Author’s Note: Purple words are links. Click them for more information!
It is November 2, 2016. I have just voted. You could say my patriotism shone so bright, the sunlight prevented you from seeing the sticker saying I voted. In any case, when I voted, I endorsed no one. All I could say is that there were only two major candidates for President this year. We were not yet at the point where the others were viable enough to vote for when one of the two is able to represent at least 50-60% of your interests. Any thought otherwise remains political fantasy.
I rejected racism, xénophobie, hate, and homophobia. I rejected any and all candidates that appealed to these things. I also rejected anyone that was willing to support such hatred just because they flew under the same party banner. As an African American, I could not vote for a party that takes the grievances of my people and pretends it’s a common struggle that all face, or for anyone endorsed by the Ku Klux Klan.
I rejected anyone unwilling to say my life matters. I rejected corruption. I rejected the religious hijacking of politics, and those that denied rights to others because of their own religious beliefs. I endorsed faith, not imposition. I endorsed love, not hate. I endorsed being able to work with everyone.
I rejected the constant fostering of conspiracy theories concerning the true birthplace of a citizen and public servant. I rejected misinformation. I rejected the rebuke and disregard for facts. I rejected the war on science. I rejected the war on drugs. I endorsed intelligence. I rejected buffoonery and insults.
America had two real choices in this election. I wanted us to make the right one. I wanted us to make the one that spoke well of our country to our neighbors overseas. I wanted us to make the one that didn’t bring shame to us to the rest of the world, or frighten whole cultures. With Bernie Sanders no longer in the race, that left, in my view, only one option for the American people. Easy choice, right?
Now let’s fast-forward to the wee hours of November 9, 2016…
No. This is not a nightmare. Donald J. Trump has been elected President of the United States. Dark days are ahead, but they will most assuredly be followed by a new dawn in America. With Donald J. Trump mere months from taking office, independent, progressive, and liberal groups will be forced to unify around the common purpose of ensuring that his administration lasts no more than 3.5 years.
My feeling is that it will not. The Democratic Party has no choice but to experience a political catharsis. They cannot continue to lean on either the Clinton Coalition (or even the Obama Coalition). They have to embrace the millennial-friendly Sanders Movement. We’ve addressed this before. It’s nothing new. The Party’s message needs to get younger, and the New Democrat Era must come to an end.
For Democrats, it is time to build a bench for both 2018 (midterms and state elections) and 2020. Senator Sanders has already endorsed Representative Keith Ellison (D-MN) to run the Democratic National Committee. Chuck Schumer (D-NY), recently confirmed as the Senate Minority Leader, has backed Rep. Ellison as well.
Rep. Ellison, the first Muslim elected to the U.S. Congress, has long represented the more progressive wing of the Democratic Party, co-chairing the Congressional Progressive Caucus and a firm advocate for grassroots party development. Howard Dean, former DNC Chair from 2005 to 2009 and Governor of Vermont from 1991-2003, has also thrown his name into the ring for the Democrats’ top position.
One represents an out-of-touch liberal culture, while the other is a reflection of the new blood that this party so desperately needs. A similar political tug-of-war is set to happen among House Democrats as well, with Rep. Tim Ryan (D-OH) challenging Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) for her long-held position. Lessons must be learned from these recently-concluded elections, and soul-searching needs to be done.
This was a long and taxing campaign, and easily one of the most frustrating in American history. When was the last time both nominees were this disliked? I highly doubt Hillary Clinton (who will be 73 by this time in 2020) will run again. This means there will be a long list of potential candidates in four years. After all, this is what happens when the incumbent is of the opposing party.
Off the top of my head, I can think of the following candidates. Click them for more info:
* Amy Klobuchar (D-MN)
* Andrew Cuomo (D-NY)
* Bernie Sanders (I-VT)
* Cory Booker (D-NJ)
* Deval Patrick (D-MA)
* Elizabeth Warren (D-MA)
* Jeff Merkley (D-OR)
* Joe Biden (D-DE)
* John Hickenlooper (D-CO)
* Julian Castro (D-TX)
* Kamala Harris (D-CA)
* Kanye West (D-IL)*
* Keith Ellison (D-MN)
* Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY)
* Martin O’Malley (D-MD)
* Michelle Obama (D-IL)
* Sherrod Brown (D-OH)
* Tim Kaine (D-VA)
* Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI)
While there doesn’t appear to be any information suggesting that they will run at the moment, figures like Vice President Joe Biden and senators Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, and Cory Booker seem to be frontrunners right now based on popularity. After eight years in The White House, I don’t expect Biden to return. Senator Sanders will be a bit older the next time around, and I am not so sure he is ready to do this again. I suspect that he will continue to build the Our Revolution organization instead.
Old habits die hard, and politics is no different. I wouldn’t be surprised if Clintonites like Governor Andrew Cuomo, Clinton VP nominee Tim Kaine, or former Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick considered running. 2016 also-ran Martin O’Malley might mount a second run again as well, but he too seeks to be DNC Chair this time around. With essentially nothing else for him to do, I cannot imagine leaving the chair position (should he win) to make another run at The White House.
The enemy of progress, equality, and national unity is unified, therefore we must be as well. They want to undo nearly everything Barack Obama has accomplished in spite of this Congress. They want judges that want to reverse a woman’s right to choose. People, this is not a test. This is really happening. Do not let this pass you by.
Listen to the President.
But we must hold our own accountable. We must hold THEM accountable. We register as many people to vote as we can before it’s too late. We form coalitions. We stay informed. We inform others. We invest in a revolution built by the people, for the people, and with the people. Failure to do this will result in the Green Party‘s continued growth. They made some meager strides this year, and with discontent towards the major parties continuing to grow, it wouldn’t surprise me to see them organize themselves into a serious contender somewhere down the line. Anything is possible, and their political platform is a progressive’s dream.
I’ve said before that it may be televised after all. Whether they like it or not, that will happen. We must continue to press on. We will continue to press on. Sooner, rather than later, the sun will rise again over the United States of America, and it will be one of prosperity once more. We have done so before, and we will do so again.
Stay the course.