Democrats must embrace change to help more Americans

Jordan Reid is the founding editor of Ramshackle Glam.
Liberal Opinion

Jordan Reid

Author; Founding Editor, Ramshackle Glam
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Control of Congress is still up for grabs as several key races in the 2022 midterm elections remain undecided. While the much-touted red wave expected by some analysts did not happen, President Joe Biden admitted that voters sent a clear message that “they are still frustrated” with key issues like the economy. What happens next? Straight Arrow News contributor Jordan Reid says Democrats must do some serious soul-searching and must embrace change to help more Americans.

It’s not that half the people in this country are crazy and racist. There’s infinitely more systemic racism than many people will admit, of course, but if you look at the polling…most Americans, for example, think abortion should be legal. Most Americans are on board with gay marriage. Their values are far more progressive than the election results would have you believe. But the problem is that the Democrats are bemoaning the potential loss of democracy. That’s a big one, I’ll give you. I’m filming this pre-midterms, which means that at this very moment there is an excellent chance that I am not okay right now. The very underpinnings of democracy are at stake in a very real way. Which is terrifying to me. 

Because for me, the system we had pre-Trump worked…not perfectly, but pretty well. It did not work for everybody. Yes, plenty of people are bad actors – those racist, power-hungry crazies are certainly out there, and they’re holding more offices than I care to think about – but they’re not everyone. If you’ve been struggling to feed your children while working two jobs and still unable to pay for your family’s healthcare, I’m not sure you’re in any massive hurry to get back to those glory days when things were…pretty much the same.

You’d want the system not to return to what it was, but to get better. To address your very real, very fundamental needs. Democrats are arguing for the preservation of a system that, while infinitely superior to, say, autocracy, was not working for a significant percentage of the population. They did not feel supported by the old white guys in power regardless of which party currently held the title. They want something new. And if they have to break the system to get it, they will. So what do Democrats do?

It’s alternately amusing and distressing to me how politically literate my kids are. Like, my 11-year-old is so over gerrymandering. Dude, same. 

I had a conversation with him the other day that got me thinking about the problem facing Democrats – because it’s a massive one. We were reminiscing about those long, lazy 2020 days, and he said ‘But Trump won’t win again, right? Because everyone saw how awful it was when he was president? It’s not like half the country are racist crazy people who want total chaos.” Which seems logical. But the thing I had to explain to him is that…

it’s not that half the people in this country are crazy and racist. There’s infinitely more systemic racism than many people will admit, of course, but if you look at the polling…most Americans, for example, think abortion should be legal. Most Americans are on board with gay marriage. Their values are far more progressive than the election results would have you believe. But the problem is that the democrats are bemoaning the potential loss of democracy. That’s a big one, I’ll give you. I’m filming this pre-midterms, which means that at this very moment there is an excellent chance that I am not okay right now. The very underpinnings of democracy are at stake in a very real way. Which is terrifying to me. 

Because for me, the system we had pre-Trump worked…not perfectly, but pretty well. It did not work for everybody. Yes, plenty of people are bad actors – those racist, power-hungry crazies are certainly out there, and they’re holding more offices than I care to think about – but they’re not everyone. 

If you’ve been struggling to feed your children while working two jobs and still unable to pay for your family’s healthcare, I’m not sure you’re in any massive hurry to get back to those glory days when things were…pretty much the same. You’d want the system not to return to what it was, but to get better. To address your very real, very fundamental needs. Democrats are arguing for the preservation of a system that, while infinitely superior to, say, autocracy, was not working for a significant percentage of the population. They did not feel supported by the old white guys in power regardless of which party currently held the title. They want something new. And if they have to break the system to get it, they will. So what do Democrats do?

 

They emphasize that if democracy does not hold, change won’t be possible…because the reins won’t be in the hands of the people anymore, even to the extent that they once were. And then they put forth progressive candidates who are willing to challenge the members of the establishment – even those ostensibly on the same side. Bernie Sanders was a missed opportunity. But he’s not a lone wolf – there are others like him out there. Maybe even some of them who are in, say, their forties. Not to be ageist, I’d still be totally into a Bernie presidency. 

So. This whole conversation will land very differently depending on how Tuesday’s midterms went, but I think my point still holds: We need change. We demand change. And if Democrats are going to hold onto the vestiges of a democratic system, they need to be brave enough to take them in a new direction – one that actually puts the American people first.


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