I'm a recovering centrist. I'm wary of the compromises on which centrism has depended as many are not compromises but simply a way to continue to serve elites and foster inequality. But knowing that does not diminish the fact that to defeat Trump...
...a progressive candidate must unite the entire Democratic Party. We can have an agenda of change that is not an agenda of alienation. Indeed, the purpose of the Democratic agenda historically and now must be inclusion. In fact, the strength of a progressive point of view...
is that it can appeal to common objectives poll show are shared by the vast majority not just of Dems but of all Americans--who want to ensure everyone has healthcare coverage, who want everyone to be able to afford an education, who want to fight the climate crisis,
who want sensible gun control, who want to fight the corruption and influence of big money in Washington. Purity tests on key issues, particularly those that might undermine the great objective of both defeating Trump and defeating Trumpism must be rejected as a threat.
Warren has run the best campaign to date. But her position on M4A has hurt her. If she would have embraced it as a roadmap to the ultimate goal, achievable in stages, it would have been fine. There is still time to do that. Campaigns and candidates can evolve.
Other good candidates have been marginalized too early, some from incoming fire from their own party establishment. Particularly victimized, as usual, have been women candidates like Harris and Klobuchar both of whom were attacked unfairly v. early.
We have many choices that are not reflexively succumbing to the status quo of the past several decades. Most candidates share common objectives at the core. Most have vision, energy, and can mobilize the base. And most can unite it.
It is time in this race to remember that and to push for a candidate and a campaign that is both visionary & unifying, that mobilizes all Democrats not by seeking the lowest common denominator or the most cautious course but by energizing them by...
creatively, effectively addressing shared concerns. Just as we acknowledge that it is not "realism" to embrace compromises that fail to solve a problem or make it worse it is not "vision" to embrace ideas that cannot happen. Just as it is not enough to defeat Trump...
...and it is utterly fanciful to imagine that his departure will lead to a magical transformation of the GOP...it is also not possible to defeat Trumpism without winning an active majority of voters. Speak to their concerns. Speak to our 21st Century needs. Demand real change.
But at the same time, engage, elevate and ultimate unify. Watershed elections require new coalitions. A new American majority supports a Democratic agenda of sweeping change. Let's ensure we can harness that immense power by not letting the perfect be the enemy of the good.
In short...I am not just for progressive ideas and ideals, which are vital, but am for progressive leaders who can and will succeed in producing the real change we need and who can usher in a new era for the country and the party.
You can follow @djrothkopf.
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