Saturday, January 21, 2017

A matter of conviction

Yesterday was the day that many have been waiting for years. The Obama years have come to an end. Obama had Hope, but after the GOP started taking over, first in the House, then the Senate, he lost his conviction. In fact, the whole Democratic Party did. Republicans were unified. Democrats were wrong, they were right. Fight after fight proved successful. In my opinion, after the healthcare law was passed, GLBT rights were won, and other social liberal causes were becoming reality, the Democrats thought everything was right or heading in the right direction.

Democrats abandoned their core base, the blue collar workers and focused on liberal only social issues. Historically, Democrats were blue collar, Republicans were white collar. Bill Clinton Democrats focused more towards white collar and since then have consistently left the blue collar workers by the side of the road.

If you look back at our history, Democrats like to protest, Republicans like to vote. Remember Occupy Wall Street? That was supposed to be a movement. It wasn't. Democrats never capitalized on the angst at that time, not like the Tea Party Republicans. Barely any Democrats were elected because of this movement. The only two people that have risen as a part of this movement was Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders. Warren was the only newcomer while Sanders just cemented his stance already entrenched in his fight.

Democrats lacked the conviction. Status quo was ok. They still had a firewall, Obama, to tamp down any fire the Republicans could light. Then they pinned their hopes on Hillary. Hillary lacked conviction. Her campaign felt more like a coronation to the throne. She wanted it, wanted it badly, but lacked conviction. She did it for her, for her legacy, not because of a certain belief or fire in her that she needed to fight for. Bernie had it, still does, now more than ever.

Donald Trump didn't light the fire. It was already burning. He was just the gasoline many in this country needed. Bernie too was an accelerant, just the fire was smaller. Many times, in history, the pendulum swings from one party to another. In 2008, it was clearly a "Democrat"ic victory. Now in 2017, the pendulum hasn't been more Republican than I can remember. Most State Governments, and all of the Federal Government is under Republican rule.

After every election, I hear this phrase time and time again, that the party that won has a "mandate". That may be true, but drastic change will bring a backlash. People say they want change, but in fact, what they really want are for things to be tweaked. Big change, I fear causes pendulum changes. Don't believe me? If the Affordable Care Act wasn't passed, would we really be seeing a President Trump or a Tea Party? I think not.

Obama and the 2008 Democrats should have heeded the following much like the GOP should do today:

"For over a thousand years, Roman conquerors returning from the wars enjoyed the honor of a triumph - a tumultuous parade. In the procession came trumpeters and musicians and strange animals from the conquered territories, together with carts laden with treasure and captured armaments. The conqueror rode in a triumphal chariot, the dazed prisoners walking in chains before him. Sometimes his children, robed in white, stood with him in the chariot, or rode the trace horses. A slave stood behind the conqueror, holding a golden crown, and whispering in his ear a warning: that all glory is fleeting." - General George Patton

All glory is fleeting. I, for one, am optimistic for this country. I make no qualms about being a Democrat. My ideals align with this party. We are at a precipice in this country. We can either stumble to the rocks below and see our demise or we take a leap of faith and have faith in where we are headed. I truly hope that President Trump is successful. I want him to succeed which in turn I country will succeed. I, for one, does not even want to think about impeaching him. Just for the sheer terror that a Pence Presidency could bring!

I think and I hope that the Democratic Party will be a Phoenix that rise from the ashes as a more inclusive party. I fear that the actions of the next couple years by the Republican Party will cement that assumption. Democrats, stop protesting and start actually taking action. If you want change, change it. The Republicans have showed us how to bring change. Replicate it if you feel passionate. If not, you have no one else to blame but yourself.

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