Where the Democrats Should go From Here

Taking a look in the mirror

Last week, Donald Trump was nominated president. This result was something that surprised a lot of people, and it is something that should fundamentally change how we look at the world. It’s time to take a look at our assumptions, look in the mirror, and decide on a plan from here.

Almost every news outlet believed Clinton would win the election. In fact, some outlets went so far as to mock websites who were less certain in their predictions. While probabilities are not a definitive craft, the number of wrong predictions seems to suggest a problem beyond simply polls.

To be fair, the polls were not far off at the national level. They predicted Clinton winning by about 2% and she got the popular vote. However, the majority of states had a Trump majority. What can we gather from this election?

  • People are tired of hate-labeling. If you agreed with Trump on one issue, you’d be labeled as racist or sexist. Why do we place such negative connotation on these types of people? Racism happens when you ignore entire groups of people, when you refuse to listen to their concerns or problems. Isn’t that what many Democrats did when they shut out any chance of discourse?
  • Clinton was a flawed candidate. Most people knew this, and the Democrats decided to elect her regardless. Sanders said many times he would do better against Trump during the primaries, but people didn’t believe him.
  • The Democratic party have an elitism problem. Throughout the campaign DWS resigned along with many other top Democrats. Recently CNN parted with Donna Brazile due to a leaked email suggesting she leaked debate questions.
  • The media’s constant delve into petty politics instead of issues has left many individuals feeling burnt out. Trust in the media is at a minimum.
  • The Democrats cried wolf when Romney ran for president, and yet he looks tame compared to Trump.

Clinton won a lot of support in cities, but failed to attract a broader coalition of states. There is a bubble which has been growing, preventing them from seeing the issues of many Americans. The Democrats focused on Trump as a “Pied Piper candidate”, to paint the entire Republican party as bad. They were so out-of-touch they didn’t realize it would be a bad idea.

The Republicans have split, but the Democrats were decimated. They don’t control the executive branch, or Congress, or the Supreme Court. They control a small minority of state governments. There is a real problem, one that has been pointed out for a while but ignored.

Bernie Sanders knew there was a lot of anger and frustration with the status quo. He ran as an anti-establishment candidate. The Democratic heads colluded to give the nomination to their choice, exactly the kind of establishment actions that bothered a lot of people.

When the idea first floated around that the Democratic party bosses were actively trying to stop Sanders, it got a lot of traction online. Supporters were mocked, called conspiracy theorists, and talked down to. They were accused of being “Bernie Bros”. Yet it was all true.

The hallmark of a true progressive is not accumulating power. It’s doing good for your constituents, improving their lives ahead of your own. That’s exactly what Sanders has vowed to keep doing, regardless of the president.

To the degree that Mr. Trump is serious about pursuing policies that improve the lives of working families in this country, I and other progressives are prepared to work with him.

There are some saying #notmypresident and some Democrats who want to be obstructionist, that is not what many Americans want. It just prolongs the cycle of frustration that we’ve experienced. We want someone who can build good policies, and we should want Trump to succeed.

Did I vote for Trump? No. Did I want him to be president? No. Yet here we are. If Trump proposes good ideas, then I’m going to agree that the idea is good. If Trump proposes bad ideas, then I’m going to point out why that idea is bad. I don’t care about party affiliation, or my opinion of his character. The voters have shown these things are not as important.

It’s time for millennials to take over the Democratic party. Though many millennials have supported Democratic ideas, they were also the major driver of Sanders’s anti-establishment campaign. We’ve grown up in a time of fear and economic worries. We have grown up with the Internet and the breadth of knowledge that comes from it.

The Democrats are at a tipping point. Where do they go from here? Do they pursue the same elitism, the same hate-labeling? Or will they listen to Sanders and other progressives in Congress? Will they nominate Keith Ellison, endorsed by Sanders, to lead the DNC?

Progressives were told to hold off. When we pointed out major problems, we were told they weren’t too important. Sanders wasn’t a viable candidate, but his voice was important. Just vote for Clinton and we can deal with everything else after the election.

The election is over. Sanders is still standing even as others lost their elections. It’s time to solve these problems.