Rust Belt or Sun Belt?
Centrist Democrats or Progressive Democrats?
People that voted for Obama twice and then Trump or those that stayed home on election night 2016?
Progressive Democrats of America or Third Way?
Which of the above eight doors should Democrats go through in preparing for the 2020 election?
How about all of the above.
In order to become a national party that thrives in all parts of the country, Democrats need to unite and devise a program that appeals to all regions of the nation and every demographic.
The Biotech engineer in Phoenix and the unemployed copper miner in Miami-Globe, Arizona want their children to realize and live the American Dream. The rural farmers in Snowflake, Arizona want the same accessible and affordable health care as the urban police officer or firefighter in Tucson. Stay at home mothers in Nogales want the same high quality and affordable educational and child care opportunities for their children as the career woman professional working in Mesa. Hispanic Citizens, like white ones, want safe and secure borders. Both Straight and Gay Families want to live in safe communities. Everyone across the country wants (and needs) to breath clean air and drink uncontaminated water. Everyone also wants to live a comfortable life with a living wage in a free democratic society.
This appealing and united program should include the Centrist Democratic and Progressive Democratic goals that the public, illustrated from polling, consistently embraces. This program should include:
- Affordable Pre K through Graduate Education
- Shifting from fossil to clean energy
- Universal health care
- Universal childcare
- Paid Family Leave
- Free and fair trade
- Stabilizing and expanding Social Security/Medicare/Medicaid
- A living wage for everyone
- Protecting our Democracy, the right to vote, and getting Dark Money out of politics.
- Repairing our nation’s infrastructure.
- Equality for everyone including the LGBTQ community.
- Safe and secure borders by employing sensible and modern methods and technology.
While most of these goals are considered by the right wing reactionaries to be socialistic, remember again that the American public supports, with substantial majorities, the passage of these measures.
It should also be noted that these measures can be enacted through pragmatic-centrist progressive means by expanding what is already in place.
Take education for example. You can achieve affordable education from Pre K through graduate school through:
- increases in child, hope scholarship and earned income tax credits.
- increases in the minimum wage
- increases in Pell Grants
- Free two-year community college tuition (like what Tennessee enacted)
- Publicly funding state universities and regulating their tuition rate hikes.
Take health care as another example. Through existing health care programs, the nation can get closer to universal coverage by
- Stabilizing, reforming, and expanding the Affordable Care Act.
- Expand Medicaid to include more at a lower poverty level.
- Extend Medicare to those with catastrophic health conditions and to age 55
- Have the government negotiate drug prices.
As President Bill Clinton said at his 1993 Inaugural, “There is nothing that is wrong with America that cannot be fixed with what is right with America.”
As other commentators from other media outlets have relayed, there is no need for Democrats to pick one region over another to campaign in and concentrate on. They should exert and maintain a presence everywhere.
There is no one demographic group to target. Democrats should reach out to everyone.
There is no one philosophy to solely embrace. There are merits and drawbacks in considering all ideas from the mainstream of the political spectrum.
There is no new government program to invent to get the American people what they want and need. The programs already exist and just need to be reformed, expanded and built on.
It is time for the Centrist and Progressive Democrats to unite and get the job done. The Trumpists and their allies have given the Center-Left and Left a golden opportunity. Do not blow it on petty squabbling over how far to expand government or which parts of the country to campaign in. There are local, state, and national power centers to contest and win (ifilibuster-proof control of the United States Senate over perennially obstructionist Republicans.) It will not happen if we are divided.