Hey Democrats — Listen UP!!!

As a left-leaning, liberal-thinking independent voter, I have had serious reservations regarding the ‘blue wave’ that everyone is talking about.  It is a theory that democrats will win big in November simply based on the fact that Trump and his sycophants in Congress are doing such a horrible job that all sensible voters will vote in a democratic candidate … any democratic candidate.  For months, I have said that it wasn’t enough, that the democratic party needs cohesion, that the candidates need a solid, respectable platform.  I have called for the DNC to find and support candidates who are ‘squeaky clean’, who carry no baggage that would give the GOP an opening for mud-slinging and under-handed shenanigans.  Last night I found my sentiments echoed by Anthony Zurcher, a journalist for the BBC.

“One of the ongoing criticisms of Democrats since Barack Obama moved out of the White House is that the party has been defined by what it opposes, instead of what it wants to do.

They’re not Donald Trump. They’re against travel bans, border walls, trade wars, financial and environmental deregulation, corporate tax cuts and repeal of the Obamacare health insurance system.

But what are they for? What are their ideas?”

It’s true.  Think about it … we know exactly what the GOP stands for because they are loud and obnoxious about it.  They will defend to the death their 2nd Amendment rights, they applaud Trump’s vision of a wall along the southern border, they want immigration stopped, they want environmental regulations removed on businesses, especially the fossil fuel industry, and the list goes on.  There is no doubt what they stand for.  But ask the average person what the democrats stand for, and the answer would likely be … the opposite of all of the above.  They know what they are against, but they don’t know what they are for.  Which, of course, is not quite true, but one could be forgiven for thinking it was, given that the democratic party as a whole is not speaking above a whisper these days.

“We’re not going to win if we spend all our time bemoaning that he’s there. He’s there. And we have to offer an alternative.” — Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar

“People ask how come you’re not offering alternatives. And I say we are.” – Ohio Senator Sherrod Brown

During a recent “Ideas Conference”, democrats tried to zero in on the party platform …

  • Minimum wage increases
  • Expanding public schooling
  • Ethics, reform and oversight
  • Dismantling the oligarchy
  • Guns, the environment and health care

That’s it … that is what comprises the core values of the democratic party.  Okay, I am on board with all of the above, but there is so much more.  And why are the three arguably most important issues lumped together at the very end???

My concern is that this election will devolve into a mud-fest.  I am also concerned that for democrats, it will become a single-issue election:  gun regulation.  While gun regulation is certainly among the top concerns today, if it is allowed to become the central focus, I’m not sure how well the democrats will fare, for it is also the single most contentious issue on the docket, with far too many being told by the GOP that democrats want to abolish the 2nd Amendment and ‘take all your guns’.

While political ideologies do have a base platform, the day-to-day issues tend to be reactionary.  In this, the era of Trump, they are typically a reaction to whatever horrific thing he has most recently said or done, and there is no dearth of material on which to react.  But this gets us nowhere, it pulls us down to the level of the GOP, and it won’t win elections in November.

The Democratic Party stands for many things:  social & economic equality, social programs, labour unions, affordable college tuition, universal health care, equal opportunity for all, consumer protections, and environmental protections, to name a few.  This, then, is what the candidates need to be focusing on, the message they need to be getting out.  It will help that Trump & Co are making a mockery of our government, and the anger that generates will certainly play a role, but it is not going to be enough to carry the day.  It is absolutely essential to the continuation of this nation as a democratic republic that the demographics of Congress be changed.  The current majority in both the House and the Senate are naught but sycophants, book-lickers, who will bow to Trump’s will and who will fight to keep the madman in office, for he is their job security.

Please, democratic candidates, focus on the issues rather than simply being the “anti-Trump”.  Trump will, I firmly believe, help sink his own boat as well as that of the GOP, so leave him to it, and focus on presenting a united, sensible, humanitarian front. It is easy to argue against every single thing Trump has done or will do between now and November 6th, but there is a bigger goal here, and to achieve it, we must do better than to be the “Party of No”.

39 thoughts on “Hey Democrats — Listen UP!!!

  1. You’re exactly right and that’s why maybe you win seats, but no wave. The liberals were upset about Republicans being party of no for 8 years, but in 2 years – wow! The liberals have just made the right look like amateurs. It’s been embarrassing. The other difference is this. Conservatives talk about the economy and keeping America safe. Democrats – talk about race and pollution. They are on an entirely different track than what Americans want

    Liked by 1 person

    • Actually, what is upsetting those of us who are either center or left of center (I eschew labels such as liberals, especially when they are spit out in a derogatory manner) is that the minority of the populace are the only voices being heard. The minority are calling the shots. Destruction of the environment, increasing bigotry and racism, lack of concern for the poor, and perhaps worst of all, a steady erosion of our relationship with our allies. National security? It doesn’t hinge on stopping immigration, for that is not the threat to our national security. The threat to national security comes from being isolationist, shoving away our friends and embracing our enemies. No, the democrats aren’t on a different track from what America wants, except the 36% or so who still support Trump.

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      • Well first off, it’s sad that you are so disappointed by simple words. You may be right about the minority but that’s only because the right wing folks are such wimps. Not to mention, the left has the media in their pockets brainwashing much of society. But you made my point. The first thing you mentioned was the environment! You can’t even be concerned about the economy first, much less admit it’s going well! As for immigration, please learn the difference between legal and ILLEGAL immigration! Because there is no one who is against the former. Thanks for proving my point.

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  2. Two options, not on actual but delivery:
    The calm, cool, collected approach. Take the Guns issue : ‘I don’t want to take your guns away. Why would I do that? I would ask for a louder platform for responsibility though, because I know most gun owners are responsible, let’s work together’ (not quite as simple as that, but it’s a starting point)
    Or
    The firebrand approach. Out of the wastelands. Appealing to the ordinary folk to give them jobs, security, each and every American (Interspersed with attacks upon the rich hypocrites). Coming back at every insult and false charge with ‘I smell their fear in their accusations’. Relentless. ‘Old Time Religion’ style.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I would settle for a Democratic Party that seems centrist in nature and shuns “biting into” the negative, mud slinging campaign that Trump Republicans so dearly hope will sustain them as before.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Couldn’t agree more. This is why so many voters, at least in my hometown of Portland, are opting to be independents, or are getting siphoned away by the Democratic Socialists, who are *very* clear about what they stand for. I think wages & benefits are a great issue to focus on, but why on earth is health care listed at the end of that platform?? So many people I know are asking for Medicare for all…the Dems could be winning with that issue!

    Liked by 3 people

    • I have several friends here on WordPress who have switched from republican to independent just in the last 2 years. Yes, the democratic-socialists are very clear about their platform, but unfortunately much of their platform isn’t feasible, and also, that word ‘socialist’ scares many people. Not me, for I am a borderline socialist myself, but too many consider it a threat, an extreme to be avoided. What the dems need, in addition to a few really good issues, is some enthusiasm, some excitement! That was what Hillary lacked, and I believe it was, in part, what led to her defeat. That is, unfortunately, Trump’s strong suit … he knows how to excite the masses.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I agree…I was part of the minority of people who actually liked Hillary as a person, but even I can see in hindsight that she just wasn’t charismatic enough. I also agree that the word socialism will scare off a lot of mainstream Americans (even though democratic socialism is something completely different), but I wonder if the Dems could borrow some of the issues the democratic socialists are strong on and sell them in a way that isn’t scary…

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        • Yes, I liked Hillary too, but as you said, in hindsight, I can see where she might have appealed more with a bit more zest, especially the younger people. As for the democratic-socialist platform … ABSOLUTELY! A modified and workable version. For example, while free university for all sounds great, it isn’t feasible at this time, and would drive the far-right contingent into apoplexy. However, affordable college and low interest rates on student debt is a very workable solution. We’ll never repeal the 2nd Amendment, BUT … an assault weapon ban and raising the age to 21, along with enforcement of background checks and a waiting period are all common-sense solutions to our gun problem. And the list goes on. Bernie Sanders had wonderful ideas, but many were ‘pie in the sky’. However, modifying those ideas should be exactly what the democratic party ought to be doing.

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          • It’s not a new book per se, it’s actually my very /first/ book – Vokhtah. I published it as an ebook back in 2013 but it’s taken me until now to create a print book version. Plus I changed the cover, a lot. 😀

            Liked by 1 person

            • Ahhhh … well, congratulations anyway, and I hope it sells like hotcakes! I just checked out the kindle version on both Amazon and GoodReads … you’ve got excellent reviews on both! I hope the print version does as well … now, what will you do with the millions in royalties?

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              • Millions? LMAO, ROFL death-by-laughter…..
                Sorry. 🙂 Truth is I will make next to no royalties from the print books because they are expensive to make and buy. But that’s okay. The aim is to provide all readers with a comfortable option. Hopefully I’ll make a ‘name’ for myself eventually and then Hollywood here I come…-cough-

                Liked by 1 person

                • OH MY!!!! I didn’t mean for you to roll around on the floor in hysterical laughter, inhaling dust bunnies and now you’ll need, from the sounds of it, to go to the hospital for some oxygen!!! I’m so sorry!!! OH NO … Hollywood? You are too sweet, too kind … they will eat you alive and then corrupt you! But, I suppose one who is a literary genius must be willing to make sacrifices, eh? I do wish I were a fan of your genre, for I would love to read your book, but … I’m rooting for you and I promise you this much … if I see it at my local bookseller, I will buy a copy. In fact … hmmmm … I have a grandson who likes sci fi … 💡 📘 🎁 👦

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  5. I hate to say it, Jill, but presemnt-day politicians world-side are standing against things more than they are standing for things. People our age were brought up listening to a whole lot less rhetoric than younger people today. There actually seems to be a whole new wave of voters, and most of them seem to be on the side of those who scream the loudest and fling the most dirt. How else did Trump get elected!
    I agree with you the Dems need to define what they are for, and I hate that they might run on the “NO” platform, but the baby boomers are on their way out. The ME and X and Y generations are taking over, and they were brought up completely different. Hell, we brought them up to be different. But we no longer control them.
    What I think needs to be done is approach these newer voters with the idea of finding out what it is they want to hear from politicians. What will make them vote, and what will make them vote for someone in particular?
    I would hope the Dems are already doing that, but are they doing it right? That I highly doubt.

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  6. Jill, they also need to let these candidates run their races. The Republicans will run against Nancy Pelosi. I think they should speak out against the roll back of the impact of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. This agency is designed to help people not get screwed by banks, mortgage cos, credit card lenders, etc. The GOP is against these protections. Just today, Congresd rolled back a protection that prevented auto lenders from discriminating. Why?

    When you add the Supreme Court siding with companies saying they can require arbitration when they hire you should they discriminate and it just adds more to the corporate ledger. People voted for Trump because he was going to protect them, but time and again he has shown he is for those with money. We focus too much on Trump’s tweets and less on him stealing our candy. Keith

    Liked by 2 people

    • You are so very right, Keith! I was up in arms over both the auto-lending discrimination and today the arbitration decision, yet neither seemed to garner a whole lot of attention. One thing I fear about the upcoming election is that the same thing will happen that happened in 2016. The press will cover Trump and the GOP non-stop, and the democratic candidates will have to fight tooth and nail to get their share of the spotlight. I already see it happening.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Jill, this press focus relates to a post I wrote where we are missing the bigger picture. Dems need to focus on dinner table issues – healthcare, job growth, retraining, roads/ bridges, etc. Keith

        Liked by 1 person

  7. This is why I keep coming back, Jill. You echo my sentiments exactly. I’m going to another meeting tonight and I’ll bring it up again but here, at the local level, they are not talking that way. One of the more important races for us is the Senate race for a huge district and the first argument from the opponent? Term limits. The Dem in there has served in Washington since 1972 and no one stepped up to run against him in a primary. I find that folks are fooling themselves because of the narrow victories in high profile elections this past year. I keep reminding folks that this race is not about Trump. Let’s stop spending the energy to give him so much publicity each time he passes wind! What are we going to offer that doesn’t even sound like another handout? Stay tuned!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Exactly!!! This all-Trump-all-the-time is giving the GOP free advertising. Trump is hanging himself, and the mainstream media are keeping him in the spotlight. The democrats need to steal some of that spotlight, else come November 6th, people will be saying, “Who???” And enthusiasm. We need to generate enthusiasm, excitement! That was, in part, what doomed Hillary … she just didn’t seem enthused, though she had the qualifications, the platform … everything but excitement. Keep up the good work, Lindi, and thanks for reading and commenting … I always appreciate it!

      Liked by 1 person

  8. That Dem “platform” put forth at the Ideas Conference sounds like lip-service to me. I’m not buying it.

    Jill, the platform items you listed were once strongly supported by the party. But now, that is less clear. Many labor unions have felt betrayed by the Democratic Party establishment for quite some time; and, it had a chance to push for universal healthcare during Obama’s first term yet declined to do so.

    I also think that Dem fortunes this year will depend on them standing for what they believe. Unfortunately, I don’t see that coming. The Democratic establishment since Bill Clinton has abandoned ideology in favor of perceived (or misperceived) political pragmatism – a stance it appears staunchly committed to. We have witnessed time after time (e.g. Brexit, Trump) that voters are no longer responding to that kind of appeal.

    Liked by 2 people

    • No, I’m with you … I don’t see it coming either, but I am still hoping that they wake up and come out with some excitement, some inspiring candidates, some zest and enthusiasm, as well as a solid platform. For democrats, at least, I would think that after the past year, it would be like a port in a storm to hear a candidate say he wants to implement environmental regulations, that he wants to work toward universal health care, that the income disparity needs to be narrowed. That he stands for humanitarian values, which are sorely lacking both in the White House and the Capitol.

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  9. Our Senator from Wisconsin, Tammy Baldwin, has been running ads about what she stands for and what she will do and I respect her for that. However, I also agree with you that the DNC needs to be loud and proud about what they stand for and what they will do for the local, state and national community. Maybe they could take some notes from teenagers who survived the Parkland shooting when it comes to using social media and voicing where they stand.

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    • Absolutely! They need to speak out about what they will do, what they believe, AND they need to generate some enthusiasm. That was Hillary’s problem, or at least a big part of it. She had a sound platform, excellent values and ideas, was experienced and well-qualified, but she just didn’t generate enthusiasm. People just didn’t like her as a person. And the fact that Bill Clinton was her hubby didn’t help, for many don’t like him. Yes, those Parkland students definitely are a class act and every candidate could take a lesson from them!

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