So we’re down to a couple of old white guys in the Democratic Party’s presidential sweepstakes. Oh, and Tulsi. There’s been a lot made of the left-middle split within the party since things began but not much about the standards that the Party traditionally bears during this exercise. You know: the “Big Tent,” “Union Strong” and all that. The purported affinity for working people is, however, being tested (again) this time around.
We leave March with a Party that claims a singular purpose: defeat someone history has already crowned “the worst President in the history of the United States.” Should be easy, right? You’ve seen the exit polls in recent weeks. Not only does a solid majority of the electorate disapprove of Mr. Trump, there is an unprecedented majority who define their attitude toward the man as “angry.” So why does the hand-wringing continue in some quarters?
Well, for starters, the voice of the party wafts in from somewhere off in the near right. Even the most progressive media is populated by people who float along on the top tier of the moneyed class. Their hearts may tell them to be aware and “woke” to the problems of those with problems, but their reality is pretty much free of anything you might categorize as “real folks problems.” But I digress.
You see, I think that the Democratic Party could put this election pretty much to bed at this point if they could do what they always say is their specialty: working across ideologies, listening to the disenfranchised and unifying at the top to present something approaching the will of the people in any real sense. There is absolutely no reason that Uncle Joe and Bernie can’t sit down and craft a unified position based on the professed beliefs they share. It seems patently absurd to think of a Biden-Sanders ticket given their obvious similarities but Biden could quite easily adopt the very justified concerns and objectives Bernie has worked a lifetime to promote. At a moment in time when capitalism seems completely unable to address real social need, a bit of socialism in the form of true comm-unity strikes me as more than reasonable.
The kind of unity we need to successfully keep the dark side at bay is within reach. Including Senator Sanders in a sincere and meaningful effort at crafting a platform that fits the day would be a start. Adding a third chair at the table for Elizabeth Warren or Stacy Abrams would signal strength at the top – and requesting either of them to fill the second chair on the ticket would generate a lot of enthusiasm. Bringing their persistence to bear on enforcing the will of the people could, quite literally, redefine the role of the Vice President, re-kindle hope and turn the current administration into duck confit.
So, whaddya say, Dems? Do you really mean the stuff you say or are you really just Wall Street lite? There’s ample evidence of the majority’s opinion about a wide range of issues and, to date, very few politicians seem to care. If you really want to bridge the enthusiasm gap and start to Renew Our Democracy, you’ll never find a better time.