There is no end to the predictions of pundits and prognosticators of an electoral debacle for us Democrats. I will grant that the Democratic Party leadership in Washington appears stunned like a deer in the headlights of an oncoming tractor-trailer full of angry elephants. But, despite this, take heart! We do have a message, we have the tools, and we have the cause.
We cannot duck the toll of inflation. We all feel it to a certain extent. But we should succinctly point out the actions the Biden Administration is taken. The unified Republican minority plus two feckless Democratic senators will stop blocking any meaningful action on inflation. This legislative inaction is on the Republicans – not the Democrats.
Inflation house of horrors
To drive the point home, remember that the only legislative ideas proposed by any Republican leader this year have come from Senator Rick Scott, a freshman senator heading up the Republican Senatorial Campaign Committee. He proposed a house of horrors platform that includes middle- and lower-income tax increases, budget cuts for domestic programs such as education and disease prevention, and tax breaks for deserving multi-millionaires and businesses – a Republican dream agenda.
It is so bad that Republicans running for reelection are running from his proposal like scared rabbits. Note to Senator Mark Kelly: Hang this dead cat around the neck of any nominee who survives the Republican Primary.
For another view of the discomforts of inflation, look at a recent column in the Washington Post by Megan McArdle, an intelligent economics columnist. She asserts that the current worldwide inflation, although triggered by the COVID pandemic, was inevitable given the structural changes in the complex world economy when the pandemic hit and triggered a collapse that brought on the inflationary spirals that we are now experiencing.
Call the Pima County Democratic headquarters at (520) 326-3716 or email firstname.lastname@example.org — and find out what you can do to help. It will make a difference.
Of course, we all know that national or state-level political leaders are not responsible for economic fluctuations. Still, it’s what they do to mitigate the effects of those fluctuations on various sectors of the population they serve and lead. We know – for example – whom the Republicans want to help, if they’re going to help anybody. We also know whom the Democrats want to help when they are in charge of the government. So ask yourselves: Which party do you want to see trying to get us out of an economic downturn?
The 2022 election season draws closer, and the so-called majority party in the US Congress seems frozen as the time passes, by the grievous behavior of Arizona Senator Kyrsten Sinema accompanied by fossil fuel-loving Senator Joe Manchin of West Virginia.
The cavalry will not ride to the Democratic Party’s rescue. It will be up to us at local levels to go to work to get voters out and get votes counted fairly. Because lawyer time has moved exceedingly slower than the election calendar, the possibility that legal efforts and judicial action in the absence of legislation will protect our voting and election systems from Republican tampering is increasingly unlikely. Getting a fair election result will be up to us as we face rigged elections set up by all levels in our state.
Five Democratic principles
I have heard even “the left-leaning mainstream media” despair at the lack of a “coherent message” from Democratic candidates. Before you despair, I would like to recommend a simple set of messages that every Democratic candidate, precinct worker, and street-level Democrat could use in talking to friends and family:
- The Democratic Party stands for the government finding ways to make all people’s lives better, rather than letting the benefits trickle down through an unharnessed economy to the general public. The Republican Party stands for making big business and themselves more prosperous.
- The Democratic Party is interested in improving the health and safety of people. It is not interested in maintaining unaffordable medicines and treatments that cost most people more than they can afford or allowing companies to make money in unsafe workplaces.
- The Democratic Party is willing to let women make their own decisions about issues like the autonomy of their own lives and bodies. It is not interested in denying their right to seek health and medical service.
- The Democratic Party is willing to use the power of government action to promote the general welfare (a constitutional obligation) and secure the blessings of liberty (another one) in the public interest; not to protect the interest or welfare of one segment of our society at the expense of others—or the interest of corporate America at the expense of consumers.
- Finally, the Democratic Party is willing to protect the rights of all people fairly—everywhere in our country, and within reason, around this world through our justice systems and international organizations to which we share government responsibility.
So, be prepared to assert and protect your right to vote. We will have to help each other get to the ballot box this year, either by mail-in ballots or in-person. If necessary, we must beat the Republicans at their own game before we can set things to right again; but our democracy may depend on precisely that.
Let’s agree that we have a democracy that is in peril. The Republican Party is not an ally in saving our democracy. They are the enemy. It pains me to say this.
We only have a narrow path to get through this crisis and keep our democracy. That path goes through the 2022 General Elections in November. If the pundits and pollsters are correct and the Democrats do not prevail, the path will – at best – be narrower and much more difficult. If you are reading this, you are a loyal Democrat. Get busy if you aren’t doing something to help the party prevail at the state and national levels!