By Scott Galindez, Reader Supported News
26 February 17
ike many of you, I was disappointed by the results of the DNC chair election. We were close again.
We are still making progress. I still believe our day is coming. The establishment wing has moved to the left. We have forced them to do that. They are still in the driver’s seat, but we are riding shotgun, and we have the map.
I see that many are saying this was the last straw. I think that would be a mistake. The Democratic Party is being transformed, but it will not happen overnight. Remember my story: When I was 17, I went in the Army and thought Ronald Reagan was making the country strong again. A few years later on campus at Syracuse University, I was walking past a rally for divestment from South Africa, and a story I heard on the stage stopped me in my tracks. That was the beginning of my journey.
Donald Trump is causing many people’s journey to start. Rank and file Democrats are attending protests. We must continue to lead the fight against Donald Trump. Groups like Our Revolution, MoveOn, and Democracy for America need to continue to organize. We must work in coalition with emerging groups like Indivisible. Many of the people in the streets and at town halls will look to us for leadership. We are not “paid” protesters, but we are experienced agitators.
In a statement after the DNC vote, Bernie Sanders said the following: “At a time when Republicans control the White House, the House, the Senate and two-thirds of all statehouses, it is imperative that Tom understands that the same-old, same-old is not working and that we must open the doors of the party to working people and young people in a way that has never been done before. Now, more than ever, the Democratic Party must make it clear that it is prepared to stand up to the 1 percent and lead this country forward in the fight for social, racial, economic and environmental justice.”
Jim Dean of Democracy for America wrote: “At a moment when the party so clearly needs real, foundational change, this result shows that many insiders are terrified of change. And, if Democratic insiders won’t build the reformed party we need to take on Trump and welcome in the army of grassroots resistance fighters who are already waging that fight in the streets, we’re going to have to do it ourselves.”
MoveOn’s director, Ilya Sheyman, told his members: “In recent years the Democratic Party has become too Washington-insider, too beholden to the same big donors and consultants, and too timid on issues of social, racial, and economic justice. It’s lost touch with the real grassroots of the party. Today’s vote to continue accepting corporate lobbyist donations just furthers that perception.
They are all right. Our job remains the same today as it was yesterday. Nothing has changed there. We still must unify the resistance to Donald Trump.
Jeff Weaver, the president of Our Revolution, is also right: “There’s too much at stake to let the Democratic Party continue its old (and losing) ways. With Trump and his allies controlling Washington we have to take it upon ourselves to elect progressives even if elements of the Democratic Party are locked in complacency.”
Keep fighting the real enemies. The real enemy is not only Trump; it is still the corporate control of our electoral system. We have to fight both at the same time. Don’t demonize other opponents because they are not with us yet. Meet them where they’re at, and work with them on the things we agree on. Be patient, and you will find that over time you will agree on more and more. One day soon, all of our efforts will be rewarded.
Scott Galindez attended Syracuse University, where he first became politically active. The writings of El Salvador’s slain archbishop Oscar Romero and the on-campus South Africa divestment movement converted him from a Reagan supporter to an activist for Peace and Justice. Over the years he has been influenced by the likes of Philip Berrigan, William Thomas, Mitch Snyder, Don White, Lisa Fithian, and Paul Wellstone. Scott met Marc Ash while organizing counterinaugural events after George W. Bush’s first stolen election. Scott moved to Des Moines in 2015 to cover the Iowa Caucus.
Reader Supported News is the Publication of Origin for this work. Permission to republish is freely granted with credit and a link back to Reader Supported News.