Many of us would like to agree that the Democratic and Republican Party are two sides of the same coin. They are old political institutions that have dominated local, state, and federal politics for decades, and we can never seem to get a third party into the fray.
We’ve managed to elect and nominate progressives in the Democratic Party, mainly in local and state levels, and for the Republicans, they have done the same with far-right candidates.
It wasn’t until the election of Barack Obama in 2008 when we saw how divided our country is, and our politics became violently polarized. I say it started to get bad in 2008 because of the horrible racism and hate thrown at our first African American President. The Republican Party has begun moving to the right, they did not believe he was born in the US, and the Democrats have significantly moved to the right as well (from the political center). Democrats have become more and more complicit to Republicans, as seen in the second term of Barack Obama’s presidency when the Republicans gained a majority in Congress. When it came to any political fight over a vote or piece of legislation, they hesitated, they complained, and barely pushed at their opponents in both houses of Congress.
Democrats have also lost their touch. First, they’re making the mistake of categorizing us: the women vote, the white vote, the black vote. No, it’s supposed to just be the American vote. All of us. Identity politics is a part of the problem of why Democrats have lost touch with hard-working Americans. How can you preach about unity and preach about countering Trump’s divisiveness when this same party is categorizing its own supporters?
So, where does this leave us? I don’t want to vote Democrat if they continuously neglect our progressive wants and needs, and I’m sure millions more don’t either. I voted for Jill Stein in the 2016 presidential general election because I did not feel comfortable with either. Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton did not represent me or my dreams or my hopes. (Cue neo-liberals blaming me for Trump).
And, to know that more Democrats are up for re-election in the Senate than Republicans, worries me. If more people are discouraged with the Democrats because of their lack of change, that leaves Republicans as the continuous winner. Sure, Donald Trump might be impeached or resign, or replaced by another Republican. But what we’re seeing is a rapid growth of conservatism and backwards thinking because of Trump. He made people think it’s okay to be hateful, racist, and downright rude. Now, if Democrats can’t hop on board and move left, we’re going to see more Republican victories.
But wait, I said polarization is the problem. Moving farther left would thus fan that fire. So, how do we prevent more Republican victories, where people are voting against their interests such as Medicaid/Medicare cuts, and cuts to Social Security? We need to show people the pros of big government. We all like those programs. We all want to retire in peace, we want to be taken care of when sick, and we want our families to be taken care of. It’s time to end the stigma of big government equals no liberty. This isn’t 1776. This isn’t 1812. We aren’t desperately fighting for our freedom from an imperial colonizer. It
is 2017. 40,000 veterans are homeless. 1.2 million children are homeless. 93 people die every day due to gun violence. If the Democratic Party doesn’t change, the Republicans will have a ploy to gain votes because they come off as helping everyday Americans. If the Democratic Party doesn’t change, it will die. The Republicans will maintain control of our government and continue to fool the American populace until our voices are heard.