To All Elected Democratic Officials,
We’ve never met and I doubt we ever will, but I’d like to offer some advice to the Democratic Party on behalf of many concerned Americans that don’t know where to turn and need a real alternative to the Republican Party. I think the Dems have become equally disjointed and I’d like to make a few suggestions:
1) Do not attempt to retroactively remove the electoral college in order to still hand Hillary the Presidency. The optics would be disastrous. The DNC rigging the primary process (let’s be honest) was bad enough, but to consider changing the Constitution itself in order to change who becomes President after the election is over? That would be a level of rigging you won’t be able to cover up anytime soon. If you continue to ignore populist voters, the Trump and Bernie crowds that make up the majority of voters, and keep handing positions of power to corporatists instead you will only further alienate the people. You cannot afford to do this anymore.
2) Don’t try to beat the Republicans at their own game. They don’t have a winning strategy worth emulating. Their opposition to key social issues and endless love for the wealthy has damaged their own brand for awhile now. There’s no reason to copy this losing playbook. Don’t act like hawks on foreign policy. Be doves. Don’t be greedy and accept donations from Wall Street. Prosecute Wall Street. Don’t support the for-profit health insurance industry. Expose it. Don’t claim to fight climate change while simultaneously accepting donations from Big Oil, allowing new oil pipelines, and purporting that “safe fracking” exists. Hypocrisy is a detriment, not an asset. Highlight your contrasts, sharpen them, and maintain moral principles.
3) Avoid being a Party of mere obstruction. That hurt the Republican Congress when they threw endless tantrums under Obama and their voters weren’t pleased. If you want to block a piece of legislation (and under Trump, you’ll often need to) then be sure to have strong alternative legislation prepared. If you don’t, you’ll look weak and rightfully so. Be the Party of bold ideas, not another that just says “no, no, no”. Remember that Trump is a businessman first, not a politician. Compromise is vital both for attracting voters and making progress. Use what he is to your advantage.
4) Above all, learn from your defeat. Hillary lost because she was a neoliberal in the back pocket of Wall Street. This entire corporate cross-section of the Democratic Party is the poison that has all but destroyed it. So who do you pick to be minority leader? Chuck Schumer?? And Howard Dean is being floated for DNC chair…? Get it together. Don’t repeat the same mistake. The Clinton ways are done. Dead. Bury what didn’t work and embrace what still does and that means deferring to the wisdom of Bernie Sanders every single time. Not some of the time, not most of the time. Every time. Listen to him, Tulsi Gabbard, Keith Ellision, and Elizabeth Warren. If Democrats stand by Schumer and Dean and other Clintonites your Party should at least be honest and formally splinter into two Parties: Corporate Democrats and Progressive Democrats. I guarantee the latter will be the one to thrive.
In short, we are done with bought-and-paid-for representation. Done. If you want to play a game of chicken with the electorate, be my guest. See what happens when you call our bluff.