Democrats have been playing defense ever since they abandoned Howard Dean’s “50 State Strategy” after the 2006 elections. While President Obama won two terms, and Hillary Clinton won the popular vote in 2016, things aren’t looking good for Democrats in the future.
Republicans have seized control of one state legislature after another across the country. While Democrats are still fighting a civil war amongst themselves over Hillary Clinton versus Bernie Sanders, Trump and the GOP are working to consolidate power even more.
Hillary Clinton has said that she will not be running for another political office. Honestly, I don’t blame her. She served as First Lady, a senator from New York, as well as Secretary of State under her former primary opponent, Barack Obama. That’s an impressive resume, and while I would have liked to have seen her become the first female president, I understand why she made that decision.
Bernie Sanders has not made the same decision, at least not yet. If he runs in 2020, I will support him after reviewing all of my options, but there are far more pressing issues for us to worry about between now and then. We have state elections and mid-term elections before 2020 comes back around, which is why he is trying to take the DNC back to the 50 state strategy.
I fully appreciate what Bernie Sanders is doing, even if he refuses to register as a Democrat. Many Democrats are buying into the exaggerated news outrage against him, and I’m sure that Republicans are more than happy than happy to exploit it. Right now, pragmatism matters more than ideology, and Democrats need to regain influence in red states, but Bernie Sanders isn’t the savior they need.
Now, if you read past the first few paragraphs and haven’t rage quit on me yet, congratulations. This is where I explain what Democrats need to do, and where you fit in.
Bernie Sanders can tour the country with Tom Perez every single day between now and 2018, or 2020. They can hit every town across the United States, and give all the speeches they can, but none of that will make any difference if you don’t vote in every election.
That’s right, Bernie Sanders isn’t the savior Democrats need, it’s you. It doesn’t matter if you live in a small town in a red state, or in a liberal stronghold like New York or San Francisco. The DNC doesn’t elect candidates, the people do. It feels good to share memes or petitions, but those actions don’t get progressive candidates into office.
Put the Hillary versus Bernie squabbling aside for the better of our country, please. It doesn’t do any of us any good, and it is playing into the hands of Republicans who want to splinter the party for years to come. Put down the fake news and outrage bait, and work to put candidates into office who represent your values. And if you don’t see someone running that you can support, then perhaps you should consider running for office yourself. I’ll be happy to throw a few bucks your way.