Written by Daniel Kauder
In the midst of the media storm that centers around Donald Trump and the Russians, it can be all too easy to overlook the other battle going on- the one for the future of the Democratic Party. But regardless of the comparatively scant media coverage this issue has received, it is still extremely important. Who ends up as chair of the DNC sets the tone for the entire party, and for a group that just lost essentially all of its hard power in the national government, the Chairman’s agenda could very well determine if the Democrats make a comeback in 2018- or if they fall even further into obscurity and inconsequence.
It should come as no surprise, then, that The Political Revolution has been vocally endorsing Keith Ellison for Chairman of the DNC. We feel he is uniquely qualified to help lead the Democrats through this tumultuous period of American history. But sometimes we still get questions- “Why are you so die hard about Ellison? What about Candidate X?”. So, I’d like to dive into the explanation of why the left is getting so impassioned about Ellison’s candidacy.
Foresight for the People
Let’s cast our memory back to 2015, shall we? It might seem like a lifetime ago, what with how long just this first month of Trump’s Presidency has felt like, but lets try our best anyway. The Republican primary was just starting to ramp up, and people were assuming that 2016 was going to be a Clinton v. Bush throwback election. Donald Trump had just come down and declared to his cheering crowd of paid actors that he would be running for President. Most people- myself included- figured that this was a publicity stunt, that Trump would go and get a few laughs at a debate, then drop out and leverage the whole thing for a book deal. Anyone who suggested otherwise was a laughing stock.
Beyond the capacity to identify threats long before the establishment does, Ellison also boasts a strong vision for the party- one in which Democrats return to their roots as the party of the working class from coast to coast and everywhere in-between. He has specific plans to bring the fight to the Republicans in all 3,143 counties. He has called for the party to take responsibility for retreating from the heartland of the country and focusing solely on winning urban centers, noting that the progressive message can compete even in “Red states”. He will push the DNC to take dramatic steps to empower the State and local parties, rather than focusing all of their efforts on the White House like they did under the last DNC Chair, Debbie Wasserman-Schultz. And he has called for a huge shift towards low-dollar fundraising efforts, and away from the mega-donor-focused special events that cost thousands of dollars per plate to attend.
Progressivism Over Corporatism
After eight years of neoliberal deference to corporate interests have rotted the party, Ellison’s brand of progressivism is exactly what Democrats need to start retaking seats in the Congressional and State legislatures. Consider that over Obama’s two terms, Democrats lost 69 seats in the House, 13 seats in the Senate, 900 State-level seats and 12 Governorships. However much you may like Obama, the losses Democrats suffered during his two terms were nothing short of a political extinction.
It is Ellison’s bold vision and foresight that have attracted progressives as well as moderates to his side- and it is this newly-energized coalition that will build the foundation of the Democratic comeback of 2017 and 2018. If the DNC chooses another Chair that is simply a placeholder for corporate interests, it will have wasted a uniquely powerful moment to pull out of its current death spiral.
This is why we, as progressives, have been clamoring for Ellison with such passion and fervor. Another Wasserman-Schultz will likely doom us to lose even more seats in coming elections, possibly even to the degree that the Republicans gain a Congressional super-majority and the ability to amend the very Constitution. This can not be allowed to happen. We must have people of strength, principle, and vision throughout the party, not just in the White House.
Support Keith Ellison as DNC Chair
Keith Ellison as DNC Chair will address the party’s (and the nation’s) crisis by aligning Democrats more closely with movements for social and economic justice. The party, through Keith, could make the inside/outside connection that will strengthen immediate resistance to the Trump regime, while improving the long-term electoral prospects of Democrats.
Keith Ellison is exactly what the Democratic Party needs right now. The DNC decides this week. Show your support for Keith Ellison by signing our petition.