Tuesday’s elections were a near perfect day for Progressives and the Progressive Wing of the Democratic Party. They won races in Pennsylvania, Nebraska, Idaho, and Oregon. Should this outcome worry rank & file Democrats? The answer is a categorical no and here is why.
The Progressive Wing is living up to the spirit of the Democratic Platform. Tempering candidates are not only hypocritical; it reveals that there is no intent to live up to its tenets.
When one reads the following in the Washington Post, it is not difficult to understand why many get upset at those who believe they are ordained to determine choices of candidates for Democrats. And how did the Washington Post characterize Tuesday’s good news? “They titled their piece “The far left is winning the Democratic civil war.” Worse, they subtitled it “Tuesday was a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day for Democratic moderates.” And then the preamble to the article:
The success of very liberal candidates in primaries across four states is causing a new bout of heartburn among party strategists in Washington, who worry about unelectable activists thwarting their drive for the House majority. But it also reflects a broader leftward lurch among Democrats across the country since President Trump took office.
Let’s be clear. Progressives and the Progressive Wing of the Democratic Party are definitely not far left. Bill Clinton’s Democratic Leadership Council, the DLC, moved the Democratic Party to the Right. The fallacy has always been that said rightward move gave us the Bill Clinton presidency. The reality is that President Bill Clinton, the rightward Democrat never got 50% of the vote in either one of his elections. Many will attribute said reality to a fairly strong third party candidate. That is hogwash. Americans know that either a Republican or Democrat would win and make statements with their vote. President Barack Obama, the leftward black candidate in a still racist society, got over 50% of the vote in both of his elections.
During the Obama campaign smack in the middle of white working class America, a canvasser asked a white family who they were voting for in the election. The wife asked her husband — strange I know — and he shouted, “We’re voting for the nigg$r!” This is telling. These people were at the point where they were voting their personal economies. It superseded their racism just like fear and camaraderie in a foxhole.
President Obama sent out his army in 2007. I joined that army after I abandoned the Hillary Clinton campaign in February 2008. It was methodical, decidedly Progressive, and relatable. Before it went into its microtargeting mode, it used a broadcast method to soften up the entire field. It attracted voters in my very white Conservative suburb that shocked me.
Assuming that candidates who are in tune with the wants and needs of three-fifths of Americans are unelectable is not only wrong but lazy. That is the problem with our politics today. Too many ivory-tower-supposedly-Liberal pundits are distorting or articulating false narratives that tend to stick. As I mentioned in my article “A warning to the Democratic Party: You cannot win like this,” the American people are already with us.
At least three-fifths of Americans support the following.
- A federally funded healthcare system that provides everyone with insurance.
- Unions should have the same or more influence than they have now.
- Limits on campaign spending.
- Support for renewable energy and climate change.
- Reproductive rights of women.
- LGBT rights.
- Higher minimum wage.
- Legalized marijuana.
- Free childcare.
- A path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants.
There is no need for rank & file Democrats to fear that the Progressive wing of the Democratic Party will kill the Blue Wave. In fact, the converse is true. The excitement is the belief that we just may be at the point where real Progressive policies can be realized after the current shift to policies that represent a clear and present danger to the personal economies of most Americans.
Just like NASA uses the gravitational field of other celestial bodies to slingshot probes in different directions to use its propulsion resources effectively, we must use the attacks by both the Right and anyone else to accentuate Progressive positions and values. Those who oppose us will get all the media platforms they want in an attempt at marginalization. At times they will bring us to their appearances with the expectation to either put us on the defensive or to ridicule us.
As I explained in the post “The five issues Democrats and Progressives must push to win 2018 midterms,” we must have a simple message at the tip of our tongues ready to tell constituents what Democrats will do for them.
- Democrats will fix the health care issue once and for all with a single-payer Medicare for All system.
- Democrats will provide student loan relief.
- Democrats will provide need-based subsidized child care for anyone who wants to work.
- Democrats will decriminalize marijuana and treat drug use as the disease that it is.
- Democrats will make the criminal justice system live up to the “Justice is Blind” motto.
Those five bullet points expressed in different terms will work in every district in America. It appeals to millennials, people of color, all working class people, parents, and every demographic in between. Most importantly these bullet points afford Americans a path to self-sufficiency It frees them from aberrations in the economy that stunts innovation, the inability to start one’s business, and the dependency and the enslavement to the corporation.
Every appearance in the media should segue to these points. It must be ubiquitous. Some will argue that we should include all the other major topics as progressives we support, the environment, racial justice, women’s right to choose, and the dozens of others. Here is the reality, most people support most of these by majorities or pluralities. We need simplicity that appeals to most quickly and that cannot be easily demagogued and that can broaden a base. Politicians who support the five issues likely are all in with most of the Progressive agenda.
Democrats must be prepared and be aggressive. Dialogue from a position of strength. Use our sound economic stance and the intrinsic morality of our positions to put all who oppose the Progressive tenets Americans say they want on the defensive. Open the windows so America can see who those who oppose Progressivism are; the wards of the plutocracy, guardians of a gate to a mansion, not even they can enter.