This is a time of reckoning. A time for bold leadership from below, radical inclusion, and boundless empathy. It’s a time to stand-up, take stock, and shake it off. Large swathes of the world lie in flames and ruin. Allies rightly question your sanity and resolve. Opponents, both violent and non, question your will to survive and your depth of faith in this Grandest of experiments: democracy.
You stand at a crossroads. The long-ballyhooed “Third Way” was a bushwhack and a boondoggle the likes of which will haunt the party for generations to come. Supposed “moderates” continue their cries of “Center! Center!” But what is “Center” when you’ve been unwittingly dragged so far to the Right that what was considered “Center” is now “Left”?
Is “Up” now considered “Down”? Do dogs and cats live together? Have Bill Murray’s iconic, Ghost Busters histrionics of “Mass Hysteria!” come to pass?
Establishment Democrats have suffered from selective chronic historical and social amnesia for decades, wobbling to-and-fro in the political melee and moral morass without a compass or a care. So long as checks cleared and appearances were kept clear to the Donor Class, most Establishment Democrats couldn’t care less who could be seen or heard yelling the loudest (or whether they were alive to scream at all).
Take your pick of reasons: money, expediency, ignorance, or simple impropriety. Any of these could explain behavior for any number of politicians, yet it seems as though any number of these are always applicable in some form or fashion to Establishment Democrats.
Meanwhile, these self-same Democrats continue to remain impassive and immovable on reams of issues running the gamut from LGBTQIA+ rights, to voting rights, to criminal (in)justice, to white supremacy, to gun control, and to extreme wealth inequality.
Never mind that the Earth’s climate is changing rapidly and is set to cause its own entire classification of problems within our lifetimes.
Never mind that a hostile nation-state influenced our elections (and never mind the hypocrisy of a colonial power like the United States has done this for centuries) and there has been no substantial action taken to prevent it from happening again.
Never mind that revanchist, fascist, and explicitly racist forces are all coalescing around a set of political figures and policies that had no place in 1930’s Germany — and the sure as Hell have no place in America.
Never mind that Establishment Democrats seem content to prattle-on about pragmatism, bipartisanship, and cooperative governing when the other party is clearly playing by an entirely different set of rules.
But of course, what good does shouting into the void do? Ask any Twitter or Facebook junkie, virtual arms looking like someone took a shotgun to a sheet of drywall, and they’ll of course tell you “it totally matters!”
Meanwhile, the streets remain conspicuously empty of the supposed Centrists being courted by Democrats. Are they Schrödinger’s Centrists? Both present and not? Or were they figures of an imaginary America to begin with?
Personally, I’m betting on the latter.
Democrats, the time has come. The time has come to understand that Centrists don’t exist. That Centrists care about the exact same things as everyone else: how to get food on the table, how to pay the bills, how to avoid sending their children to die in a foreign war (or in an oncoming apocalyptic climate shift), how to give their children the future that they deserve, and how to be happy (or at least not live in existential dread for the entire duration of their waking hours).
The time has come to get real — by this I mean “get real mad”.
Get mad at the voting records of every politician who speaks from one side of their mouths about pressing issues while speaking from the other while interacting with (read that as: begging for money from) the Donor Class.
Get mad at the state of our discourse in this country and how racists, bigots, and sociopaths have run roughshod over the ideals of Liberty, Freedom, Representation, and Justice.
Get mad at the state of Democratic Party politics and power dynamics. Get mad at the fact that so-called “super delegates” control the direction of a party that has long tried (and long failed) to stand with the working-class, the poor, and the disenfranchised.
Get mad at the fact that despite demographic shifts and clear attitude changes on economic, social, and foreign policy among the electorate, Establishment Democrats continue to toe a line that was drawn for them by a Democrat whose out-sized power and influence is still pushing policy for the party thirty years after he retired from politics.
Get mad at the fact that the decisions that Establishment Democrats have made and continue to make won’t impact them — those impacts will be felt by us. By Generation X, by Millennials, by Gen Z; by everyone who comes afterward.
Get mad as Hell — and then get involved. Tell your peers and the Democratic Party that it’s not good enough. Go to the conventions (or protest it, which ever works for you) and make yourself a thorn in the side of every politician and political operative that lives or serves your district. Call and write the representatives of your state and district and do not take no for an answer. Tell them that they serve you. They are sitting in that office, serving at the pleasure of the People.
Let them know that this is not “a reckoning”… this is the reckoning. The fate of our country depends on it.