Getting it Together

Democrats need to get it together. There is a lot of unfocused anger at not only Donald Trump but the people who elected him, and it’s not going to win any elections.

Case in point – a bitter piece in the Daily Kos gloating that Kentuckians who voted for Trump will be the first he betrays. Or an I-told-you-so piece in telling us what we already knew – that white working class voters shot themselves in the foot and will really miss their ACA benefits.

“I told you so” is not a political message, even if it’s true.

But Democrats just killed a bill that would have lowered drug prices, so we can’t blame all the misery on Republicans or the “lemmings” who voted for them. If it were not for Cory Booker and twelve other Democrats, for example, a bill sponsored by Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and Bernie Sanders (I-VT) would have allowed pharmaceuticals to be imported from Canada. Even Ted Cruz voted for the bill, but Booker and several others in Big Pharma’s pocket shot it down. These thirteen Democrats are going to have to be “primaried.”

Besides challenging “bought and paid for” Democrats, a new DNC needs to develop a coherent plan to win back working class voters. And not just whites. Consider this discussion between Van Jones and Reverend Charles Williams which alludes to the Democratic Party’s taking black voters for granted. Democrats will also have to come up with an economic narrative more compelling than Republican trickle-down economics, says economist James Kwak. And it shouldn’t be all that difficult. Robert Greene, writing in Dissent, agrees that clarity is paramount, and so is a platform based on solid values:

We must also learn from history the importance of being able to tell a simple, clear story to American voters and potential allies about what matters to us and why. Nuance is important, but balancing that with a clear political agenda is equally crucial.

If all this sounds nice but not very specific, a clear story is one that – among other things – does not involve telling working class voters you’re on their side and then sabotaging lower drug prices.