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Dear Dems, please get it together

Dear Democrats,

We’re at a very critical junction in history right now. For as fucked up as we thought things were under George W. Bush, this is a whole lot worse. Trump’s approval ratings hit an incredible low, one that usually takes people at least a year to get to. The question is, what are you going to do about it?

True talk right now, radical honesty: You’re not very good at winning elections. There’s rarely a unified strategy. You wait until the last minute to pull something together. There is a lot of information that should be coming from the top down, and you don’t do it. You should be reaching out to college kids on a constant basis, training them on the party values, getting them into communities to talk to people, and you’re not. That’s a golden missed opportunity right there.

You seem to have forgotten who made the party strong. You’re catering to elites instead of to the working class. I have no idea where the principles of FDR have gone. We need progressive ideals if you want to win the people over and push the party forward. A lot of the time, you’re sort of just left of center. As this past election has shown you, that’s not a safe place to be. It alienated MANY voters. And, the wrong voters – the young voters. They are the future of the party. Unless you want to become what the GOP has turned into, you better make some changes, and fast.

The party does have a broad base and that makes finding consensus hard. At times things will have to be broken down to location. Not supporting a candidate who doesn’t like abortion even though he’s in one of the most conservative states in the nation is stupid. The reality is that we have to find a way to cater to everyone, not just a portion of the voting population. Will more liberal voters dislike it? Absolutely. Does that matter in the long run? No. They aren’t voting in those states. They’re focusing on what’s happening with their race at home. There you can pick the more liberal candidate.

You need to work smarter. You need to find a way to get people involved much earlier in the process. Like right now, for example. You should have boots on the ground all over the US registering people to vote when the pressure of an election isn’t on them. You should be communicating with people, showing them why what the Republicans are doing harms them, AND why what you’re proposing is better.

It’s time to be aggressive. It’s time to show the nation that you mean business. No more sitting back on your heels waiting for the Republicans to do something so you can respond. That’s not going to win you support and it’s not going to win you elections. If you have any hope of becoming the dominant party, you have to make those changes. Now.

Stop letting the party fracture. Reach out. Build consensus. Get more moderate people talking to more progressive people. See where the compromise is. Because none of us wants to lose to the GOP anymore. We’re sick of CheetoSatan, Paul Ryan, Mitch McConnell, Jefferson Sessions, Sean Spicer, Steve Bannon, Steve Miller, Ivanka, and Jared.

DO SOMETHING.

Super Tuesday… was it so super?

I have been watching elections with fascination since 1992 when Bill Clinton was elected. I majored in political science because I find it so interesting. But I have to tell you, I have no idea what Super Tuesday ended up meaning.

As far as the Dems are concerned, it seems like the Clinton people are treating this as a major victory. The reality is that the battle isn’t over yet. Clinton doing well in the South isn’t particularly a surprise. She’s Christian, more conservative than Sanders, and she’s from the South(ish). There are places for Sanders to make up some of the delegates. At this point in 2008, Clinton seemed to have the momentum, but we all know how that turned out. Obviously the question of the Superdelegates looms. I would be surprised if they went against the will of the people in the event that Sanders manages to overtake her in delegates.

On the Republican side… well, I just don’t know. Trump won a lot of states, but none with more than 49% and that 49% was in Massachusetts. Cruz winning Texas was no surprise. That’s his “home” state. Rubio won Minnesota, which also makes sense. Rubio isn’t as far right as either Cruz or Trump and Minnesota isn’t a super conservative state.

As a friend has pointed out, Trump has a lot of opposition. He’s average 60% opposition. So, while he’s winning, he’s not really winning. There is plenty of room for Cruz or Rubio to overtake him. But where? According to The Atlantic, Cruz expected to do a bit better in the Southern states. Cruz is calling for others to leave the race, but I’m not entirely sure why. He hasn’t proven to be a much better candidate than the rest of them.

Between now and March 15 there are 15 more primaries or caucuses. Florida and Ohio, both swing states, have their primaries on March 15. That may provide some additional insight. Many expected to have a clearer picture after yesterday, but so far, we’re staring at one big mess.

I’ve seen some friends who aren’t sure who to vote for in the primary/caucus. My advice is to pick who they want to be president, ignoring what the media has to say about who the likely nominees will be. If nothing else, the nominees will have a lot to think about as they go forward into the general election.

We are all to blame for Donald Trump

Living overseas during an election cycle is interesting. I’m detached from all the horrible ads and phone calls. I am so grateful for that. I’m still amazed that anyone buys the crap in those political ads. People should be doing research on all of the candidates and not relying on biased ads to elect our leaders. But, we’re lazy. We take the sound bites the media gives us, intentionally ignorant of the fact that news agencies aren’t often about the news anymore. Instead they’re playing for advertising, trying to get the money to keep their salaries.

And that laziness, combined with not-so-latent racism, xenophobia, and superiority complexes have gotten us to where we are today: Donald Trump as the leading candidate for the Republican party presidential nominee.

Understand what I’m saying – It is our collective fault that Trump is in the position he’s in. That millions of people are being fueled by his words. I don’t place the blame just at Republican feet. Their party is out of control in ways that were previously unthinkable. The vast majority of Republicans I know are horrified by what’s happening and seem powerless to stop it.

However, all of us are to blame. You, me. Republicans and Democrats alike. Conservatives and liberals of all stripes.

We let the politicians and media whip us into a frenzy with their fear-mongering about Islam and the Middle East. So when Donald Trump says he wants to ban all Muslims from entering the United States until we can sort out which ones are terrorists, people buy into the message. People weren’t doing the research they should have done about Islam or they would know that with one BILLION Muslims on the planet, if they were really hellbent on destroying America, that would have happened by now.

We’ve been led to believe that America is THE country, the place to live, and that no one does it better than we do it. But how many of us even try to understand how other countries do things? How many of us have traveled overseas to learn? While there are certainly many things to love about the United States, we have a lot of work to do. We tend to speak only English. That’s embarrassing on so many levels. Even though BILLIONS of people speak languages besides English, we don’t make it a priority to learn any of them. Homelessness is still a major problem. All the money we have and we can’t get people into jobs, into treatment if they need it, and into a stable place to live? The fact that we have so many people with inadequate medical care is astounding. You may not like socialism, but there is something to be said for making sure that we’re all living at a basic level of health. Don’t even get me started about the disparities in education between poorer and wealthier communities or the fact that so many CHILDREN and adults in the United States go hungry. None of that is okay. None of that is right.

The fact that there are textbooks and COLORING SHEETS that explicitly state that the slaves were PAID and voluntarily came to the US for a better life should tell us that Donald Trump was an inevitability. Whitewashing history, for whatever reason, has made it possible for millions of Americans to grow up thinking that it’s acceptable to try to RE-WRITE HISTORY to make themselves feel better about the horrible things that happened to millions of people. It makes it so much easier to dismiss entire groups of people based on arbitrary characteristics. For Donald Trump it’s Muslims and Mexicans. Who is it for you?

In our rush to help preserve the idea that we’re better than anyone else, we’ve made it possible for a man who has repeatedly professed hateful ideology to become the face of the United States. We are working so hard not to be the melting pot we frequently call ourselves. You can’t be a melting pot if you’re building walls. So much of our innovation creativity, and brilliance comes from outside the US. But, there are so many people worried about immigrants taking jobs they don’t even want or taking their jobs because they’re willing to work harder that Donald Trump is the result. We’re so focused in the scramble for money that we would rather turn people away than help them try to achieve the dream we’ve been boasting about for years. It’s disturbing and disgusting.

Liberals, we should be ashamed of ourselves for letting it get to this point. Why weren’t we getting more involved? Doing the research others aren’t willing to do and showing people how wrong we’ve been? Why aren’t we in marginalized communities doing more help them? Instead of spending a few hours each week trying to make someone else’s life a little better, we’ve succumbed to the force of American individualism. As the party who claims to care more, we’ve done little to demonstrate that. We’ve been sitting around, watching the madness. And only now, when it could come to be that Trump is our president that we’re outraged.

Watching the election from overseas has been interesting. Non-Americans are horrified at what they see. And they’re laughing at us. Which is what happens when you’ve been pompous, superior asshats. We are finally getting what we deserve. And it’s our own fault.

We have to do better. We have to get informed on our own from the least biased sources possible. We need to travel and meet people from other countries, other cultures. We need make friends with someone we see as “different” so that they stop being “different” and the “other.”

At the end of the day, we’re a lot more similar than we are different. Race is a function of geography and melanin. It’s not a real thing. The major religions all lead to the same thing. Sexual orientation isn’t something we choose and fundamentally, we’re all looking for the same thing – love. Gender is fluid and our biological sex doesn’t define anything about us. We need to start respecting each other as humans and remembering that we are all deserving of dignity and respect. It is our quest for division that led us to where we are today. If we don’t want to see this happen again, we need to erase the lines that divide us and focus on what we have in common.