07 November 2014

Democrats must fight, and stand for something, if we are going to be the winners in 2016 and beyond

This post in TPM, purporting to show that gerrymandering has locked up the House until at least the next Census/Redistricting for the Republicans, is defeatism. I deplore it.

Democrats have developed a terrible tendency to just remain static and defensive, trying desperately to "hold on" in the face of Republican onslaughts and stratagems on all fronts.

This is just the wrong way to go about politics in a Republic (however flawed its systems), entirely.  I read where the usual Centrist and Clintonista pols and political operatives now say we have to squelch the Progressives if we are to win elections, blah blah. We've heard all this before, and it's totally wrong.

If there is ANY lesson to be learned from these disastrous elections of 2014 it is this: Running away from Democratic principles and accomplishments is a sure recipe for disaster. 

Reid, Obama, Pelosi, and Democratic governors and other important members of Congress should powwow at a retreat somewhere (somewhere Democratic... how about California?) and come up with an agreed set of principles that Democrats will run towards, will aggressively campaign for, and will present as a better deal for Americans. 

Americans, even in red states, by and large favor Progressive policies. Higher minimum wages. Portable Pensions. Expanded, not cut, Social Security. Better Medicare benefits, and making them available as an option to younger people in lieu of private health insurance. Infrastructure investment (this has to be sold, but it can be sold). Financial reform with teeth. Environmental Protection, including serious action on Climate Change (this too, needs some selling, but it can be done). Rethinking the neocon agenda in the Middle East, for example: moving forward with detente with Iran. Rethinking trade policy, to make sure that it doesn't constitute a cession of Sovereignty by Corporate lawyers for corporate interests, which is exactly what NAFTA and the proposed Trans Pacific treaty being pushed by this administration (against the best interests of the Democratic base, namely the 99%) are. We must change 180 degrees on that policy and embrace a more populist agenda. Not only because that will be what wins, but because that is what we should stand for. We cannot win by being all things to all people. We cannot be both the party of Wall Street and Main Street. We must choose Main Street and push, push, push for victory on the strength of our principles and the ability to organize people, no matter that the Republicans have made it possible for money to buy political influence wholesale. We just have to fight harder, organize better, and, especially, stand for something the American people want!

We must not just give up and continue the disastrous defensiveness displayed in both 2010 and 2014. These defeats are our own fault: we have not clearly stood, as a party with national leadership, for something that all Democrats broadly support and that the American people will buy. As Tom Ferguson recently put it, in Politics, if you are playing defense, you are losing.

This means, I think obviously, that the Democratic Party must stop trying to be Republican Lite. We need to clearly present a case to the American people that in the present environment, deficits are not a significant concern. Progress and development, jobs, education, health care, the environment, and economic fairness are the concerns that our party must put front and center. And we must have the courage of our convictions to be able to win over people, in the South and West especially, who have been successfully propagandized on the Right to vote against their own interests for way, way too long already.

We Democrats have just not been doing a good enough job, but retreat and more defensiveness will just make matters worse, and could even lead to loss of the White House in 2016.

If you are a Democrat who agrees with what I've just said here, please. We need to reach out to those who control our party and make clear to them that this is how it's gotta be, or we will lose again, and, here's the scary part: can there be any doubt that at this juncture the future of our nation is indeed at stake?  This is important, as important as any political issues in my lifetime, and we just cannot allow the supine and weak positions our party has taken in the last few years to continue another day.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Gyromantic Informicon. Comments are not moderated. If you encounter a problem, please go to home page and follow directions to send me an e-mail.