Doug Barry

Historian, Political Philosopher, Veteran

Democrats Need To Stop Being Greedy

The Democratic Party does a terrible job of handling elections. They have allowed conservatives to seize the narrative for decades, and let Republicans brand the Democratic Party. Al Gore and John Kerry both lost winnable elections. In 2016, Democratic leadership preordained a candidate that couldn't beat Donald Trump, and prevented a fair primary election process. Rank-and-file Democrats also sabotaged the party, and themselves in the process. Many Bernie Sanders supporters wouldn't support Hillary Clinton, and many Clinton supporters would not have supported Sanders.

We have become the take-my-ball-home culture of people that bail out when they don't get every single thing they want. This frequently results in people getting nothing they want. For the most part, Democrats who refused to vote for Hillary Clinton are probably a lot unhappier with President Trump. Those voters don't really have a lot of room to complain.

There will be a lot of candidates vying for the Democratic nomination in 2020. None of them will be perfect. Most, if not all of them, would make Democrats happier than the current situation. Many of those running (or considering it), however, will make poor candidates.

Some things have to be considered that may not be pleasant to acknowledge, but standing on principle accomplishes nothing if it results in putting the direction of our country into the hands of someone far less principled. Barack Obama could never have picked Hillary Clinton to be his running mate. There was (and is) a segment of the population that would never vote for a black man, and a segment that would never vote for a woman, and they are not all the same people. Picking a Jewish running mate may have cost Al Gore the White House. It's not right, it's not fair, but it's the way it is. In 2020, Democrats will have a difficult balancing act they will have to follow. With a woman on the ticket, they will lose votes from people that won't vote for a woman. Without a woman on the ticket, they will lose votes from women that feel they are being ignored. To allow for that, the eventual nominee must be knowledgeable and honest, must care about the common person, and must be someone who doesn't make a lot of gaffs (Joe Biden has strengths that would offset that).

Both candidates on the ticket must eloquent. Choosing Tim Kaine as her running mate may have cost Hillary Clinton the 2016 election. Democrats have another built-in disadvantage in that stupid mistakes will drive away supporters. Republican supporters, especially Trump supporters, will stand by their candidate no matter what he says, no matter what he does, no matter how often he flip-flops, and no matter how many obvious lies he tells. President Trump is on camera saying he was going to shut down the government, that he would take responsibility for it, and that he wouldn't blame the Democrats, and he still gets his base to believe him that the Democrats shut down the country. That's even with the fact that Paul Ryan and Republicans were in charge of the House when the government shut down.

Every Democratic voter in this country has responsibilities over the next two years. They have to pay attention. They have to protect their credibility by verifying articles before reposting. They have to carefully scrutinize candidates and make a true determination as to whether their chosen candidate can win the general election. Otherwise their stand on principle is meaningless.

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