The Democratic party sent me an email this morning, wanting to know what I want the party to concentrate on. I’m sure most of you got one, too. I thought I’d share my response with you. Here it is:
Here are my top 4:
#1–If we don’t seriously confront the way the Republicans have rigged the system against us in the form of voter suppression, voter purging & intimidation, gerrymandering, voting machine tampering/glitches/security, campaign finance/Citizen’s United, etc., we will never again attain any significant measure of power, no matter what else we do. Not taking it seriously enough and fighting it hard enough is leading to our permanent delegation to the realm of the insignificant. I keep hearing that our losses are all about message, but that isn’t true. We consistently get most of the votes, by far, but still lose elections. That isn’t a matter of message–it’s a matter of rigged elections. Why is that so hard to see?
#2–If we don’t seriously address climate change as a top priority, everything else will soon be a moot point.
#3–Economic equality & opportunity: This one covers a lot of territory, but for a short answer: borrow Bernie Sanders playbook, because this (along with climate change) is THE big reason he swept up support the way he did. We know the economic system is rigged against us, and it’s getting worse–and we’re mad as hell about it. And to those of us down here in the trenches, it looks like Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren are the ONLY people in all of Washington who have any idea of the reality of our situation and the REAL causes and solutions–or who even care.
One vitally important point here is to do a MUCH better job re: educating the public about the positive economic effects of transitioning from fossil fuels to clean energy. The approach so far, for the most part, has left those financially dependent on the fossil fuel industry with the entrenched notion that that road leads only to even more loss and inequality for them. Hillary Clinton did add that to her platform later in her campaign, but it was way too little way too late.
One more thing: While ObamaCare is terrific for many and certainly has some pluses to consider, some of us were put in graver financial straits by the mandate, especially those of us living in “red” states. It put additional strain on already strained budgets. Especially for those of us who do not use the “health” care system as much, this began to breed a certain amount of resentment because of the extra hardship. Then, the announcement just prior to the election that there would be an astronomical rate hike jacked that resentment up into real anger. We feel that the insurance system–indeed the entire “health” care system in this country–is just one more way things are rigged against the average person. The costs are totally outrageous and inexcusable.
We KNOW that our government doesn’t have our backs when it comes to our general well-being. We have the sneaking suspicion that few of you even recognize our existence as you go about the business of running–or in the case of the Republicans, not running–our government. (Of course, now, the Republicans can’t wait to get to work.)
#4–We know the whole damn system is seriously broken, which admittedly is more the fault of Republicans than Democrats. HOWEVER–and this is a biggie I’m hearing a LOT lately–we are totally disgusted with the complete lack of spine or fight shown by the Democrats. Democrats have allowed “nice” to strip us of effectiveness, while the Republicans run roughshod over everything we hold dear. Democrats are going to HAVE to become effective, to find ways to bring about real results, or we will become invisible. We will cease to matter at all. Seriously, we seem to already be there.
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