The Democrats Rejoicing, Maybe Too Soon

I would like to think that the election wins for the Democrats are the sign of things to come. I would like to think that maybe I was right saying the silver lining in President DFF’s win putting the Republicans in control was that America would finally see that they had nothing, and after a couple years of suffering, we could finally get rid of them. But I know better. I know that in 2008 we thought the Republicans were finally put to rest, and then they came back with a vengeance. I know that Democrats have not fixed their problems yet and this could embolden the establishment to do the same stupid things they have done before. I also know that all elections are local and Virginia and New Jersey had special circumstances. If you looked at the voting, rural America still does not have a clue.

Now I am not trying to rain on the parade. But I also know the work has just begun. It gets harder not easier because the Republicans just got a big wake up call. They are masters of obfuscation, but the thing that will trip them up this time is that they, and they alone own government, and they have no clue how to fix anything. Their ideology on tax cuts, healthcare, global warming, jobs, infrastructure, you name it, serves only one master, the wealthy. That is what Democrats need to hammer home. Many people in Virginia were truly concerned about healthcare.

Here is the real clincher for Democrats. They have to be for something and they have to stop listening to the pundits who tell them American does not want to lurch left. It is all in how you describe it. Universal healthcare is now a no-brainer. It will lower costs and ensure people are protected. Probably expanded Medicare is the way to go. That is not an argument to lurch left, it is an argument for practicality. Same with infrastructure. If the Republicans want to go $1.5 trillion more in debt for tax cuts to the wealthy, counter with a plan to spend two-thirds of that on infrastructure projects that will create jobs and pay dividends on improving the basis for our economy.

I could go on and on. The Republicans have opened the door by exposing their policies for what they are. Now it is time for Democrats to stand up with their own policies and show America they stand for them. Facebook and Twitter are the tip of the iceberg on corporate greed and corruption. They knew they were selling to Russians, but it helped their bottom line, thus their share price. And that is the way it goes with all business. Government has to take them on and Democrats have to show they have the spine to go after their big donors.

So let’s knock off the victory dances. To win the country back Democrats need a plan forward and a convincing way to sell it.  Republicans and pundits will shriek left-wing zany when we suggest a livable minimum wage, fixing Obamacare by expanding Medicare, making college more affordable, doing something about student debt, making college education affordable, real tax reform, fighting global warming, and investing in jobs and infrastructure. And most important of all, standing up to corporations and breaking the ties with Wall Street.  You simply have to show the utility of it, not let the other side label it.

People in America may not be any smarter, but they have seen the whites of the eyes of the other side and now know how important it is to vote.  Young Democrats are running for office, and as much as this drives establishment Democrats crazy, they were energized by Bernie* and they are much more liberal than the establishment.  That is the future.  Democrats are starting to stand for something besides being anti-Trump.  They are starting to, but we have a long way to go and getting giddy does not help focusing on the hard work going forward.  The lessons learn still apply and we have only moved the needle a little.  It needs to be moved a lot between now and 2018/2020.

*Like it or not, Bernie was believable, Hillary was distrusted on the really big issue, taking on the establishment.  And Bernie also provided a vision for the future, not a jumble of wonk policies.  Our vision is Progressive, but the reality is that is where reality leads us.  You don’t sell them as Progressive or liberal, but a way to once again reinvigorate the middle class and get America back on track.  The facts speak for themselves.

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