Archive for July, 2018

Dear friends,

By now, you are no doubt aware of the growing schism between your progressive and moderate wings; it is rare that a day goes by without my seeing mention of it in the news. The Republican Party must be loving that.

Allow me, if you will, to make a suggestion.

The party platform has, for a long time now, been a very centrist one, especially when viewed through a global lens rather than an American one. In and of itself, when properly managed, that can be a good thing. But it has not been properly managed, not by a long shot. Frankly, if you were unable to defeat the present occupant of the White House with a centrist strategy, despite his obvious flaws both as a politician and as a human being, perhaps it is time to consider that a centrist strategy may not be as effective as you seem to believe.

Look back to the last time you won the White House. President Obama ran on a bold vision of hope and courage. And in so doing, for every vote he lost in the center, he picked up two on the left. Secretary Clinton was unable to strike the same balance in 2016, just as Vice-President Gore and Secretary Kerry were unable to strike it in 2000 and 2004.

Today’s left needs visionary leadership. FDR’s ‘Second Bill Of Rights’, 74 years ago, has yet to come true. The right to a living wage, the right of every family to a decent home, the right to a good education, the right to adequate medical care, the right to a useful and remunerative job… these are not radical notions born of leftist quackery. They are the bedrock of an economically secure nation, an investment in the future of every American child and the long-term security of every American family. Surely this should be a good starting point, one which both the progressive and moderate flanks of the Party could support.

At a time when the nation was crying out for change, you nominated a standard-bearer who represented the status quo in almost every respect other than her gender, and while I eagerly await the day I see a female President of these United States, I do not believe that Secretary Clinton was the right candidate at the right time. You may point the finger at Russia, you may point it at any other influence you choose to, but the core of it was that you lacked vision. While I do not by any means support President Trump, he represented change at a time when change was what America demanded, and that above all was the deciding factor in his victory.

I am now asking you to put forward candidates who can embrace the need for change, and strike back at the growing inequities which plague today’s America.

We can no longer settle for occupying a comfortable middle ground in which we don’t offend anyone; we are in need of strong, visionary ideas, and those are frequently uncomfortable and unsettling to a Party which is set in its ways, but they are absolutely necessary to America.

I am asking you to do some deep soul-searching today. There are many ways in which you can act. This country has a religious left, but it has gone uncultivated. This country has immense potential for mobilization, but so much of it has gone untapped, even despite the best efforts of Senator Sanders. This country has millions of people who would love to get involved in making positive change, and they have been reached by ineffectual messaging at best.

Democrats, it’s time to get off the sidelines and stake out some bold positions. Inspire us. Look to your base ahead of your donors. Look to your nation instead of your fears. Look to the stars, and aim high.

We can take back the House. We can take back the Senate. We can take back the White House.

You are public servants. This is your opportunity to serve the public. Take it with both hands, and do not look back.

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