If you tuned in for Wednesday night’s DNC debate hosted by The Huffington Post, you may have hoped for a true battle of ideas between moderates and progressive.
Unfortunately, rather than the fire we’ve cone to expect from progressivism, what you got instead was a great deal of lukewarm waffling and advocating for the status quo, even from the most progressive on stage.
At one point during the evening’s debate, moderators asked the candidates to raise their hand if they considered themselves to be a “progressive.” Surprisingly, each candidate on stage raised his or her hand, showing that “progressive,” has morphed into the latest buzzword for any candidate hoping to win the party’s trust, the true politics of the term be damned.
Yet despite all of those hands raised, not a single candidate said that they felt the scale was tipped unfairly in Hillary Clinton’s favor during the primary. No one said Superdelegates should be abolished or Caucuses should be ended. No one said that lobbyists should be barred from giving money to the party structure, a rule that was rolled back just a few months ago.
It is as if the moderators handed the candidates the most simple of all progressive tests, and each one failed, despite wearing the badge of far-left politics proudly.
What most did agree on was that Donald Trump should be harshly opposed, treating him with the same respect and candor that Mitch McConnell and the GOP treated Obama. But as we all know, opposing Trump isn’t the way to win an election; if it were, we would now be just hours away from a President Clinton.
No, unfortunately even the most progressive on stage spent the bulk of their time talking about unity and singing Kumbaya, as if Clintonites hadn’t been shouting that from the rooftops for a year now. Even Sanders-backed Ellison balked from his earlier more bold stances once onstage, a disappointment to many.
There clearly are some very progressive candidates before us hoping to become DNC chair -we know this from their records of advocacy and opposition – but to see those flames flicker out on a national stage as they did last night does not bode well.
Whomever is selected as DNC chair from the ranks had better learn to stand up, stand out, and stand tall for progressive values. The life of the party depends on it.