An open letter from an Iowa political staffer (who couldn’t use their name)
Dear Iowa Democrats,
The paradigm has shifted and we have stepped through the looking glass into a new reality. No longer are we just fighting over tax cuts and how much should the government spend on X, Y and Z. No, we have entered the Trump Presidency. An administration that will be dominated by far right, nationalistic, self interested tendencies that will be wrapped in safe sounding slogans of “America First” and policies that will leave large swaths of the country and the world in ruin. Acolytes will be rewarded, dissenters punished and propaganda pushed at every level. We have entered a new normal that has raised the stakes of campaigns to levels not seen since World War II and FDR.
Already we have seen major institutions meant to safeguard our republic like a free press begin to collapse under the weight of the Trump and far-right machine. If we hope to push back, to resist, then we will need every ounce of support we can get from the institutions meant to help safe guard our Republic. The Democratic Party has become one of those institutions and is our best avenue right now of organizing, sustaining and achieving a real resistance.
I beg you that no matter who becomes chair tomorrow that we do not abandon, burn down, or fracture an institution which we will need to organize a real counter to Trump’s oligarchy. The small disagreements we may have among ourselves about how best to provide universal health care, create economic opportunity for all no matter their background, fight against climate change, gun safety etc. is insignificant compared to what we are up against.
In this new reality we stand up not just against fiscally irresponsible tax cuts from Republicans, we face a Republican Party taken over by the tea party and the worst nationalistic tendencies a free and open society could imagine. We face families being ripped apart by “deportation forces,” women shamed and attacked for making personal health care decisions, real people dying because they can’t afford health care, economic opportunity and wealth concentrated amongst only the most loyal of supporters of those in power and a new world order that looks a lot more like 1910 then a post cold war era.
If this new reality isn’t enough to wake you up and hear President’s Obama’s call to grab a clipboard then nothing will. State chairs do not win or lose elections, we do.
There is more than enough blame to go around for the last few cycles and I accept my share of it. As someone who has spent the last 10 years trying to get good people elected I know mistakes were made and there is more I could have done, but I am not giving up.
I want to work with those new and old who share the belief that we can’t stand idly by in this new reality. Never in American history has the future depended on the actions of so many. It is on ALL OF US to realize what has taken power and what we must do to push back against it. It will take all of us working together, to recruit candidates at all levels, elect candidates at all levels, knock doors, raise money, organize volunteers and do everything and anything to fight back.
Our road back to an arch of history that bends towards justice and equality will be long, and results will not be overnight, but our cause is to great, our hole too deep for any of us to give up now. We can not let the insignificant philosophical or policies differences divide us prevent us from pushing back. They are too small, too insignificant compared to what we are up against. Real people are going to suffer if we let those differences divide us. We can stand together or die alone, the choice is YOURS and yours alone.
I will spend every moment pushing back and taking action. If you really are in this because it has always been about helping people then you will join in – no matter who the chair is – the Democratic Party in pushing back.
by An Iowa Political Staffer