23 November 2016

A Thanksgiving Message to the Democratic Party

Yes, you, Democratic Party. I know it doesn't seem like you have much to be thankful for this year. Things...aren't great. It kind of seems like ever since the election, you've been going through an identity crisis, laying blame and arguing over the way forward. But take a deep breath and relax. Things aren't as bad as they seem. In fact, you have a lot to be grateful for this Thanksgiving.

You lost an election, but you did not lose your soul. More people voted for a candidate pushing your platform of racial, social, economic and environmental justice. Trump's message of fear, hatred and bigotry lost by over two million votes. Yes, you were screwed once again by the Electoral College, a racist and antiquated vestige of an earlier America that nonetheless continues to decide, against the popular will, who should lead our country. But the Electoral College cannot stop the tide of human progress. The last decade has seen enormous leaps forward in both policy and public support for progressive causes. President Obama has set the mold for the modern Democratic president and enjoys record approval ratings in his final months in office. Liberal is no longer a dirty word. These are achievements of which you should be proud. Yes, Trump has the potential to stall this progress. But he, like the Electoral College, cannot reverse it.

Listen to Bernie Sanders: Racial and economic justice must go hand in hand. At the end of the day, we are all living in a world indiscriminately rigged to benefit a select few. Racism and the wounds it causes are real. But your message needs more: a common enemy that can help heal these wounds or, at the very least, keep them closed until it is defeated. Thankfully, that common enemy exists and you are the one major party in America who has been fighting it on both these fronts. You just need to find a way to bring your wings together; to explain to each disparate group how and why their interests are intertwined and what they stand to lose. Many of these factions experienced tremendous gains under President Obama and will be chomping at the bit to ensure this progress is not reversed. Once you are united, you must resist and do so without shame. Political opposition is not only your right, but your patriotic duty, especially when the party in power is intent on imposing a divisive and dangerous agenda against the will of the people.

In short, Democratic Party, do not waste a second of this Thanksgiving on unwarranted soul-searching. You didn't lose this election because you had the wrong message. You didn't spend too much time focused on racial and social justice issues. These are extremely important issues. Keep focusing on them. You do not need to be more accepting of the ignorant or more tolerant of the intolerant. But you must coalesce your many voices into one unified message of people power to span across the diverse racial and socioeconomic spectrum that is America. You have the message. You have the platform. You have the support. Now go enjoy your turkey and come back ready to act like it.

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