The 2014 election was a disaster for Democrats. Any Democratic partisan who tries to explain it away is doing a disservice to their party. When the Maryland's Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown loses to an unknown Republican in a state where the Democrats have a 2-to-1 registration advantage, the Democratic Party better look in the mirror and ask: Why didn't people vote for us? And why didn't the base of people who have voted for us come out to vote?
Democratic Party chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz announced that the party will initiate a process to understand why they lost so badly in the recent election. An honest reflection on these questions and an informed shift in strategy would result in a transformation toward a truly populist platform with non-corporatist candidates. That shift would make the Democratic Party the dominant party for decades to come. Failure to face these issues will ensure the Democrats will never play the role of leadership that the country needs at this critical time.
Here are the answers to the questions the Democratic Party needs to be asking itself: People didn't vote because the Democratic Party has not served the interests of their constituents. The Democrats are trying to serve two masters: big money -- primarily from Wall Street and transnational corporations -- and the people. The people want policies that big business opposes.
Unfortunately, all that the people are getting is empty rhetoric created through focus groups that sounds progressive, while the Democrat's actions do the opposite. Wall Street and big business interests get policies that expand their already too extreme wealth which is corrupting the government. Voters are hip to the game that is being played and are choosing to drop out. They are forcing the Democrats to decide which side they are on: big money's or the people's.
As long as Democrats represent wealthy interests rather than the voters, they will never be a political party that can govern the country and get things done. The people will withhold their votes and actively oppose their policies.
The Democratic Party needs to know that Hillary Clinton, their front-runner for 2016, is on the wrong side. She is taking money personally and politically from Wall Street, Monsanto, weapons makers and other transnational business interests. She has taken huge speaking fees to enrich herself and the Clinton Foundation. While we would like to see a female president, her gender alone is insufficient to energize voters. Hillary cannot overcome her history and remake herself to win the presidency in 2016. The party would be foolish to coronate her.
The views of Americans were most clearly seen in direct democracy on Election Day where people voted, even in red states, for increases in the minimum wage, to block fracking in their communities and for paid sick leave. Looking at polls of the American people conducted today and over the past decade or more, they are much more progressive than the way either party governs -- meaning that, essentially, the people are not represented in U.S. government.March on the Democrats
The day before Election Day, a large group of climate justice activists marched to the Democratic National Committee headquarters as part of lively, week-long series of Beyond Extreme Energy protests in Washington, D.C. The purpose was to tell the Democrats they cannot count on votes from people who are concerned about the climate crisis.
Democratic political figures including President Obama and Hillary Clinton put out rhetoric expressing concern about the climate crisis as the greatest ecological challenge we face, yet their policies are absolutely counterproductive. Democrats need to know that voters are smart enough to see the discrepancies between their rhetoric and the reality of their policies.
The protesters delivered a letter to the chairperson of the Democratic National Committee which explained this in detail: "all of the above energy" -- including exporting coal and gas, exploring offshore oil resources, loosening rules for oil trains, building fossil fuel infrastructure, and participating in extreme extraction for tar sands, fracked gas, coal and uranium for nuclear power -- worsen the climate crisis. We need to stop building carbon-nuclear infrastructure and as rapidly as possible move to a carbon-free, nuclear-free energy economy. We can make this transition by 2030. But no Democrat is taking the necessary leadership on climate issues.
Leaders who move the country toward the clean, carbon-free, nuclear-free energy economy will be supported. Leadership that does not make this transition will be blocked by climate activists. We will seek to remove them from office, protest their campaigns and block their policies.
Climate justice activist Tim DeChristopher joined the march and handed the letter to the DNC representative, National Political Director Raul Alvillar. DeChristopher emphasized that voters have tried to work with the Democrats on the climate crisis by speaking out at town meetings and voting for the lesser evil, but it has become obvious that these strategies have failed.
He warned Alvillar, "We will remove Democrats from office if they do not act appropriately on the climate crisis."
Many activists have come to the conclusion that our power lies in un-electing Democrats who are wrong on this issue, even if it means removing a Democrat who is replaced by a Republican.