There seems to be a common prognostication among the political pundits and talking heads in Washington, D.C. lately. The song being sung by these folks is something akin to the old 1920’s song “Yes, we have no bananas.” The Democrats have no message for the 2018 mid-term elections. The Democrats need a message that offers hope to reunite a divided country. Since when is the Democrats responsibility to heal a divided country in 2018? It would seem the logical question should be why is the country divided? It would seem with the Republicans controlling the White House and both houses of Congress, the responsibility for a divided nation rests squarely on the G.O.P. This would assume that there really is a Republican party anymore.
Memo to the pundits: Democrats have a message and it must be working since according to the most recent Gallup and CNN polls, the current occupant of the White House approval rating is underwater by 17%. The generic congressional finding gives the Democrats a 16% advantage, 54% to 38%, over the Republicans The lesson even a political novice would understand is simply you can’t make change; you can’t heal a divided nation when you are on the outside looking in. You must win elections to bring about those kinds of changes.
Here is the message: Democrats, many Independents and disaffected Republicans are fed up with the current Trump administration, the do-nothing Republican Congress (except for lining the pockets of their big corporate donors) and to be fair Democrat congressional leadership who have been around too long and need to retire. Tom Perez, the non-assuming, humble Democrat National Committee Chairman understands this and quietly has worked to bring about what always works to win elections. He has mobilized the party to find good candidates who can win not just congressional seats but also candidates up and down the ticket for 2018 which increases voter turnout. Voter registration projects are active in all states. Voter identification and get-out-the vote are taking shape. This is grass-roots politics at its best. Perez knows this.
It is by no means a solitary effort of the part of the DNC. There various other groups and contingencies that are also active. To mention a few:
- The Women’s March continues to mobilize its efforts to elect women to office concentrating on candidate recruitment, campaign development and execution, campaign funding and logistics.
- Emily’s List has endorsed and supports women across the country who are running up and down the ticket in key states.
- The #MeToo movement has already achieved some success forcing the House of Representatives to reform the 1994 anti-sexual harassment legislation entitled Congressional Accountability Act.
- According Vox, “In 2018, black women want more than thanks. They want political power.” National political figures weighed in. “Let me be clear: We won in Alabama and Virginia because #BlackWomen led us to victory,” Democratic National Committee Chairman Tom Perez said “Black women are the backbone of the Democratic Party, and we can’t take that for granted. Period.” Perez understands the importance of black women voters!
- Women and the issues that affect women are an important part of the Democrat message. On February 14th an unexpected new movement was born in Parkland, FL. The horrific school shooting that left 17 teachers and students dead has ignited an unbelievable protest from the students of Marjory Stoneham Douglas High School. Through the very adept use of social media and the presence of articulate high school students, a national movement, #NeverAgain, has swept the nation. The protest will culminate in the “March For Our Lives” in Washington, D.C. and supportive protests in cities across the country.
- The #Never Again movement has sparked the mobilization of millennials demanding the reform of gun laws and appear to be a force in targeting members of Congress who support and are beholden to the N.R.A.
- The recent failure of Congress regarding the disposition of D.A.C.A. recipients also known as “Dreamers” has infuriated the Latino population which is the fastest growing ethnic minority in the nation. Groups such as Voto Latino are instrumental in mobilizing Latinos as described in their mission statement: Voto Latino is a pioneering civic media organization that seeks to transform America by recognizing Latinos’ innate leadership. Through innovative digital campaigns, pop culture, and grassroots voices, we provide culturally relevant programs that engage, educate and empower Latinos to be agents of change. Together, we aim to build a stronger and more inclusive democracy.
- The Democrat Party has long championed a massive infrastructure program to rebuild and repair the nation’s roads, bridges, flood control systems, the national power grid, schools, public buildings, airports, and bring broadband internet service to rural areas. This is a program that would create thousands of well-paid jobs for working class Americans who have the skills to accomplish these goals. Unfortunately, the Republican Congress chose instead to give huge tax breaks to corporations and wealthy individuals which has resulted in adding nearly 2 trillion dollars to the national debt. This obviously leaves little if anything for working Americans.
All these elements are poised to give Americans the opportunity to take back control of their government in 2018. The Democrat Party is not perfect, but remains dedicated to issues that matter to most everyday Americans: access to affordable healthcare, protecting the reproductive rights of women, lifting the burden of excessive debt from the shoulders of college students, ensuring a sustainable environment, growing the economy through investments in education, vocational training, and higher education, protecting workers and workplace safety to mention a few of the priorities of a progressive Democrat Party.
If we can be successful perhaps the old song below will not only give us hope but once again be an anthem for a progressive approach to government for all the people of this nation.