May 11, 2018
Just to be clear: the "blue wave" is coming.
Of course, the country will only find out if Democrats can overturn the Republican's grip on power when people to go to the polls for the mid-term elections in November, but in the meantime Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) on Friday let it be known once again that the Democratic Party risks another round of failure unless it embraces the kind of bold, progressive agenda that can unite the working class and upend the normalization of big-money politics and oligarchic rule that helped usher President Donald Trump into office.
"We cannot defeat Trump and the Republican Party with the same playbook, or by supporting the same kind of candidates long favored by the political establishment and financial elite. That is how we got to where we are today."
--Sen. Bernie Sanders
"If we are going to defeat right-wing Republicans in 2018 and 2020, we need to win in states that Trump won, like Pennsylvania," Sanders declared on Friday in a fundraising email for the advocacy group Democracy for America.
"In my view," Sanders continued, "the only way we win in those states is by supporting progressive candidates who have the guts to defend working-class families--white, black, Latino, Asian American, Native American--and take on the power and greed of the billionaire class."
The 2018 midterm elections will be long remembered as a pivotal moment in American history because, if we are successful, we can put an end to the disastrous Trump agenda. If we are not, we will have at least two more years of a rapid shift toward authoritarianism, the further normalization of corruption and the continued rise of oligarchy.
But we cannot defeat Trump and the Republican Party with the same playbook, or by supporting the same kind of candidates long favored by the political establishment and financial elite. That is how we got to where we are today.
These sentiments are not so different from that of another former presidential candidate, Ralph Nader, who argued on Thursday night, as Common Dreamsreported, that it is now time for the Democrats to stop blaming outside forces for their failures and "look in the mirror" about how they got to where they find themselves. Only by embracing a bold and progressive set of policies, he advised, can the party win back trust and attract new voters in order to defeat Trump and "the cruelest Republican Party" in U.S. history.
Sanders' latest comments on the Democratic Party's trajectory ahead of the midterms come in the midst of primary battles as progressive challengers--like Laura Moser in Texas, Greg Edwards in Pennsylvania, and dozens of others across the country--are taking on more centrist incumbents or candidates backed by establishment campaign groups and the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC).
As Nina Turner, executive director of Our Revolution, which is backing Sanders-style progressives in primaries nationwide, lamented on Friday, the DCCC is doing tremendous damage to the party by "releasing opposition research before primaries and urging them to drop out for more 'suitable' candidates in their districts."
"People are demanding real answers to serious issues," Turner declared. "There is no excuse for Democrats who want to represent us to rely on corporations and special interest PAC money and get in the way of bold, popular, and vital proposals like Medicare for All. It's time for the DCCC to stop meddling in primaries at the expense of much needed progressive change."
Like Sanders, Turner suggests that hoping for the defeat of Trump and the Republicans in Congress is one thing, but strategizing for and achieving a victory in the fall that will truly make lives better for American families is quite another.
"We can all agree we want Trump and the Republicans out," she said. "We also want a Democratic Party that will not sacrifice Medicare for All or other policies Americans care most about to appease their corporate donor base."
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