For too long the Democratic Party has been trying to clip the wings of Progressives. Here is the fact, Americans want progressive policies. We have allowed the plutocracy to conflate issues, where Americans voted against their interests. 2018 requires the reorientation to reality, and this Democratic Socialist win in Trump country, and others say much.
Bill Clinton's DLC missed the point on economic populism. If a Democratic Socialist can win in a place, Trump won by 5 points., a reevaluation must occur. Moving the Democratic Party to the right was never the real answer. The answer was always to speak directly to the needs of the people instead of the manufactured angst deliberately pushed by the plutocracy via the Powell Manifesto and operatives in both parties to maintain the status quo. Remember, an intersection of many in the plutocracy fund them both.
Isaiah Poole wrote an article about Ross Grooters, the Democratic Socialist who won a seat on the Pleasant Hill City Council. Yes, it's a local race but don't you think if it were a TEA Party person who won a seat in a place where he was unlikely to succeed it would make news?
Indeed, it has been a long, strange trip for Grooters. After growing up as an “Air Force brat” in a conservative California family in the 1980s, this November, Grooters was elected to the Pleasant Hill City Council as a card-carrying member of the Democratic Socialists of America, having run on an openly left-wing platform.
Grooters’ victory this year came in a town that in 2016 voted for Donald Trump over Hillary Clinton by a five-point margin, showing that even in a Republican-leaning area, socialists can win elections.
And it is happening elsewhere. What was Grooters' platform?
His city council campaign reflected many of the issues that he says animate him personally: the struggles working-class families like his own face with stagnant wages and rising health care costs, the anti-immigrant fervor dividing his community and a clean water battle that is pitting Iowa families against powerful corporate agricultural interests.
Grooters ran on a pledge to fight for a higher minimum wage in the face of a state ordinance that prohibits counties and municipalities from raising their minimum wage above Iowa’s state-wide minimum of $7.25 an hour. He also promised to battle corporate agribusinesses as they try to weaken regulations designed to stem the seepage of fertilizer and animal waste into streams and groundwater, as well as to sponsor a resolution designating Pleasant Hill a “welcoming community.” During the campaign, he spoke out against the Trump administration’s attempts to compel local law enforcement to help round up and deport undocumented immigrants.
The most important statement Grooters made is one every Progressive must heed.
Grooter’s bottom-line advice for progressive and left candidates running on a bold people-centered platform in traditionally Republican districts? “I would say don’t be afraid to run as what you are and what you believe in. Find a way to connect those issues to what everybody in the community is feeling, and I think you will do just fine.”
Progressives getting ready to run must get out there. They must show Americans that they will be there fighting for the values they want and support.
Also published on Medium.