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Talbot / The New Democratic Party?

The most exciting, most encouraging political development in America today is, without a doubt, the wave of new energy in the left wing of the Democratic Party. This enormous wave is taking shape thanks in part to the leadership of the Democratic Socialists of America. In a wonderful and inspiring report in the Sunday New York Times, must-read columnist Michelle Goldberg gives a shout-out to the millennial energy behind DSA's resurgence and how this youthful passion is shaking up the Democratic Party. We can see the results in recent primary elections, not only with the much-celebrated victory of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez in Queens and the Bronx -- but in three primary races in Pennsylvania cited by Goldberg where young, insurgent women also knocked off Democratic Party old boys.

We can also see this growing boldness in recent actions like the mass sit-in at the Hart Senate Office Building on Thursday, where 600 women dressed in suffragist white were arrested for putting their bodies on the line against Trump's assault on immigrant families (pictured here). The women were also demanding that Democratic Party leaders take similarly brave actions -- including staging protests in the Senate chambers to block Trump's nightmarish juggernaut.

But Democratic Party leaders -- like oblivious dinosaurs munching lazily on leaves while a meteor soars straight at them -- remains stuck in their status quo lethargy. At a Senate Democrats meeting last week, as history exploded all around them, the legislators voted to drop their demand that Republicans wait until the November mid-term elections before holding the vote to replace Justice Kennedy. That's right -- with the sounds of Trump stormtrooper boots outside their doors, and America fracturing in countless ways, Senate Democrats boldly voted...for a cautious strategy.

The Democratic Party's plodding, geriatric leadership is even starting to outrage such venerable institutions as the NY Times. In a scathing editorial today, the Times blasts Nancy Pelosi's tame and tired leadership and demands that the party "Bring on young leaders."

To my socialist and radical friends...if you're not already engaged with Democratic Party politics, I urge you to do so. This is the battleground in America today, this is where the action is. We must fight to re-energize, and yes, take over the party -- because it remains the only real vehicle capable of overthrowing Trump. And in the process, we have to keep dreaming big and inspiring suffering Americans with our vision -- Medicare for all, free public college tuition, federally-guaranteed livable wage, massive public housing subsides so shelter becomes a right not privilege, public control of the energy industry so it becomes a provider of safe renewable energy (Instead of a death star aimed at killing life on the planet), a shift from a permanent war paradigm to peaceful diplomatic engagement with the world, and the abolition of ICE and its terrorist tactics.

This is the beginning of a new America -- one that embraces life instead of fear and greed and death.


David Talbot © 2018

David Talbot is an American progressive journalist, author and media executive. He is the founder, former CEO and editor-in-chief Salon, one of the first on line magazines. He has also written a number of books, including the best seller Season of the Witch.


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