Jim Firth: Trump wins; now what?
November 30, 2016
First, let me congratulate my friends and colleagues in Nevada County.
Hillary Clinton won the vote (recognizing that not all votes are yet counted) by 5 percent. Jim Reed, the Democratic candidate for Congress is within 1 percent of surpassing Doug LaMalfa. Rob Rowen, the Democratic candidate for California State Senate, came within 5 percent of Ted Gaines. And, in the Nevada County Supervisor election, Heidi Hall won last June and takes the oath of office in January 2017. The trend in Nevada County is moving away from conservatism; the state ballot measures show that, and more moderate to liberal overall.
Nevada County bucked the "rural" counties show of strength throughout much of the rest of America. Your hard work and dedication made that happen. The volunteer efforts that included registering voters, making phone calls, placing door-hangers, talking to family, friends and neighbors all contributed to increases in Democratic turnout in this year's elections.
But, although Secretary Clinton won the "popular" vote, she lost the election. Why?
It’s past time to move a progressive agenda throughout our country. No one else is going to do the work for you. It’s up to you.
The United States has an Electoral College that gives states control of the number of "electoral delegates" who then "vote" for president. It's an outdated system, and petitions are circulating to repeal the Electoral College in 13 more states so the system can disappear without having to convene a Constitutional Convention, that is another way to end the practice. California voted to use the popular vote in 2014.
So Donald Trump will be inaugurated U.S. President on Jan. 20, 2017 and likely serve the four-year term. We don't know much yet about what his agenda will include, but if it follows his campaign rhetoric, we all will be in for a shockingly wild ride. That means it is up to us to not just monitor his every move, but prepare to move a more progressive agenda forward in the coming years. Some national Democratic leaders are open to working with President-Elect Trump on items of agreement. They are also steadfastly stating that he will be opposed on items like repealing all of the Affordable Care Act (Obama Care), deportation of 11 million Hispanics, changing the entitlement programs of Social Security or Medicare, among others. Meanwhile, thousands of citizens are marching in the streets of many American cities protesting the mere fact that Donald Trump was elected. Which strategy will work for us?
I voted for Bernie Sanders in the Democratic Primary in June. I felt that he had a better program to serve American families, students, seniors, workers, and understood the angst that regular people were feeling about their personal position in the economic reality of income inequality, lack of meaningful representation by our elected government officials, or how their voice could really be heard over the influence of money in our political system. Bernie understands the populist concerns that ultimately led to the election of Donald Trump. Secretary Clinton never really caught on to how strongly people felt about their voice being heard, or not, as is often the case.
But Nevada County, through effort and persistence, was able to show that even with the shortcomings of Secretary Clinton's campaign, she could win over Donald Trump. That effort must continue. The Nevada County Democratic Party (NCDCC) can be contacted at http://www.nevadacountydemocrats.com or by calling 530-265-3367 and you can help prepare for 2018. There will again be an election for Congress, for two members of the Nevada County Board of Supervisors, for members of the Grass Valley, Nevada City and Truckee city councils, plus school boards and water districts, and others.
The NCDCC is organized through its Volunteer Committee to do outreach in Nevada County and beyond. They will maintain contact and work with other counties in the region, help reorganize the Democratic Party in California, but more importantly organize to create a coalition in Nevada County that listens to and reflects the wants and needs of all Nevada County residents.
It's time to get involved. It's past time to move a progressive agenda throughout our country. No one else is going to do the work for you. It's up to you.
Jim Firth is past Chairperson of the Nevada County Democratic Central Committee. His opinions are his own, and mostly not those of any organization.