Fairfield Ledger
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Neighbors Growing Together | Dec 4, 2016

Democrats need new alliances

By Bob Krause | Nov 17, 2016

To the editor:

For many moderates and progressives from both parties, it’s not the end of the world, but you can see it from here.

We now have a president-elect without a national mandate, but with a mandate from his core supporters. We now have a president-elect with an avowed dislike of the diversity that made America. And, as Senator Grassley so aptly put it: we now have a president-elect with a mandate from core supporters to reshape the Supreme Court not to our liking for the next 40 years.

It’s a steep comedown from the alternate reality that appeared viable until a few weeks ago when FBI Director James Comey made his initial pronouncement on emails discovered on Anthony Weiner’s laptop. And that alternate reality turns a 6.0 quake into a 9.2. It’s exponential shock. For many Democratic activists, gone for many years is the dream of the first woman President-elect. For the civil rights and civil liberties wing of the party, gone is the vision of a new Supreme Court to protect civil rights and civil liberties. For the people that opposed the Trans-Pacific Partnership, like me, but we got our wish, but it is tied to a bitter stew of immigrant baiting that we were unprepared for and not accepting of. And for people struggling at the economic bottom, the promise of an increased national minimum wage is off the table. Now with nearly 100 percent GOP governance in Iowa, these people may be faced with the repeal of the county minimum wage laws.

And the 9.2 reverberation is just beginning to be heard around the world. Which world leader got publicity for congratulating the new presumptive leader of the free world? Not any of our traditional allies. Image will begat reality internationally, as it always does. The effectiveness of any and all of our international defense agreements are already starting to fade. Even if the titular shell of NATO and other defense entities is preserved, the impact is already being felt, as global defense partners scatter to make the best deals they can with regional and global enemies.

So what can moderates and progressives do about it? New alliances need to be made, and Iowa Democrats need to reaffirm their fealty to the blue-collar workers that left us in droves for new and radical promises that sounded good, but have painful strings attached that disqualify the deal.

Where the fight on principle needs to happen, we must continue to fight. The protection of civil rights, human rights and civil liberties is high ground that we must defend. The marginalization of the middle class and the abandonment of the working poor is something we must fight. Fifty years of progress in environmental law must be defended.

As we fight the battle for integrity, we must recognize that we are a long way from any semblance of governance until we can fit the pieces of our coalition into a jigsaw that will stay with us on the next Election Day.

 

– Bob Krause, Fairfield

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