If you have been paying attention to the Washington-based cable news networks and other forms of major news media, you will become aware of a recurring theme, the Democrats have no major political leaders or high-profile individuals to lead them into the 2020 election. Senator Bernie Sanders and Joe Biden are getting on in years. Hillary Clinton has had her chance. Senator Chris Murphy of Connecticut and Representative Adam Schiff of California are hardly household names. Senator Al Franken will be lucky to stay in the Senate. And the list goes on and on. However, maybe it is time for a Latino such as Antonio Villararaigosa, the former mayor of Los Angeles or Representative Joaquin Castro of Texas. What about African-American Senator Cory Booker of New Jersey or Senator Kamala Harris of California. Oh, and lest I forget, Elizabeth Warren the firebrand, straight talking senator from Massachusetts. Despite all this recurring theme, these conjectures and pundit’s opinions, none of this is important. It is a waste of time. There is a much bigger challenge for Democrats now. It’s about 2018.
The lessons of the 2017 elections reminded us of something the Party learned over 40 years ago. To rephrase a 1992 Clinton campaign adage “It’s the grass-roots stupid”. Democrats win elections when they focus their efforts on grass-roots organization. They lose elections when the primary focus of the Democrat National Committee and the state parties Coordinated Campaigns is electing a presidential candidate. Which is partially one reason why the Democrats have more recently lost their majorities in the Senate and House, governorships, and hundreds of state legislative seats. The reason is the continual drift of the Party to the right. Joshua Mound’s article in a February 2016 issue of The New Republic, offers a compelling comparison of how the Republican Party successfully dealt with the defeat of Senator Barry Goldwater in 1964 and the Democrat Party’s response to McGovern’s defeat as a complete refutation of “McGovernism” known only as a political view non grata for the last 40 some odd years. See this article here:
What McGovern had discovered in his campaign was something missed by party leaders and the pundits. In running away from “McGovernism”, the party moved to the right. The term neo-liberal came into vogue as Democrats began looking more like Republicans than Democrats. More and more the party leaders and candidates cozied up to Wall Street and the hedge fund managers, exchanging their political influence for healthy campaign donations and PAC contributions. Large corporations and their lobbyists had an open door to congressional offices. Programs that Democrats had championed for decades began to drift from importance. Along the way, Democrats lost their way. They forgot about the people they were supposed to represent: the working class, veterans, young people trying to get ahead, African-Americans, Latinos, Asian-Americans, women, the elderly and the poor.
There is a resistance movement out there sweeping across our nation. It is not a single blade of grass but a lush carpet of many blades of grass. Not neglected blades in bare patches or blades hidden the shadows of neglect. It is a movement that won’t wither. To be sure, Trump and his administration that traffic in lies, corruption, and divisiveness are a major focal point of this movement. But it is way more than that. What this administration and the Republican majority in Congress have forgotten is there are everyday folks out there who care about decency, fairness, the nation’s traditional values, are fed up with making the rich richer, who believe Russia meddled in our elections. There are people who care about affordable health care, who are not naive enough to believe that huge tax cuts for corporations, pass through benefits for phony LLCs, and eliminating the inheritance tax is really tax reform or a boon for the middle class. They believe in quality public education, human and civil rights, climate change, protecting our environment, and equality for all Americans. Yes, they are coming. Coming together in variety of ways to have their voices heard. Yes, they are coming, and no amount of money, rhetoric, or political bombast is going to stop them.
So, the Washington media should pay attention to this grass-roots movement. Get out of Washington and meet the real people of this movement. They are going to be the story of the 2018 elections. Forget about prognosticating on 2020. And while you are at it, give up this fixation on Trump’s “base”. It is going to be way less of a factor in 2018, once they figure out how they have been conned by the Trumpster.
This song reminded me of my youth and the protests of the late 60’s https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=53XyCbIJGKY