The 2016 election was one of the ugliest in recent memory. I know many will agree with me on that, but for different reasons. Regardless, one thing that cannot be ignored is how this past election — and the primary alone — exposed the chasms that already existed within the Democratic Party and deepened the rift on the left overall.
What Led to This Discussion
This month, I really wanted to get into what it meant to be a conservative and what it meant to be a liberal (and a progressive) to establish some clear definitions (or at least make it clear what I mean when I bring up certain terms. In addition, many posts I made this year (like the ones about angry voters) and during the election cycle have been leading up to what I want to write about now and in the next month or so.
I wanted to wait until the end of this month to talk about this subject. But as I was writing other posts, doing research, and revisiting the past election, I realized I would have to make a series of posts to tackle this subject. And it is a big subject because it was years, even decades, in the making. Yet an introduction was easier to make.
The Point of This Discussion
Before I get to that, I want to address anyone reading this: I know this might make some of you angry, but that is not my aim. And if you have a dog in this fight I kindly ask you to leave your own anger at the door.
This is not your house. If anything, it’s mine, but that’s beside the point. And I promise to present my argument in the most respectful way possible.
Now, what I want to do is air grievances and talk about the underlying issues contributing to the rift on the left. Everything needs to be discussed, even stuff that will make you mad.
(It would help if I had extra input from Democratic voters, regardless of who they supported in the primary, but I am eager to hear from more of Hillary Clinton’s supporters. A questionnaire would be in order, but I have such a hard time getting input like that.)
I’ll admit: This rift could hurt the Democrats moving forward, because they should be focused on the 2018 elections (and special elections being held this year to try and chip away at Republican majorities).
Also, I know many of us are asking why we might have to rehash old wounds. That’s the thing, though: These wounds were never healed. And this isn’t a silly rift, because there are real concerns and serious allegations being made.
How I Want to Address the Rift on the Left
These are the topics I want to address so far, but the list can be adapted if I come across any more pertinent information:
- An Overview
- We Have to Revisit the 2016 Presidential Election
- The Bernie Sanders Effect
- Some Hard Truths About Hillary Clinton
- The Internal Politics of the Democratic Party
- The Current State of the Democratic Party*
- The Future of the Democratic Party
- An Afterword
* Two of the topics look like they might be redundant, but they address different aspects of the Democratic Party. When looking at the politics within the DNC, I will talk about how the party if being run. The following post will be about fallout from the past 8 years: the effect on the voters and the overall demographics. However, there is some overlap with the leaders within the party.
(Also check out Shmaltz’s Political Dictionary, which has terms I plan to use in this series.)
In the end, I would like to form one coherent message for liberals moving forward and present an ultimatum. Again, I consider myself to be under that umbrella, even if I’m not affiliated with a party. Regardless of what you think about that, Democrats need help from independents and moderates and to embrace more people on the left.
But first, we must understand that no one can solve a problem without first discussing it. There cannot be “unity” until all grievances are aired and all sides are able to come to an amicable agreement. Unfortunately, too many people want to hand-wave the problems away without discussing them. That is a mistake and I’ll explain why.