Citizen-Times, 12/4/17

The suppertime phone call was a solicitation – for a political organization supporting “the progressive wing of the Democratic Party.” The lady was most likely a paid hustler, so I spared her my question: Why?

I mean, why would “the progressive wing of the Democratic Party” be raising money specifically for themselves?

Actually, I don’t want to know why. I’m afraid they’re funding candidates for a hostile takeover of the Democratic Party. I’m told it’s openly discussed.

A letter of mine appeared on this page in May of 2016. Its opening line was: “I wish Bernie Sanders hadn’t run for president.” I went on to say: “My concern is that Sanders can open the gate for a Republicn to win in November. And that would mean a far-right Supreme Court for decades – and American oligarchy. As I talk to Sanders believers, more often than not, I hear strong anti-Hillary feelings – some so strong they would not vote for Hillary if she gets the nomination.”

And indeed, a lot of Sanders Democrats in WNC, I’m told by Sanders Democrats, didn’t vote for Clinton. It happened.

Now Bernie is back. And he’s a-stirring. His new book is called, “Bernie Sanders Guide to Political Revolution.” Yikes. And he headlines every appearance with his most provocative proposition: universal health care. He staged a grand introduction for his “Medicare for All” bill.

I have no doubt that America will someday have universal health care. It’s inevitable. In countries that have it, like Scandanavia, everybody says that peace of mind is worth the higher taxes.

But North Carolina ain’t Norway. Democrats here aren’t political revolutionaries. I’m not a political revolutionary. Universal health care is not something we can promise to voters now.

Our job as Democrats right now, progressive or non-progressive, is to take the General Assembly away from Republicans. Their common denominator has been power:  keeping it and extending it.   They’re our only target.

Absolutely, the “progressive wing” should run candidates in primaries. Democrats live in a big tent. But after the primary, all Democrats must be arm in arm behind the winner.

When Tom Perriello lost the Democratic primary for governor in Virginia this year, he headed an organization to help elect Democrats in the general election. And united Democrats won!

Elizabeth Warren gave a speech (Google, “warren netroots nation 2014”) that listed 10 powerful progressive beliefs – and she stated them as moral, inclusive principles. In contrast to Bernie, she understands Democratic unity.  Democrats of all kinds are Democrats because they share one basic belief ithat sets us totally apart from Republicans: “Government for the People!”

Pitting Democrat agaqinst Democrat for Party control is full-blown crazy. Who wins such a battle? The same self-serving Republicans we’ve got now, that’s who. (I belong to Indivisible. We resist Trumpism; we’re not dividers.)

When gerrymandering goes down in court, it’s Democrat time —  if we don’t beat ourselves. In fair elections, Republicans must answer to the voters.

As somebody has said, it takes two wings to fly.