It would be disingenuous not to acknowledge that many hard feelings remain from the 2016 elections. There is enough guilt to go around. Many Progressives continue to believe that the policies deemed mainstream by the Democratic Establishment does not accurately reflect the broad Democratic base in the aggregate. That said, one can only prove said reality in the primaries.
An almost win is not enough. People have to be willing to fight for and vote for the values they believe in vociferously challenging any obstacles placed in front of them. Politics, unfortunately, is a dirty sport. The politically unschooled newcomer may leave the game altogether if we don’t nurture them. The 2016 election was probative.
There are many external forces already poised to create chaos in the Democratic Party by pitting different factions against each other. We do not need to help them further.
Common Dreams reported the following in their article titled “‘Operation Divide the Left’: Analysis Shows 2020 Online Disinformation Campaign Already Well Underway” that one should read in its entirety.
“It looks like the 2020 presidential primary is going to be the next battleground to divide and confuse Americans,” warned Guardians.ai co-founder Brett Horvath. “As it relates to information warfare in the 2020 cycle, we’re not on the verge of it—we’re already in the third inning.”
The firm’s research revealed that over a recent month-long period, a small group of suspicious Twitter accounts generated much of the conversation about those four candidates on the platform—commentary that was amplified by a larger collection of accounts.
From the analysis, Horvath told Politico, “we can conclusively state that a large group of suspicious accounts that were active in one of the largest influence operations of the 2018 cycle is now engaged in sustained and ongoing activity for the 2020 cycle.”
Even though 2020 should be fertile for a political Blue Tsunami both locally and nationally, self-inflicting wounds are possible. Donald Trump has a path to win. The Republicans also can regain their Congressional majority in districts that remain gerrymandered with a Republican bias.
A reset is in order now even as all sides ask the entire Democratic body serious questions that materially affect the base and beyond. My perspective is entirely forward-looking based on today’s realities. This begs several questions for every candidate.
- How can an economy with full employment leave so many behind or under-employed?
- How can you not support pay it forward college when you are willing to subsidize corporations at every turn just for the promise of phantom or low paying jobs?
- How can you fight against Single-payer Medicare for all on the premise that we cannot afford it but can mobilize, capitalize, and finance a war at an instant?
- Why haven’t we made voter suppression which was very evident in 2018 an existential issue with coordinated efforts to keep in the news cycle?
- How can democracy continue to allow the police to abuse and murder POCs with impunity?
- How can we continue with an economy that by design allows a few to prosper from the intellect and labor of the many without feedback controls to mitigate that aberration?
- How can you let pharmaceutical companies continue astronomical drug pricing even as the taxpayer dollars paid much of the research and development?
- How can you talk about family values when we cannot even value families by supporting national family leave policies of substance.
- How can we take the Green New Deal less seriously than the reality of climate change demands?
These questions represent many I have heard in the field from mostly millennials. I am sure others will have questions that are more representative of their sub-ideologies within the Democratic Party. What are the policies going forward that these candidates will implement to answer and mitigate the questions above?
If we commit to concentrating on policy questions and not personalities we can have robust debates. It will give us some inoculation from those external forces whose aim is to create a civil war using our diversity in cultures and ideas as a boat anchor.
A civil and respectful debate does not mean placation. If candidates or their supporters’ answers are in conflict with past votes or actions, we must challenge them to get new commitments or clarifications.
My commitment for 2020 is twofold. The first is to scrutinize all the candidates and selecting the most Progressive candidate. The second is to maintain constant engagement with the body politic and remind them that working together and choosing the correct candidate is the only way to get real change.