Don’t Let the Party Insiders Decide

Tulsi Gabbard
Oct 30, 2017 · 2 min read

A little over two years ago, I was disinvited from the first Democratic presidential primary debate after publicly disagreeing with the Chair’s decision to limit rather than expand the number of Democratic primary debates. Throughout the presidential primary, we saw deep divides within the Democratic Party that went far beyond substantive issue differences. I wish I could tell you that things have gotten better — that the Democratic National Committee has listened to voters across the country and has returned to our roots as an inclusive party of the people. But that’s not the case.

Recently the DNC Chair, claiming diversity, removed a number of people from the Party’s Executive Committee, including Jim Zogby, the only Arab American, while allowing lobbyists and consultants to keep their positions. What did those who were removed have in common? They either supported Bernie Sanders in the 2016 Primary, supported Keith Ellison in the Chair race, or both.

The DNC’s approach of casting out those who haven’t fallen in line with the establishment and who are demanding real reform is destined for failure and further losses. While we await the final recommendations of the DNC’s Unity Reform Commission, we must make sure our voices are heard now, so they know that we will fight for a new path forward that is more inclusive and strengthens our democracy.

It doesn’t matter if you supported Hillary or Bernie — it’s long past time to stop the counterproductive infighting and name calling. This is about fighting for an open, inclusive, transparent Democratic Party. If there is any hope of strengthening our party, they must stop this “more of the same” mentality and start caring more about people than protecting the status quo. They must get rid of the undemocratic system of superdelegates, who have the power to swing an election, making up one-third of the votes any candidate needs to secure the nomination. They must push for open or same day registration in Democratic primaries in every state across the country to ease and encourage voter engagement instead of making it more difficult. And this habit of playing “hide the budget” from DNC members has to stop.

Party insiders and the media thought they could set the stage, pull some strings, and orchestrate a win in 2016. Efforts to make sure Donald Trump was the Republican nominee backfired epically. What the establishment took for granted and thought would be a cakewalk turned into a nightmare.

The moral of the story is, we must put people over profits and progress over special interests. We cannot do this with a few power brokers making deals in a back-room. We cannot do this with a closed process or with superdelegates that can swing an election.

Your support, our voices, right now, are critical. Join me by signing our petition to reform the DNC:

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