Right now the Democrats, exiled from power and clinging to the edges of federal governance, are dreaming of a revival. But their strategy is a passive one.
The Democrats are betting that Donald Trump and his Republican enablers will implode with such force that a power vacuum of epic proportions will result. Their hope is that without getting their uniforms dirty they will naturally fill the power vacuum as voters turn away from the Republicans in disgust. But that ignores the power vacuum within the Democrats' own ranks.
Ask most American voters what the Democrats stand for and you're likely to get a lot of blank stares or negative perceptions based on right-wing media talking points. The Democratic Party's decline parallels a departure from issue-based policy and an embrace of policy defined by the donor class. The ideological grist has been replaced by message management and political marketing.
Even in their criticisms of Donald Trump, whose conduct is as blatantly unethical and un-American as any president in U.S. history, Democratic officials are largely measured, even tepid, in their remarks.
The Democratic Party is a party in search of an identity. To regain majorities in Congress or elect a Democratic president, there must be a clearly defined ideology that voters can grasp, identify with, and feel compelled to rally around.
In poll after poll, the most trusted and popular political figure in America is Senator Bernie Sanders. Sanders has the respect and the confidence of more voters than any Democratic presidential hopeful, by far. But perhaps most importantly, Sanders has a clearly defined agenda based on an ideology that a broad spectrum of Americans identify with: "Put the interests of America's working majority ahead of the policies of wealth accumulation for the richest 1%."
Sanders brings the Democrats something they haven't had in decades: ideological legitimacy. However, in a more pragmatic sense, Sanders gives the Democrats the best shot at major gains in both houses of Congress and the Oval Office.
Sanders is not only the overwhelming favorite of the Democratic-Progressive base but he has, more importantly, tremendous credibility and support among the all-important independent voters.
Any objective observer of the 2016 Democratic primary contest had to seriously suspect that the DNC and the Democratic Party establishment strongly favored Hillary Clinton over Bernie Sanders. In fact, they did everything in their power to ensure that Clinton, not Sanders, would be the nominee.
Through it all, Sanders, true to his word, remained a loyal team player. Yes, Sanders is a Socialist. Yes, he serves as an Independent in the Senate, not a Democrat, but he has proven a reliable and consistent ally of Democratic positions on critical social issues. He has proven that he can be trusted.
Sanders wants change; the Democrats fear it. Like it or not, change is coming. Sanders will challenge the Democratic Party, but he will also surely lift the party and set it on a course to majority representation. The Democrats must seize the day.
Reader Supported News is the Publication of Origin for this work. Permission to republish is freely granted with credit and a link back to Reader Supported News.