The good news is that voters are more than ready for a clear change of direction. Support for the Bush administration and the political status quo is falling like a boulder. A recent AP Ipsos survey found that by more than two to one (66% to 28%) Americans think our country is headed in the wrong direction. The same poll found over 60% of the public disapproves of the job being done by Congress. A new Quinnipiac poll has revealed that Rick Santorum and George Bush have hit new lows in their approval ratings in Pennsylvania.
The question is whether Democrats are ready to seize the historic opportunity created by Republican failures. The 2006 elections have the potential to be a turning point similar to the Republican takeover of Congress in 1994 or the 1986 Democratic capture of the U.S. Senate. But Democrats will lose this chance if we don't seize it. Not being Republicans is not good enough. Here's what we have to do to win:
1. RUN STRONG on CORE DEMOCRATIC PRINCIPLES: clearly define our differences with incumbent and right-wing politicians and hold them accountable for their special-interest governing philosophy, their lack of independence, and their anti- democratic governing methods.
My vision includes universal health care; better schools that focus more on children and less on standardized tests; economic opportunity and equal rights for all Americans, a rapid exit strategy from Iraq, real national security and global diplomacy, and pro-democracy reforms at home.
3. ORGANIZE, ORGANIZE, and ORGANIZE some more to mobilize the growing majority of Americans who want a clear and new direction for their communities and their nation.
My campaign in Pennsylvania for real change is a perfect example of the challenge that Democrats face. My opponents are career politicians who are funded by the same corporate interests that undermine our democracy. Bob Casey Jr., who has been "anointed" as "THE" Democratic candidate, by DLC centrists, does not offer a clear alternative to Rick Santorum. Casey and Santorum agree on opposing a woman's right to choose, restricting embryonic stem cell research, supporting President Bush's war in Iraq, discriminating against gays and lesbians, and opposing universal health insurance.
My campaign offers the clear vision that Democrats need to win in 2006 to again become a majority party. Across the USA, it is essential that Democrats bring forth strong candidates who stand for core Democrat principles. It is essential that Democrats run candidates who do not look just like their incumbent Republican opponents. Taking this approach is the only way to break the losing pattern the DLC democrats have subjected the Democratic party to.
The time has never been better for a citizen- candidate and a people-powered campaign for change. Do your part and join the thousands of Americans who are becoming active at the grass-roots level, empowering strong, progressive Democrats, giving us the resources we need to defeat the Rick Santorums and, Bob Casey Jrs. across the nation and corporate-driven politics as usual.
Chuck Pennacchio email@example.com is running in the Pennsylvania primary for US Senate to ultimately run against Senator Rick Santorum http://www.chuck2006.com. He is the director of the history program of the University of the Arts in Philadelphia and teaches American History, National Security studies and Politics in the Media. He was a personal aide to US Senator Alan Cranston, Military aide to congressman Ron Dellums, and organized winning campaigns for senators Tom Harkin, Tim Wirth and Paul Simon.