Thirst For Change

(“The Democratic Party is not only changing but has changed. There are folks who haven’t gotten that memo. The way that we did things before is not going to work going forward.”—Kimberly Ellis, candidate for chair of the California Democratic Party)

Keep in mind that California Democrats continue to serve as a beacon for the party even as they squabble over how to move forward during the Trump era.

The New York Times published an article this week about an intra-party battle among the state’s democrats in their selection of a state party leader, which pitted old guard politico Eric C. Bauman against Kimberly Ellis, who lives in the Bay Area. Ellis is challenging her 60-vote loss to Bauman, citing irregularities in the election in which 3,000 votes were cast. Bauman, of course, disputes Ellis’ claims.

The “debate,” as we all know, is between liberals and moderates, progressives and centrists, the Bernie Sanders camp and the Hillary Clinton camp.

I agree with Ellis, no matter what happens with her vote challenge, that this debate has been settled. Democrats need to lead the nation with bold initiatives, such as free college tuition, universal health care and a guaranteed jobs or income program. Income inequality has become a matter of basic survival. It’s no longer a philosophical matter. If Democrats won’t stand up to protect the interests of ordinary people trying to make a living, then who will?

I can hear the chatter. But how are we going to pay for all this? We will tax the oligarchs and the large corporations under a more progressive taxation system.

The election of our liar-in-chief Donald Trump is a telling lesson on many levels, but it should be apparent that many people want change, something to happen. Our current path is not sustainable when one considers issues like income inequality, the health care crisis and global warming. Even the way we discuss issues—it’s always about money—has to change. Let’s talk about issues on a human level. The money is there. Either the system works its way to an ugly collapse or Democrats prevent that from happening by abandoning neoliberalism and so-called centrist principles. We don’t need a business model. We need a human model.

Ellis is described in the article as a “Bay Area activist,” which some people might see as a loaded term. But we shouldn’t shy away from liberal principles no matter what the terminology.

Trump is a catastrophe for this country. He was elected because certain groups of people wanted change no matter what the consequences. Democrats need to take advantage of the thirst for change. California, as usual, can lead the way.

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