I’m going to state this clearly and simply for the Democratic Leadership in Congress, the Democratic National Committee (DNC) Super-Delegates, DNC National Leadership and DNC State Leaders. This is about what you should do and what you should not do for the 2018 and 2020 Elections.
- Please do give all Democratic candidates a fair chance at the nominations in national and state elections and don’t try to force your pre-ordained candidates on us.
- Please don’t hand pick a presidential candidate before the Democratic Electorate votes and heed the vote of the rank and file Democrats. Ordaining a candidate for president 4 or 8 years ahead of time, as a consolation prize, is neither good politics nor honest.
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- Please do encourage minority candidates and give them fair and nondiscriminatory support from the national and state committees, and don’t hand pick a candidate just because you think the minority candidate can’t win. Minority includes members of the LGBT community. Root out the good ole boy and good ole girl nature of state committees, lest we support unelectable candidates as we have done in the last year.
- Please don’t give up on red states, especially where there is a high population of Native Americans, Hispanics and African Americans. (Native precincts in Montana pushed Bill Clinton over the line in what otherwise was predicted to be a Republican win.) Put money into getting minorities to register and get to the polls.
- Please do be centrist when it comes to the party platform, but not right of center and not too far to the left of center. Don’t turn our Democratic Party into Republican lite or hard left. Running against something has proved not to work in those elections we lost in 2017. Democrats need to let voters know what we are for and why it is in the best interest of the majority of American voters to join us.
- Please don’t forget that 2018 and 2020 will be a battle for those voters who will defect from the party of Trump and the party of big money but will be looking for something for themselves in our Democratic platform. Self-interest rules.
- Please do set forth a platform that demonstrates that Democrats are the last protectors of the Democratic republic as was set forth in the U.S. Constitution by the founding fathers. We are the party that will restore constitutional freedom and rights recently hijacked by conservatives and their moneyed sponsors. Democrats must vow to fight authoritarian rule under the GOP sponsored alliance of authoritarian government and big business, including multi-national corporations both domestic and non-domestic that have highjacked our government.
- Don’t just talk the walk, walk the talk, with regard to historical Democratic principles and the new Democratic party principles. Negotiation and compromise get things done. Hard-lining does not.
- Please do raise as much small donor money as you can and put the structure in place now to do it. Wall Street money versus the average American money turns a lot of people away from the party, especially young people. Let us be the people’s party again.
- Please don’t ignore millennials. Show that they are wanted by appointing a committee for initiatives to bring these natural Democrats back to the voting booth at both the national and state levels. And call it just that, the Democratic Committee for Millennial Voters. They want to hear they are wanted.
- Please do demonstrate that Democrats are the party of the Baby Boomers and will do whatever it takes to make them comfortable and able to lead a quality life in their late years. The gray Democrats, and now even the gray Republicans, are looking for heroes and the GOP is showing its true stripes by not tending to Baby Boomer needs, but rather the desires of the rich.
- Please don’t gut military budgets in this era of world uncertainty, but compel every American at the age of 18 to three (3) years of compulsory military service with the alternative of public service at comparable levels of pay and benefits, but only for those with handicaps or conscientious objectors. (Israel Model) Being wealthy should not buy deferments or justify public service. Training should translate well to future jobs in the public sector.
- Please do permit and fund alternatives to public school education because we know our kids are not robots cut from a single mold. Get the education companies out of curriculum development and encourage community education instead of education factories. Train for the future, not just for college prep.
- Please do guarantee every college age student that has done his or her compulsory service, a free vocational education, college education and graduate level education. Pay for professional schools (law, medicine, scientists, engineers, doctoral studies, etc.) but require a year of service in the public sector after matriculation. Offer incentives for STEM majors.
- Do pass an immigration policy that encourages foreign students to stay in America once their education is complete and offer loan pay back programs for those that stay.
- Please do guarantee every American citizen the right of health care and access to that care in their community and without, if need be. Allow for citizen non-profit health corporations which can bill insurance and Medicaid. Or support a one payor health system.
- Don’t continue surplus military hardware to local police systems that has resulted in the militarization of American police departments to the detriment of citizens’ rights and safety from those that are supposed to be peace officers. Appropriate for re-training programs and train for non-violent alternatives to beating, maceing, tasering and killing.
- Do away with discriminatory war on drugs policies and laws, and de-criminalize marijuana. Put money into treatment, not incarceration for narcotics addicts. Encourage the scientific study of medicinal uses of cannabis/cannabinols.
- Do encourage agriculture production of hemp and production of hemp products.
- Don’t continue any federal spending on prisons for profit. Outlaw prisons for profit altogether within 10 years.
- Please do set 2-consecutive terms as the limit for both the U.S. Senate and House or Representatives.
- Please do pass a federal law overturning Supreme Court rulings that have made our political system into a political marketplace and/or require disclosure of finance sources for all PACS and issue organizations.
- Please don’t pass policies, laws, including tax laws, that favor continued reliance on carbon fuels, and do pass laws and policies subsidizing development of clean energy sources.
- Please do pass laws requiring energy and mining companies to clean up all the environmental damage they cause and reclaim all sites, and do not limit fines and clean up fees to existing companies and allow for both federal government claims and citizens claims to successor companies, and/or predecessor companies, when bought out of bankruptcy.
- Please do enforce anti-trust laws and break up vertically integrated conglomerates that monopolize various industries and drive small businesses out of the marketplace and destroy downtown America.
In other words, let’s be Democrats again.
Harold Monteau is a Chippewa Cree Consultant and Indian Law and Policy Advocate. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.