Following up on Laura Halferty’s earlier article, I feel like there is more to be said about the failure of the Democratic Party. This isn’t just their failure to win the White House in 2016, they’ve been underperforming for the last decade. I’ve been a registered Democrat for the better part of the last couple of decades, and the Democratic Party has not lived up to my expectations.
As Laura said, the DNC has failed to connect with Millenials, or even my fellow members of Generation X. It seems that they would prefer to play defense in safe districts in blue states, despite Howard Dean’s brief success with the “50 State Strategy.”
We can keep litigating and armchair quarterbacking the outcome of 2016, but that really doesn’t accomplish much else than playing into the GOP strategy of dividing Democrats against each other. I supported Bernie Sanders in the primaries, and then voted for Hillary Clinton in the general election – a choice a lot of us made.
Appealing solely to rich white liberals in places like San Francisco or New York is a bad strategy for the Democratic Party. Sure, we get politicians like Nancy Pelosi or Chuck Schumer who try to keep Trump in check, but where are their red state counterparts?
I don’t see the future failures of the DNC based on squabbling between Bernie Bros versus Hillary Hawks. Their flaw is a refusal to connect with voters in red states, or even swing districts.
The Democratic Party has lost a ton of state and federal offices over the past few years. The fact that Louisiana has a conservative Democrat as governor is due to the unpopularity of his opponent, and the hard work of local activists, not the DNC.
In 2016, we had the choice between Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders. Both were incredibly qualified candidates, but look at the sea of candidates the GOP had. In the end, the GOP chose what was probably the least qualified individual in Donald Trump, and with Russian help, they won the election.
Democrats aren’t promoting young, progressive candidates or reaching out to working class voters like they should. We can blame Democratic losses on gerrymandering all we want, but that’s an easy cop-out instead of addressing the real issues.
Unless Democrats venture out of their safe districts and take the fight to the GOP with candidates that appeal to working class voters who might also care about guns and religion, they will keep losing.
Playing defense isn’t a strategy for winning, it’s a recipe for disaster. This has to change, or else the GOP will continue their stranglehold on America, even though our country continues to become more liberal and diverse.