First I would like to thank you for making many Americans inspired to participate in democracy through promoting public marches, online campaigns, or encouraging people to call their representatives. An informed and active public is central to the healthy functioning of a democracy and though things may often look bleak we may be witnessing a beautiful awakening unlike anything we have ever experienced. With emotion running so high, peoples are seeking a place to direct their anger and frustration. The birth of the Resistance has given people a focal point and you have done a wonderful job hosting and shaping this important movement.
“You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.” Buckminster Fuller
Though we all know what we are resisting, what vision or platform is being presented that we can support?
Is the resistance a prelude to getting people to support a Democratic challenger to Trump’s presidency in 2018, and 2020?
We live in an era of identity politics but we all know that opposing or supporting Dems/Republicans, Trump/Clinton is a shallow way to approach the needed changes since policies often outlive those who enact them, and political parties change their stance over time. If the Resistance is to be successful it will need to base its stance on policies instead of personalities. This should include policies we resist, but more importantly it should center on policies and a vision that is better than the one(s) we currently oppose (resist).
Are you willing to have a conversation about policy instead of parties and personalities with the American People?
Is it an open dialogue, or do you already have an agenda set for what the “Resistance” stands for?
Yes we live with the sad truth of racism and misogyny in America. There are people who dislike Obama for his skin color and dislike Hillary for being a woman. Hopefully a day will come when these issues are history. In the Democratic base however, the ideals of gender equality and racial equality are proudly understood and accepted.
The division between “the Bernie wing” and “Clinton wing” (for lack of better terms) isn’t about these shallow gender or racial prejudices. There are clearly policy differences at the center of this divide.
Can the Resistance finally agree to have an open and honest discussion about this?
Most problems don’t go away when we ignore them. After Perez was nominated as DNC chair, the festering wound between the Bernie/progressive wing, and the Clinton/centrist wing of the Democratic party was re-opened. We can talk about our desires for “party unity” all day, Bernie can endorse Hillary, Perez can make Ellison his co-chair, but that does not make the ideological or policy divide disappear. Nor does it explain why #demexit was trending in the days after Perez was elected.
Democrats have always prided themselves on open dialogue, about inclusivity, mutual respect, so can we apply it to this current situation and will you help play a role of bringing all voices to the table?
Bernie supporters and Hillary supporters have a lot in common yet they are viewing things from a different perspective. The TPP is a perfect example, it was actually rejected by most Democrats in Congress, but pushed by Obama and Clinton. Hillary refused to add a “No TPP” stance to the platform while John Kerry, Obama and Froman spoke openly about trying to push it through during the lame-duck session (assuming that HRC would be the winner).
While we oppose Trumps cabinet of corporatists who want to deregulate the EPA and beyond, many Democrats fail to recognize that Obama and Hillary had the same plans for catering to corporate deregulation ideas. Their approach was a bit more stealth, hidden within the secret text of TPP, and called ISDS (Investor State Dispute Settlement) which would allow any investor or corporation to sue American taxpayers for regulations or legislation that interfered with their profits. Elizabeth Warren explains this in detail below:
Progressive Democratic representatives like Warren, who are fighting for the middle class are easily silenced by the agenda of the HRC wing simply because Clintons have raised enormous amounts of money for the Democratic Party. Yes Warren endorsed HRC and towed the party line while being silent about Obamas push to pass TPP in lame duck session after the election. This was also exemplified when Tulsi Gabbard endorsed Bernie Sanders and received a letter from DNC Leadership, scolding her and telling her that they “will no longer be raising money for her campaign.”
“Hillary Clinton will be our party's nominee and you standing on ceremony to support the sinking Bernie Sanders ship is disrespectful to Hillary Clinton. You have called both myself and Michael Kives before about helping your campaign raise money, we no longer trust your judgement so will not be raising money for your campaign.” -Darnell Strom & Michael Kives (with John Podesta cc’d), February 29, 2016
Here is some Rust Belt Logic that nobody is discussing on mainstream channels… With huge coalitions of Americans opposing TPP including AFL-CIO, other labor groups, environmental organizations including Greenpeace, Sierra Club, and others, along with nurses union, human rights groups. The push for TPP is clearly a turn towards the will of neoliberal ideology, mostly to Wall Street along with corporate interests behind Clinton and Obama instead of the American People.
This has left the party base fragmented as a result and membership at historic lows for the party. No amount of discussing Wikileaks, Susan Sarandon, Putin, or Bernie Bros will fix this issue which has become the elephant (the donkey) in the room.
Are you willing to level with the American People and have an authentic discussion about this that centers on policy?
When your favorite sports team loses to the worst team in the league, you see introspection, often some firings and new hirings of management. Let us not delude ourselves, the management at the DNC has not changed. All of the Russia hype (which may or may not be true) has provided a great distraction from any authentic self-reflection from the party leadership. Let’s be clear, The Perez selection underscores that these economic and political forces that lost the last election are still pulling strings behind the curtain in the Democratic Party and steering the ship. This is setting us up for another Democratic Party Platform that loses, and one that does not serve working class people.
Socially progressive policy is something we appreciate, and we can agree that economic disparity, and deregulation of banking, along with extractive industries (the environment) is the root of much of our social tension (racial tension, gender, and class tension). Or we can at least admit that it plays a major role in it? When people don’t feel like they are competing for jobs, or scarce resources, when they have food in their belly, and a roof over their head, they tend to be less easily agitated. Neoliberal policy is core to this problem as it allows corporations free range to trample regulations in favor of greater profits but masking it with a few socially-progressive policies that we can all cheer about (and distracted by). The end result is the widening wealth gap, an environment in peril, and middle class Americans struggling for jobs.
This is why many Americans are so passionate about the issue. The bottom line, despite infighting is that we all care deeply about our democracy, our people, social justice, and our environment. The more that all of us look at this, learn about it, and listen to each other, the more likely we are to have real party unity and a platform we can all get behind to beat Trump in 2020.