there would not be another opportunity in their lifetime to elect a woman. Most Bernie supporters are justifiably upset that the Democratic Establishment had a clear bias for Hillary Clinton.
We are all grown ups. Politics can be rough. Every candidate wants to win. Their operatives push the envelope. It did not help that Russia assisted in creating divisions within the Democratic Party. Well, the election is over, and Hillary Clinton lost the Electoral College.
There are two paths the party can take. They can relitigate the election which will get us nowhere. Or they can move forward with a new resolve. The latter makes much more sense.
So how do we get there? The different factions within the party have been so busy attacking each other that they forget the most important thing. Whether you are a Bernie supporter, a Hillary supporter, an establishment supporter, or a real Progressive Liberal Lefty, every faction loves the Democratic Party and what it stands for, mostly anyway.
Many believe the Establishment wing of the party is out of touch. The fact that sans President Obama, Democrats have been taking a shellacking in the aggregate throughout the states and nationally is evidence enough. The Establishment of the party must accept that responsibility. Democrats lost elections for four Republican House seats that while difficult to win were winnable. The president's historically low poll numbers, as well as the president and Congress' unpopular health care bill, should have scared voters towards at least some of the Democrats. Unfortunately, Democrats never made an aggressive enough narrative. The modus operandi was a caution at best or Republican Lite at worse.
Going forward, it is evident to many Progressives that change is necessary. The party must decide if it will be a corporatist party or a populist party, a Progressive Party or a Center-Left party. Some believe that it has to be a corporatist party to get the necessary funding to compete. Some think it needs to be a Center-Left party to attract the white working class. Some believe it must be a populist party. And some want a real Progressive Party. One should note that neither in the Ossoff election or the Trump election, did the winner spend the most money.
Bill Clinton, Al Gore, Hillary Clinton, and John Kerry all ran Center-Left campaigns with a touch of corporatism. Barack Obama even as the corporatists gave him campaign funds, ran a relatively Progressive campaign. Donald Trump ran a populist campaign that included racism, xenophobia, and economics to coalesce a base that included many Democrats. President Obama's coalition so far is unmatched. Even as the Democratic Party in states and nationally got emaciated, his coalition held.
Democrats do not need a civil war that would lead to self-destruction to decide what type of party it needs to be. Progressives and Establishment candidates alike must put up their candidates and messages and let the Democrats decide what kind of party they want. Many establishment Democrats believe they must tailor their message and policies in a manner to appease Wall Street and corporations to get funds to be competitive. Progressives believe funding from the grassroots allow the party to live up to its values not on only in spirit but its policies.
When we query Americans about the things they want, their economics and social beliefs are decidedly Progressive. They want Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid. They want affordable and accessible health care, specifically a single-payer health care system. They want personal freedoms. They want an affordable higher education. There are ample polls out there that back this up.
If Progressives can create a coherent, duplicatable, and believable message to match the desires of Americans with their candidates and policies, they will win. Otherwise, the establishment Democrats, that many like to sneer at, may turn out to be the realists, which means America would remain a corporate state where we relegate the masses progressively to indentured servitude as the status quo that continues the growth of income inequality and wealth disparity continues.