Susan Sarandon, makes the case for why the Dems lost an election they could have won. her dislike for moderate policies can be connected in a straight line to how Trump ended up in the White House. Most progressives were not as obnoxious, nor as close minded as Sarandon, but in their own way, too many of them sabotaged the race, and to this day, do not take responsibility for the damage they did, and for the part they played in electing the worst president in American history.
To my memory, the DNC hasn’t been such a public war in recent memory, but then, the left wing of the DNC hasn’t been at war with the Democratic Party like this since 1968. Speaking of memory, that war cost us not only the 1st Nixon election, but the 2nd, and the Democrats only succeeded by nominating a conservative southern governor in 1976, and then again in 1992, and then a centrist charismatic charmer from Chicago in 2008. Every time we have pushed the party hard to the left, America has deserted us.
Don’t get me wrong. I am way to the left of Bernie Sanders of both immigration, the environment and labor. The problem is that America is not. Or at least they think they are not. When you start pushing a “progressive” or “liberal” agenda, most Americans push back. It matters not that in practice, most Americans are both ideologically and practically pretty socialistic. It matters that they think they are not.
The purple revolution that the Bernieites hope will turn the country Democrat again will not happen if we just wait on it. First of all, both Blacks and Hispanics are a lot more conservative on most issues than the white college educated professionals who think people of color will save them. One cannot depend on the GOP to continue its love affair with the KKK. At some point, they will build on the already improved number of PoC who voted for Trump than voted for Romney.
The future of the Democratic Party is in clarifying the issues that matter to working people, no matter their color. Somehow, Bernieites think that a fight for $15 is the be all end all fight. Fair wages are important, but so is the stopping of cop murderers, while not painting Blue Lives as unimportant. Building bridges between law enforcement and people of color, building access to institutions, banks, schools, and jobs for PoC without making poor rural white people feel left out is key. It can be done. Letting little transgender school kids be safe while respecting the religious freedom of devout Christians can and must be done. Catering to religious beliefs that many of us on the left find silly or even harmful will not only help us reach rural whites, but will help strengthen our connections to the growing urban “purpling” PoC wave.
We must put respect for LGBTQ and Muslims, and even us scary atheists in the framework of both the constitutional protections that allow Christians to be Christian in whatever manner they wish, but also in the actual teachings of Jesus. He spoke a great deal about not judging others and embracing with love and worrying more about living our own lives according to our faith than attempting to destroy those who follow other paths.
We can speak of compassion, of saving money for taxpayers, of building a stronger America by embracing diversity, not in these phrases, but with stories, with examples. If we, as a party, as a movement, bring Christians and Muslims together so they conservative Christian realizes that Muslims aren’t just like them, but do share most of their core beliefs about how to live one’s life, and how important God/Allah is, how much of the Bible and the Quran are the same book. If we can demystify “the other” if we can do the same for LGBTQ people, not only will these conservative whites learn something, so will the people who are sharing with them.
If we can talk about equality and justice and economic opportunity for all, and how accepting people not like us in our workplace makes for a stronger more vibrant opportunity for wealth, learning and enrichment for all of us! This is how we win in the states that are becoming more and more diverse. This is also how we win in states that are not becoming more and more diverse. This is a true 50 state solution.
Speak to people where they live, in their terms, about the issues they care about. Let the people they are afraid of help us help them to see they don’t need to be afraid. We can save the environment, create real equality for both justice and economics, provide better education and healthcare for all, all while building a stronger US economy and becoming a more secure and safer place in the world.
This is not the face of the enemy of progress
This is the path for the DNC to success, both electorally and morally to accomplish the goals the left wants to make happen. Pushing progressive candidates over moderates, and ignoring the “stupid poor uneducated” voters will not get us there. Democrats can retake, not only the federal offices in Congress and the White House, but the state offices that impact most people’s lives to a much greater degree. To do so, the left wing must fight for what it believes in, but must learn to do so through the people it needs, not against them.