The Democratic Party is an enigma. They are one of two major political parties in this country. Two. Binary. Dual choice.
But somehow, during elections, we act like it is still a multiple choice test.
A couple of weeks before the 2016 election, my Senate District was having a meeting and one of the topics was whether or not to include Hillary Clinton’s name on our sample ballot.
Yeah, that’s right. Our nominee for the Presidency was going to be left off of the flier that named all of our candidates – well, all of them except the one at the top.
It would seem that she (HRC) had become some kind of liability. And since we had a couple of strong House candidates, the apparent thinking was that Hillary Clinton would drag them down somehow.
After I managed to bring my jaw back to its upward status, I became incensed. I got out of my chair and yelled, you have got to be kidding me! I could not believe it. A Presidential candidate that I considered the most qualified person ever in the Party’s history and without a doubt the much better choice than the GOP’s Donald Trump, was going to be “hidden from view”….pretend that she wasn’t really there.
I began to walk around the room ranting….”what the hell does being a Democrat mean?”….”if the Republicans don’t want to hide Trump, why in hell would we be hiding Clinton?”
I am normally a very quiet person. I go with the flow. Don’t rock the boat. But this was over the top. Here I was, raising my voice. But frankly, I felt I had to. It was unacceptable and so very wrong.
But this isn’t the first or last time that Democrats have been or will be apologetic about who they are. We spend so much of our outrage on internal Party struggles that we forget who the real opponent is.
It is very clear to me that we have let our country down. The lukewarm support we gave our own candidate, Hillary Clinton, led to an election win for the worst candidate for President I have ever seen or historiclly read about. He is a danger to Democracy and we, the Democratic Party, allowed him in.
Politics, for better or worse, is binary in the US. It isn’t a parliamentary system. We don’t have runoffs or ranked choice voting (yet), and we don’t get a mulligan on a national election. It is a choice between a Democrat and a Republican – and, to me at least, a vote for these quixotic third party candidates is cowardice.
I would hope that we know our mistake now. Hillary would have been a great President and we failed her in that she did not receive the full backing of a Party that needed to give it – unconditionally.
Democrats get so ridiculously stuck on purity for their candidates. We are always looking for the perfect person. No flaws. Pure of heart. Someone who satisfies all the needs of every Democrat.
We have over 20 candidates for the 2020 contest. There is someone for everyone. And supporters are going to be convinced that their candidate, and their candidate alone, is the best choice for our party.
By definition, a good portion of you are going to be very disappointed. And you are going to be depressed….and believe all the lies that Republicans will say about the actual nominee.
I hope you are done with that. One person can’t possibly expect to meet the high expectations of our Party members. It is just not going to happen.
The contested primary is the method to find the person who meets the criteria of the most people within the Party. The rest of us then need to get on board….and I mean really on board. No equivocation. No anger. No depression. Nothing. Remember, the choice is binary and any of the 20 plus candidates will be light years better than another 4 years of Donald Trump.
The importance of this has been raised because Donald Trump is trying to take this country down. He is attempting to undermine the rule of law. He is undermining our Constitution. He is incompetent. And he is destroying our alliances.
I doubt that we can find any Democrat who could be even close to worse than that.
So let’s get the doubts out of our system early. Contest the primary but remember that in the end, we are one party. We cannot let Facebook ads, Republican distortions, or big PAC money secret donors sidetrack us on our quest.
2020 is going to define our country for the foreseeable future. It could be a deciding year on whether our planet survives. The Republican Party is only concerned about themselves and power. The people are depending on us, even if they do not know it right now.
I will vote for the Democratic nominee. I will not waver. I will not be deterred. We must win.
And I hope all Democrats are geared to do the same.