Unite the Democratic Party

Post Primaries Unity: Plan Now!

by Tarek Lucien Radjef

Last month, we attended the Jefferson County Fair in the state of Washington. To our surprise, there were three booths representing the Democrats. One said ‘Democratic Party’, the other two, ‘Bernie Sanders’ and ‘Elizabeth Warren’. After talking to the volunteers at each location, it sadly appeared that there was at a minimum, friction between all three.

The nightmares of the 2016 election suddenly reappeared to us, vivid and guts wrenching. Back then, the DNC had from the beginning of the campaigns chosen one candidate and was followed by most other state and county Democratic Party organizations who did all they could to disenfranchise a candidate who still managed to win about twenty states.

A chance to create a “unity” campaign by bringing some of the “Bernie” campaign organizers into Hillary’s was ignored. Obviously, this was not the only mistake made by her campaign, but we believe this was the single factor that could have overcome the other errors. The fatal result was that over 40% of the Democrats felt marginalized and thus lacked enthusiasm at voting time. Nonetheless, many voted for Hillary but others stayed home and a few chose to vote for Trump! Ouch!

In Collin County, some of us had reached out to the Bernie supporters before the primary. The Ann Richards Dinner organizers chose Jim Hightower, an old Democrat who happened to be a Bernie surrogate as the one of the two main speakers. The banquet was attended by both sides. Today, several 2016 Bernie supporters are current Precinct Chairs and some made an important contribution in the 2018 elections.

Back to the 2020 elections, we are confident that the CCDP will remain neutral in all primary races at the local level and at the State and National levels. Individuals have an absolute right to have their preferences, but should mentally commit to unconditionally support the primary winners when the time comes. We would suggest the candidates focus on their agenda rather than their competitor(s) so as to make sure that the “Other” side does not use past primary criticisms of their democratic opponent to their own benefit.

Most importantly, let us not forget, that while representing less than 40% of the nation, the incumbent president is a formidable opponent as he is going to have a no holds barred campaign devoid of any scruples or principles. At least ninety-five percent of his base will vote therefore, all the registered Democrats of this nation must vote, unified, for our selected candidate or we could lose again. Egad!

Comments 11

  1. It is bullsh*t to say hillary’s Campaign was the problem here. I sat at the texas delegation breakfast in philly, where Bernie supporters *asked* to speak, and then heard them stand on the stage and say, “we condemn our party’s candidate.”

  2. Thanks for this post Tarek. To supporters of whoever wins the primary, please, please, please, resist the urge to bad-mouth those who supported opposing candidates. Is hard to join the flock when you keep getting kicked out of the nest.

    To supporters of loosing candidates, ignore those who bad-mouth your choice. It is more about them than it is about you. You need to show up and do the right thing for the Country.

  3. Thank you for a well-worded piece. I frankly don’t care all that much who the Democratic Party candidate, he/she will have my whole-hearted support. I prefer Elizabeth Warren but can also enthusiastically support most of the other candidates. It absolutely amazes me that so many people can support a party that consistently endorses policies to cut and/or eliminate programs that assist the less fortunate segments of society. The term “pro-life” is a joke. It should be accurately renamed “pro-birth” since once born, they are on their own. No soup for you!

  4. I was deeply disappointed to see this article leading The Rally. While I support the need for unity, the reality is that there has always been friction between campaigns during primaries. This isn’t a bad thing as long as the tension dissipates during the general. But if unity was the goal, this article failed immensely. Instead of focusing on the future, the author chose to reignite the arguments of the past. If we’re going to go there, I must point out that all campaigns make errors but only the first viable female candidate for POTUS is supposed to keep apologizing for them. That smacks of sexism and I’m sick of it, especially from a party that is inarguably buoyed by women, especially here in Collin County. If we really want to prepare for the future, stop worrying about tension between campaigns and start focusing on election integrity. We only have Trump due to voter suppression, Russian interference, a biased media and a lack of will by Democrats to insist upon fairness. We need to do better!

    1. I agree with you completely, Misty. I found the first half of this article very chilling and off-putting. It certainly didn’t make me feel any unity. I am sick of people acting like Hillary Clinton did something wrong. And anyone who thinks the DNC has that much control over elections has NO idea how elections work! The only people who controlled the elections were the RUSSIANS and the cheating Russian National Cabal (RNC). But we keep having to make up stories about how poor Bernie was treated by the Evil DNC. Well, that’s not very unifying. Either you are with the Democratic Party which has the DNC as its MAIN FUNDRAISER and nothing more, or you’re bashing the DNC and the Democratic Party. You can’t do both while calling for unity.

      1. We respect all informed opinions. Certain facts can be advanced in front of others. However labeling and questioning our allegiance is one of the things this article tries to warn about. We would recommend remembering the past contributions , financial and otherwise, of the author to women organizations, women marches, etc.

  5. Tonight, I will watch the Democratic debate. I will pay careful attention to all ten candidates. But I know certain things in advance.

    All ten Democrats believe in the core values of the founders of the republic and the framers of the Constitution. Trump does not. What we call “founding principles”, he mocks as “political correctness”.

    All ten candidates are committed to human equality under law and to fighting all forms of discrimination. Trump wants more discrimination.

    All ten Democrats want a better deal for working Americans, including better wages, a voice in corporate governance, and comprehensive healthcare finance. Trumps wants to continue the shafting of the American worker.

    All ten candidates believe in science. All ten want to preserve the soil, water, and air of our country and the climatic balance of our planet. All ten want to stop species extinction and the expansion of oceanic garbage worldwide. Trump feels that these are false issues and prefers to remain ignorant of science.

    All ten candidates want a strong military that is balanced among the services and that has a reasonable price tag. Trump wants big bucks for weapons manufacturers and is full of contempt for the sacrifices of our soldiers, sailors, airmen, marines, and coast guardians.

    All ten Democrats will give respect to and receive respect from allied democracies and will strive to ameliorate the cruelties of tyrants. Trump will continue to earn the disrespect from the leaders of the world’s democracies and to fawn over dictators who smile at their puppet while feeling quiet contempt for him.

    I will vote for, and campaign like hell for, the Democratic nominee, whoever he or she may eventually be.

  6. Trump can win with just 33% approval if he energizes his base and Democrats are complacent. Voter turnout is key. That leads to a discussion of Liberal v. Moderate v. Conservative.

    BALANCE — Knowing that Trump will rally his far right base to maximize turnout, the question for Dems is how to balance being too moderate or too progressive. How can they excite the most engaged and influential voting constituencies without turning off others? As with the far-right, progressives on the left will likely vote and volunteer in higher numbers, but they want significant structural change and may lay low if the candidate is too moderate and too boring. Working class moderates, on the other hand, tend to be risk-averse, less politically engaged, and less likely to vote at all. They’ll vote in higher numbers with a moderate candidate than a progressive, but is there enough of them to sway the election if it means losing progressives? Picking the right running made can help the Presidential candidate balance these concerns the perception is that they can work together and complement each other.

    WHAT TO LOOK FOR — I’m less concerned with details of what each candidate wants to do than in the personal qualities that will help them do it. I’ll be looking for attributes I want in a leader, including temperament, judgement, experience, moral character, the ability to delegate, and the ability to inspire. I want someone who will surround themselves with capable advisors and then seriously listen to them. I want someone who shows curiosity and willingness to learn, as willingness to admit mistakes and evolve. I want someone with a progressive vision but see their promises as more aspirational objective than definite commitment. That’s because they still must rely on Congress to get anything done, and bills go through many revisions as negotiations among stakeholders result in compromise. No one gets all of what they want, nor should they. Politics should not be about winning at all cost.

  7. A very beautifully written post that reflects my own thoughts on the subject. I was hoping to see candidates putting forth their own good points, what they would do, how they would handle different policies and never once turning to another candidate and belittling their ideas. Nice dream, but of course it hasn’t been that way. I’ve stopped watching the debates since I already know that I will vote for whichever one wins the nomination. I’m an independent who has never voted Republican but probably would (I’m slightly right on economic policy) if Republicans weren’t, well, Republicans. This next year, however, economic policy doesn’t matter. Getting Trump out of the White House needs to be the primary goal.

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