Dust Yourselves Off, Dems! Our Country Needs Us!

Our goal should be to regroup, engage the people who believe in the rights Americans deserve, and get them to vote.  It’s is time to help each other, it’s time to give honest support, it’s time to empower and inspire people to believe, especially in these dire times, that their vote is an important way to fight back (before that right is taken away).  Let the destructive nature of Republican leadership’s baser political needs consume their party from within, it will.  The dominance it seems they have right now comes at a very high price and our nation will continue to suffer as we try to regain the legitimacy that was lost with the sale of their political souls to a foreign power, an adversary, just to manipulate an election with the sole motive of undoing the progress of our nation’s first black President, and the prospect of having our first woman President.  We need to focus on empowering all people, instead of trying to cater to the chaos created by the GOP, who repeatedly proves they don’t care about us and feel we don’t matter.  This isn’t meant to be divisive, but in order to course-correct, we must acknowledge that we are already fiercely divided, yet, Democratic policies are those that tend to uplift more people, in the least, they’re not trying to take away people’s healthcare.

This Republican desperation will not serve them well, and this battle isn’t one we win overnight, no matter how much money we spent trying to flip historically Republican districts in recent special elections.  Sure the defeat in the GA 6th district stung a little bit, but this is going to take some time, and some honest reflection combined with action to galvanize voters for 2018 and beyond.  Do we have shortcomings as a party?  Yes, but this in no way indicates that we’re completely annihilated and in complete disrepair.  Reports of our collective Democratic death have been widely exaggerated.  What happened doesn’t change the fact that their policies are ill-conceived (they had 7 years to come up with an alternative to the Affordable Care Act/Obamacare, and still have nothing).  Civility hasn’t served us well at this point, and I’m not saying that we show a disregard for it, but we can’t let it handicap our approach to fighting back against legislation and an administration that is actively interfering in the lives of people of color, the poor, immigrants and LGBTQ communities (nearly everyone in the country).  The infighting must end.  We are in a crisis; our standing on the global scale and role of leadership among our allies has fallen.  The investigation into Russian collusion is the realest thing about our current White House, and the most fake aspect of our current political situation are the press briefings and Trump’s lying tweets.

The false equivalence still reigns, but we’re not the Republican Party, we’re not body slamming reporters, we’re not actively peddling lies, we’re not excluding brave trans service members from fighting for their country in the military.  We welcome all people at the table and provide an opportunity for growth, even those with differing opinions.  Sure, we have work to do, but we’ve always been a party committed to doing better.  The mistakes of 2016 don’t invalidate the platform for progress and growth that the Democratic Party represents.  The failings of November 2016 aren’t an indictment of the fundamental nature of Democrats to defend the working class of all colors.  It also doesn’t automatically acquit the Republican Party and the current administration, allowing their leadership to think they have free reign for unfettered shenanigans with no consequence.  We need to remind them of that and act accordingly.  Their winning the White House, which continues to be under scrutiny for the shady ways in which it was obtained, doesn’t change the fact that they have been reverse Robin-Hooding the poor, underserved, and most vulnerable among us for years, and this must stop.

Shift the prominent focus from losing to the dire necessity to save people’s lives.  This is not an exaggeration, look at the number of people who stand to lose healthcare with a plan poorly crafted in the House, secretly drafted in the Senate, and hastily voted on by a strategy that can be best explained as political bullying after repeated failed attempts already!  The legislation is awful, and they know they’re racing against a clock as the truth continues to become more clear with each passing day as the investigation into the Trump administration and Russian collusion intensifies.  They know there will be no political capital left and the only remaining legacy of the current GOP will be that of deceit and betrayal of our country.  This promise to repeal Obamacare simply ignores the fact that their disruptive behavior is instead repealing the fundamental core of our nation’s democracy.  This is precisely what happens when you elect an unqualified president.  Nothing changes after he’s in the White House (he hasn’t studied for the job, attacks facts that work against him, and his arrogance fuels his perpetual incompetence), then he goes abroad to smile, shake hands, and get pointers, not from our allies, but in closed meetings and clandestine asides from Putin, a dictator who waged cyberattacks and interference in our election.  To see our inexperienced president and inexperienced Secretary of State fail at diplomacy, against a known diabolical force is just disappointing and emphasizes how America isn’t awash in that greatness Mr. Trump promised so many of his voters, many of whom stand to lose the most under his supposed leadership! This doesn’t make us great again, this doesn’t make us safe again, this makes us a global embarrassment! This man who demands loyalty is loyal to no one!

This administration has to promote a positive relationship with Russia to try to get ahead of the fact that they already worked with them during the election, to undermine our democracy, potentially commit treason, and tilt the presidency to Trump!  The reality is, they didn’t think they would win and were quite desperate.  To act as if this was some deliberate decisive win of their design, and not based on the basest negativity of our country’s emotions is disingenuous and reeks of blinding ignorance.  This aloof arrogance leaves them vulnerable because the entire Trump family lack the self-awareness to edit this disaster, and they lack any ounce of the most basic political aptitude to assure their own self-preservation.  They are out of their league.  This amateurish behavior has plagued the Trumps their entire lives, a condition inherited like some recessive gene passed down from the dregs of their father’s personality and from his entitled bloodline before him. Just below the gilded surface of the empire they have built, it eventually inoculates every bit of their business organizations and partnerships, and what’s left is the unstable empty skeleton of an administration pretending to be something they’re not, and never will be. They are forever plagued with the need to broadcast their unending desire for legitimacy and attention that the people they always aspired to be would never grant.  Some things money can’t buy, and corruption can’t help you keep.

Democrats, we need to cultivate new leadership within the party, and empower voices bold enough to speak up.  We need to provide a link between said new leadership and experienced, respected party veterans.  We need to be more careful about being objectively critical vs. capitalizing on attacks of those within our own party. It’s a blend of Crooked Media, “a place to talk about politics, that informs, entertains, and inspires action,” like the founding voices on “Pod Save America,” and multi-tasking activist, DeRay Mckesson, with his podcast “Pod Save the People.” It includes the very vocal and hardworking, newly-elected Sen. Kamala Harris, and goes beyond voices already there, like Sen. Cory Booker, Sen. Chuck Schumer, Rep. Nancy Pelosi, and even Rep. Maxine Waters. It’s the Women’s March, the Pride Marches and the organizers in each and every town that resists. It’s governors and judges, it’s former Attorney General Sally Yates standing up to the Trump administration. It’s also reaching across the aisle in support when others defend what’s right, like Sen. Susan Collins and Sen. Lisa Murkowski in the current healthcare fight, even if it’s just for a short time, that moment reminds them potential allies in rebuilding bridges to progress in Congress. It’s a mix of voices in media like Joy Reid, Rachel Maddow, and Teen Vogue stepping up to the plate in honest ways. It’s the defiant leadership of the Congressional Black Caucus. It’s coalition building and connecting voters with the issues they care about through organizations like, the NAACP, the ACLU, the HRC. We’ve long been the “better deal” for the majority of the American people, we just need to do a better job of telling them about it. We have always been about adapting to changes in industry and economy, improving the minimum wage, and establishing better access to healthcare. The Republican Party doesn’t have a monopoly on patriotism, and our picture of love for country is a portrait that includes us all. I urge caution when trying to rebrand our agenda by flirting with a Trump-like populist shift, it’s more about reminding people of what we have always been. We may not have been clear about it, but our policies are known to be better than tax cuts exclusively for the rich, vouchers for schools that aren’t accessible to communities of color, and discriminatory practices that strip rights from major segments of our population. We have a significant messaging and image problem, but our policies are the vehicle for a sustained plan for meeting the needs of the American people. This plea isn’t merely an economic one, as rights are being threatened and stripped from so many Americans, the Democratic Party must assure the people of our nation that we will defend them. PLEASE, don’t get tired, don’t lose hope under the avalanche of lies and deliberate despair.  Their strategy depends on your giving up...DON’T!

This post was published on the now-closed HuffPost Contributor platform. Contributors control their own work and posted freely to our site. If you need to flag this entry as abusive, send us an email.