Why the Democratic Party has a Future to Believe In, Pt. 1
As a life-long independent Democrat from a family of politically involved Democrats going back a couple generations to Congressman Henry Leonard of Chicago, I am of course not entirely happy with the recent trajectory of our party... and of course I'm deeply worried.... but about the future of the party, not as much as some. Indeed, there is significant reason for optimism.
In the egalitarian fervor of the Sanders movement and in the pragmatic noblesse oblige of the Clinton campaign, I saw two poles of a functioning and re-vitalized political planet... and I saw a shift that will eventually lead to an even greater and nobler America than exists today.
The truth is that when, after Jimmy Carter's pacifist tendencies were falsely regarded as weakness and the Reaganites came to sweeping power, American politics and culture took a seismic shift to the right... that has de-stabilized the nation and the Democratic Party since, creating a temporary disadvantage that perhaps had to unfold in this narrow electoral loss, in which we still won the popular vote and left a lasting impact on the American heart and soul... but failed to gain and consolidate power and the interests of our coastal, metropolitan and other constituents.
The Democratic party and liberalism in general will re-surge to some degree if only because our politics is currently unnaturally to the right of our culture, media and critically of our economy: especially regarding emerging sectors like tech and solar.
I believe in the end it is to the right of what the ultimately noble American conscience will see as ethically acceptable.
But to what extent the Democratic Party will resurge will depend on the choices we make and the character we demonstrate.
Corruption and politics as usual are our enemy: people saw these evils in how the Sanders campaign was not given a competitive shot despite inspiring principles and great popular support. That was de-moralizing and de-energizing.
People realized how easily their own voices could be dismissed as soon as soon as their own political brand wasn't selling at the corporate retreats. People want a politics of authenticity, egalitarianism and soul.
And they want the kind of smart, innovative ideas that can only come from truly hearing out the people in our great diversity: This includes hearing and considering political outliers and what, when we're talking to China or Russia, are called 'dissidents.'
This last election was a year of noble bets. We bet on a thoughtfully progressive social slate, on a new standard for ethics and social issues, and we bet that America was ready to have a woman in the ultimate control tower. On all counts, we made bets that by the narrowest of margins we were unable to ultimately win on, but we planted the seeds of liberal renaissance, and we planted question seeds in the minds of many who now temporarily lean conservative, but who as they see and reflect on events, will turn left and toward the Democratic Party... in 2018 and afterward.
Music, especially music that is coupled with social thought and politics that is profoundly felt, is a powerful force in politics. Few people understood how powerful music can be in its effect on the human soul... and even on the direction of a great nation
Psychological studies show that little makes as deep an impact on the memory and the psyche as the universal language that is music. However, music is often taken so lightly!
Our society has a need for more music that has message and spirit... and our Democratic leaders would do wisely to embrace and use such music: not to ignore the ultimate truth that the right attitude toward the voice of the people, and toward serious issues of domestic and international policy... must be the heart of our efforts to serve the public good.
It is also critical that we properly acknowledge groups like Asian Americans who are loyal and influential Democrats, and yet often end up with the short end of the political and social stick, thus decreasing their motivation and contributions.