Recently, the Democratic National Committee, the DNC, proved beyond any possible doubt that the leaders of the Democratic Party are bound and determined to learn nothing from the 2016 election. Apparently, the Democratic leadership enjoys losing, because they continue to do everything in their power to ensure that they will continue to lose. Basically, the reality in this country now, and what the Democrats should have learned from the 2016 election, is that there are two basic facts about politics in America today that need to be acknowledged and addressed. First, Democratic candidates don't win elections without Progressive voters. And, second, Progressive voters will not vote for establishment Democrats. Point blank and period, like it or lump it, that's where the country stands.
With the election of corporatist, Tom Perez, as the Chair of the DNC, the Democratic Party leadership has provided clear evidence that they have failed to grasp these facts. With this single action, the DNC leadership has ensured that they will not have the support of Progressives and their candidates will lose. What's more, they have further alienated the youngest generation of voters and put the future of the Democratic Party in serious jeopardy. Political parties have failed and ceased to exist in American politics before and, from all available evidence, it seems that the Democratic Party leadership wants to make sure that their party is next on the extinction list.
This doesn't bode well for the 2018 or 2020 elections and may just mean that we have 8 years of Trump instead of 4 and who knows how many years of a Republican controlled Congress instead of 2. I don't know about you, but that reality depresses me in the extreme. But, I'm not willing to surrender and allow the stupidity and greed of the DNC leadership to destroy my country. So, what to do? Well, I'm glad you asked. ;-)
First, I think it's important to clarify something. With this move, the DNC has made it impossible for the "unity" they say they want in the party. There can be no "unifying" with corporatist elites if we want there to be any hope of Democratic victories in 2018 and 2020. Frankly, if the US political system wasn't so rigged against third parties, I'd say let the Democrats go the way of the Whigs and fuck them very much. But, since we are dealing with reality and not what we wish reality was, we have to acknowledge that, for the moment, the system is what it is.
It would take years for a third party to gain enough momentum to have a chance of putting forth candidates who could be serious contenders in national elections. I don't like that fact, and I want to change the system to make it easier for third parties to compete, but as of right now, that is the reality we are facing. And I'm not willing to concede control of the Federal government to Republicans for the years it would take to build the Green Party or the Democratic Socialist Party into the juggernauts I think they have the potential, with time and effort, to become. I just don't think we would have a country left by then.
Therefore, what we need is a hostile takeover of the Democratic Party, which means the leadership is the enemy. Yep, that's right, I said it. The leadership of the Democratic Party is just as much our enemy as the Republicans. And so are any and all establishment candidates. Oh, I know, some of the people reading this will be seriously pissed off by that statement. My response? Tough. This is my post, I'll speak my mind. Don't like it? Feel free to say so in the comments. But, be warned, I'll happily take up any gauntlet you throw down.
So, what does it mean that Democratic leadership and establishment Democratic candidates are the enemy? It means we show them no mercy. Oh, don't misunderstand, I'm not talking about violence. I do not condone or promote violent action against anyone. What I'm talking about is politics. We show the Democratic leadership and establishment Democrats the same resistance, obstruction, and vociferous protest we show to Trump and the Republicans.
What does that entail? Well, first, we expand the current trend of showing up at Town Hall meetings and making our voices heard. Documentarian, Michael Moore, has been kind enough to provide a "Resistance Calendar," which you can find here: https://www.resistancecalendar.org/. Just type your state into the "search" box to bring up information on events near you. You can also check your Senators' and Representatives' (state and federal) websites to find out when they may be having a public event. For your federal Senators and Representative, you can go to these websites, https://www.senate.gov/senators/contact/ and http://www.house.gov/.
For the Senate website, choose your state from the drop-down list and click on the names of the two Senators for your state to be taken to their site. Look around to see if an events calendar is listed or use the phone number posted there to call their office and ask when they will be hosting an event near you. For your Representative, input your zip code in the box at the top of the page and then click on the name of the Representative to be taken to their page. From there, the instructions are the same as for your Senator. For your state Senators and Representative, Google "[your state] legislature" and click on the .gov result. Look around for information how to find the names of the people who represent you and how to contact them and then find out when they'll be in your neck of the woods.
It doesn't matter if your elected officials are Democrats, Republicans, or one of the rare Independents or third-party members. Whoever and whatever they are, show up and be loud. Make your voice and your opinions heard. We pay these people to represent us, it is well within our rights to let them know if we think they are doing a good job. Research their voting record and challenge them on it if you think they were wrong. If you think they were right, tell them so and why and ask them to continue voting in the same way.
The next step is, of course, primary elections and replacing establishment candidates with Progressives. Yeah, yeah, I've heard all the arguments. What they boil down to is that if Democratic incumbents are primaried the Democratic Party will lose seats, blah, blah, blah. My response? Maybe, maybe not, but if so, so what? Remember point number one, establishment Democrats are our enemy too. What's the good of having Heidi Heitkamp, Joe Manchin, or Claire McCaskill take up space in the Senate when all they do is vote with Republicans and obstruct Progressive Democrats?
Even if they lost their seats to Republicans, I doubt there would be much difference in the end result. The only material difference would be that the opposition to their replacements wouldn't be split. Democrats would be against them either because they're Republicans or out of genuine disagreement with their policy positions. Until we can vote all of the establishment representatives out of office, I'll settle for them voting against Republican legislation just because it was proposed by Republicans. Naturally, I'd rather have truly principled representatives in office, but that will take time. Until then, I'll take what I can get. And if that means arm-twisting -- metaphorically speaking -- Democrats into voting with Progressives by showing them that if they don't they'll lose their jobs, I'm fine with that.
There are groups out there who are poised to use just that strategy and they're already gearing up for the 2018 primaries. The group I'm most familiar with is Justice Democrats, which you can find here: https://justicedemocrats.com/. But there are other groups, so feel free to look around and see what you can find. There are lots of ways to get involved with these groups, anything from running for office yourself, campaigning for Progressive candidates, donating money, or even just signing your name in support of their efforts. So, please do consider looking into this.
In the meantime, the resistance continues. Those representatives I listed instructions on how to find? Keep those instructions handy. Because every time a piece of legislation comes up that touches on an issue you care about, you need to call, write, and/or visit those people and let them know what you think about it. And, yes, you absolutely do have the right to do these things. You can even show up at their local and/or state/federal capitol offices in person with or without an appointment and ask to speak with someone. If you don't have an appointment, you may not be able to speak with the representative themself, but you can speak with one of their aides and let them know what you want their boss to do. Again, it doesn't matter what party the representative belongs to, they all get held to the same standards.
Will all this be easy? No. It will be incredibly difficult. It's going to take an awful lot of work by an awful lot of people to turn this Titanic around before it crashes into the iceberg and sinks. But the future of our country is what we're fighting for, so I think the stakes are high enough to warrant putting in the effort. Polls indicate that there are enough people in this country who hold Progressive values (among Democrats, Independents, and third parties) that we have the numbers necessary to beat -- metaphorically speaking -- the establishment into submission. The only question that remains is, do we have the will to do so? Only time will tell.