It’s Time For Democrats To Learn and Move On From 2016

Phil Rossi
Sep 8, 2018 · 4 min read
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Following the 2016 election, I remained more concerned about the Democratic Party than a Trump presidency. Anxious over the party’s voice, direction, and long-term vision.

I believed it then, and still do, in the silver-lining of a Hillary defeat. In the short term I expected it to be disastrous for democrats. But this is about the bigger picture and a brighter future. Now it’s up to democrats to seize the day, move on, and plan ahead.

2016 should be a watershed moment for the party to realign itself. To purge the old guard and craft a modernized mission statement. Something cutting edge, optimistic, and 21st Century.

If Trump’s tenure proves to be ineffective or worse, the electorate will replace him. Don’t believe me? I’m old enough to remember one-term presidencies.

Not everyone between our coastlines wears a red trucker’s cap either. Scores of people who voted for Trump, also supported Obama. These aren’t racist, unsophisticated, and out-of-touch folks. Far from it.

Barack Obama would have never become president without this voting bloc. If these people are as racist as the media claims, why did they endorse Obama and re-elect him four years later?

What happened? Does one really believe they became hateful overnight while waking up in red hats? Despite the popularity of this opinion, it falls flat in my book. The hard numbers from these general elections fail to support it.

Remember the Obama Republicans from 2008 and 2012? These were the disenfranchised who lost faith in the GOP and it’s leadership under George W. Bush.

Let’s not forget the Republican nominee in 2008: John McCain. Why didn’t he win the presidency? After all, the perfect candidate to amplify the racial divide (if there is one). White, Republican, war hero, and disciple of the Reagan Revolution.

Under the backdrop of a polarized nation, the 2008 Election wasn’t even close. You tell me.

Forget the raucous crowds at the MAGA rallies. This is about the silent majority. People too busy and serious for political clambakes.

Law-abiding citizens who want safe streets and prosperity. Better schools and better tomorrows. The folks who lose their jobs in recession economies as their kids serve and sacrifice in the military. Why would anyone belittle these people?

Since when does a college degree measure intelligence and ambition? Of course there’s college graduates in these sectors. Just not in the higher percentiles as the more urban and liberal-leaning precincts. So what?

Maybe it’s the democrats who have lost their way — they certainly appear out of sync. It’s not the solutions for social problems that dog democrats. It’s the trivial order in which the party prioritizes these issues in the first place. Each one at odds with bedroom communities all across the nation.

How could democrats expect to galvanize their constituents with such an unfocused agenda? They can’t. Not when the main street voter faces real-life issues: foreclosure, stagnated wages, and the threat of school violence. Their family and friends struggling with healthcare coverage, affordable housing, and an opioid crisis.

Leading up to the 2016 election, democratic voters shook their heads at liberal elites promoting identity politics. It’s directives like this that splinter the electorate. People seek a government vision that strives to be effective, inclusive, and works for everyone.

It’s the empathy and understanding with events on the ground that win elections. I feel your pain and It’s the economy, stupid carried the day — and Bill Clinton to the White House in 1992 and again in 1996.

Look at the democrat’s 2016 primary process. For a party that claims inclusion and tolerance, where was it? As a champion for people of color, where were they? The only reason Bernie Sanders made it to the stage was the value of his political following — a war chest come election day.

The Establishment counted on the Sanders contingent to back their ticket in the general. They bet the Sanders vote would propel Hillary and the Establishment, not Bernie Sanders, to the presidency.

Since the DNC craved Sanders’ votes, they invited him to the debates. No others needed to apply. The Establishment placated Bernie Sanders to appease his base and siphon his votes.

The Sanders bloc saw right through this. Instead of handing over their support, they gave the old guard the middle finger. No different from the life-long democrats marooned in the Rust Belt and other pockets disconnected from Washington. In lieu of staying home like the Sanders bloc, these people showed up and voted Republican.

The 2016 primary process was a sham. Concocted, promoted, and controlled by the oligarchy wing of the DNC. The whole idea was to push their agenda and candidate of choice on the American people.

The democratic voter had no variety. No alternative visions, voices, nor candidates. It was Hillary’s and the Establishment’s race to win — or lose.

Wouldn’t Hillary Clinton appear stronger had she beaten a more formidable field? Had she won the nomination against other voices, backgrounds, and visions, the party could have been more united and energized. Her candidacy more legitimate — earned instead of bestowed.

Until Democrats divorce themselves from this status quo, the future will be business as usual. The same-old candidates, culture, and vision for America.

The linch pin remains these younger generations who are active, engaged, and insightful. The fresh and vibrant voices full of vision and new ideas.

I’m anxious to hear from them. Their outlook and what they have to say. Aren’t you?

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