Amid repeated instances of failure to learn their lesson, the Democratic party has one last chance to get something right in 2016 by electing Minnesota congressman Keith Ellison as the Democratic National Committee’s new chairman.
Of course, knowing that pesky party, they will hand it to Howard Dean or another such over-exposed, establishment type.
Nevertheless, Ellison is making his case the best way he can: by offering a real plan for the future of the party. And than plan begins and ends with the party realizing the state of the nation, cutting out their attitude of moral superiority, and making a real change.
In an interview with Think Progress, Ellison shared that vision.
“You might ask, why do people like that vote for Trump? Well, many of them didn’t. His voter turnout was pretty moderate. It wasn’t some big wave. But it was enough. Even if Trump is a fraud, and not a credible messenger, for some people, he’s talking about jobs, renegotiating trade deals, taking on the elites and the establishment, and they say, “That sounds good to me.”
One vital aspect of leading the DNC for the next three years is being able to face the country that overwhelming has said “no thanks,” to the Democratic vision. How does a chairman lead his party when Democrats barely have a seat at the table thanks to a Senate, House, SCOTUS, and presidential minority?
“The First Amendment and the right to address grievances is still in full effect. If people want to protest, to get out there and express themselves, as long as they do it peacefully, they should be encouraged to do so.”
“But I caution fellow Democrats: make your focus the American people, not Trump. We will defeat him one day, and when we do, we better have something to offer people. We need to highlight his failure to live up to his campaign promises, but we shouldn’t construct our whole lives around him.”
Meanwhile, Ellison says that strong-hearted Democrats like himself will be fighting like hell on the House floor.
Ellison, the first black congressman from his state and the first Muslim elected to the House also spoke about race and how it related to elections and his party.
“Why is the south historically the poorest part of the country? Because when they held black people in slavery, they didn’t have to pay white people much of nothing.
So we are all better off when we have solidarity. We need to unify because if we’re together, we can make a common demand for more fairness and more prosperity.”
With one fell swoop in this statement, Ellison summarized the entire inner-party divide over whether Democrats should focus on winning minority voters or take a closer examination of middle-America, working-class discontent.
Ellison shows easily how the two can be combined and work together – the exact skill needed to lead this party which represents such a diverse spread of people.
You can read the entire interview with Ellison at Think Progress.