As a political junkie, when I am not listening to the machinations and tweets of Donald Trump, I find myself listening to Democrats continuously berate themselves over the last election. Some blame Hillary, some blame the party apparatus, and many blame the Russians or WikiLeaks. So far, no one, except Trump, has foisted blame on a 400 lb. fat guy operating out of his bedroom.
I just have one basic question to all the Democrats as they hand ring. Given all the problems of the Democrat party, compared to the Republican Party, which one has the most problems to overcome? In my view, the Democrats are in a water balloon fight with one other and Republicans are in a gunfight with real bullets.
In a few, very few, words let me recount their problems:
Steve Bannon – no explanation needed
A short (almost nonexistent) list of Congressional accomplishments given their control
An “O.K. Corral” fight in Alabama
A series of major losses just a week ago in numerous states
A leader who many predict (including me) will not make it a full term (its Watergate time all over again)
And finally, if we think our differences are great between regular Democrats and Progressives – just look to your right and visualize Susan Collins and Roy Moore in the same party. You get my point.
Does the Democratic Party have issues, disagreements and disputes on all kinds of things? Of course we do. If there are no disagreements we must not be a big tent party. What we must not forget is, let’s argue, even fuss a bit, but at the end of the day, we must come together because our core philosophies are very much aligned. It is usually on issues of how we get there that we debate.
I spent a good part of my career running various associations and also lobbying (dirty word today) for various groups. What I learned was compromise is not a dirty word, but it is a word many Republicans (and some Democrats) have forgotten. I understand compromise is not even available in the current Congress, but that will soon change (absolutely certain of that) and when it does, lets be a bit more receptive to compromise. Democracy does not work well under the “my way or the highway” approach.
When (not if) Democrats get back in the majority, the first two things we need to do is to change the rules and get big money out of politics and push hard to get fair redistricting done throughout the U.S.
Finally, we must remember political parties are not built from the top down, but from the bottom up. A bunch of really good candidates ran and won a lot of races across the country a few weeks ago. They ran for state house and senate seats, for city council and school board seats and in a number of cases, for mayor. Many were woman and a number were minority and that is a really good thing for the party and America because that is where many good candidates for national races will come from. A more diverse group of elected officials at all levels will help resolve issues that society is grappling with, such as woman being demeaned and harassed, as well as sexual orientation and immigration.
Best wishes to both the progressives and moderates and even the conservatives in the big tent Democratic Party. Let’s go to work!
by Dick Goodson
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