Yesterday, Deputy DNC Chairman and US Congressman Keith Ellison stated that former prez Obama is partially to blame for not leading the party to victory this past November. Two days ago, DNC Chair Tom Perez and Senator Bernie Sanders spoke with Chris Hayes and couldn’t agree on the basic principle of their unity tour for democrats.
I have a message for democratic leadership. Either stop talking and start doing or get out of our way and let us do it.
Grassroots organizing has been successful without leadership intervention. James Thompson in Kansas gained 20 pts for the party from November without a single dollar of DNC or DCCC money. Jon Ossoff is still in the running for a seat in the Senate after he failed to secure 50% of the vote on Tuesday.
And yet the stories are about what the DNC and DCCC didn’t do, and here’s the thing: I don’t care. I don’t want to waste time talking about what they could be doing better, or where they should be involved when they haven’t been, because no one is budging on anything. The Democratic establishment is still targeting the liberal elites, the progressives are focusing on the working class, and nothing has changed since we lost in November. They are leading a Democratic unity tour with Sen. Sanders, who isn’t, and has no desire to be, a democrat. And the Republicans (and moderates!) still think we’re sanctimonious assholes, regardless of who we’re catering our message to.
Enough is enough. Do you know what I’ve learned since November? We. Don’t. Need. Them. Look what we’ve accomplished without them. Look at the Women’s March and the Tax March and this weekend’s upcoming March for Science. Look at Indivisible, at Stand Up, at hundreds and thousands of normal citizens taking time to organize together, but more than that, to make things better in their own communities.
If democratic leadership wants to see unity, they should stop by these local meetings, and instead of speaking, they should listen. We know our communities. We know what our people need, what’s important to them, and we don’t rely on pollsters to figure it out. We take care of each other, regardless of political beliefs, and we are united in how strongly we care for each other. We’ve got liberal elites. We’ve got the working class. We’ve got moderates who aren’t sure how they’ll vote in 2018, but they are damn sure they care about their communities, so they’ll join in to lessen the financial burden of overdue school lunch accounts, and they’ll speak up for the rights of transgender students in a moderate school district, and this is just one group. My group.
This is a lesson I want my kids to know: get involved, be kind, stay loud and active, and most importantly, know when to shut up and listen. Chairman Perez, Senator Sanders, Congressman Ellison—now’s your time to listen.