Hilary Hodge: Democrats unite, prepare to defeat Republican regime
On Saturday, the Democratic National Committee came together to elect a new party chair. There were a handful of people running for party chair but the greatest competition was between Keith Ellison, Democratic congressmen from Minnesota, and Tom Perez, who served as secretary of labor under President Obama.
According to Ellison’s congressional website, “Rep. Ellison’s guiding philosophy is based on generosity and inclusion and his priorities in Congress are building prosperity for working families, promoting peace, pursuing environmental sustainability, and advancing civil and human rights.”
Ellison has introduced and sponsored several bills in congress that protect consumer rights against big banks and credit card companies. His website also notes, “He is a member of the Congressional Black Caucus, founded the Congressional Consumer Justice Caucus, and belongs to more than a dozen other caucuses that focus on issues ranging from social inclusion to environmental protection.”
Ellison was a great candidate for DNC chair and would have been a great choice to lead the party.
Perez has dedicated his life to working for civil rights and served as deputy assistant attorney general for civil rights under Attorney General Janet Reno, who was the first woman to serve as attorney general and was appointed by Bill Clinton. Perez worked for Ted Kennedy, litigated civil rights at the Department of Justice and defended worker rights as labor secretary. Perez personally lobbied Gov. Jerry Brown for California’s farm worker overtime law. When Perez served on the county council of Montgomery County, Maryland, he pushed for legislation limiting predatory lending, a law that allowed the county’s Commission on Human Rights to investigate and prosecute loan brokers and third-party lenders that were engaging in predatory lending and raised the ceiling on compensation for victims so that big banks have to take responsibility for defrauding working Americans.
He is the first Latino to serve as DNC chair and he will work to make the Democratic Party vibrant, progressive, and victorious.
Conservatives in America and people with an axe to grind are trying to further the narrative that the Democratic Party is split between Bernie Sanders supporters and Hillary Clinton supporters. The National Review called the event an “insider baseball affair.” Shock blogger Matt Bruenig characterized the race saying, “the establishment wing has made it very clear that they will do anything and everything to hold down the left faction, even as they rather hilariously ask the left faction to look above their differences and unify in these trying times.”
President Donald Trump tweeted, “The race for DNC Chairman was, of course, totally “rigged.” Bernie’s guy, like Bernie himself, never had a chance. Clinton demanded Perez!” The race for chair was incredibly close and Ellison immediately and graciously aligned himself with Perez, calling for party unity.
The right-wing narrative about the Democratic National Committee and the two incredibly qualified candidates willing to serve to run the party is that somehow, because only one of them was chosen to serve as chair, the party is now fractured, tattered, and unable to work together to unite progressives in the United States.
That narrative is not just false, it is a campaign of division and it is absolutely laughable.
All across America, Democratic Central Committees and Democratic Clubs have seen record numbers of people turnout, give money, and volunteer. Progressive causes in America are seeing support like never before. The American Civil Liberties Union raised a record-breaking $24 million the weekend after Donald Trump and the Republicans enacted an immigration ban. People who have never before been engaged in politics or political action are coming together to oppose the Republican Party and its extremist agenda.
The Democratic Party is being led by progressives and is united across progressive causes at the grass roots level. Here in Nevada County, the Democratic Central Committee is teeming with volunteers, uniting with local and longtime progressive causes and working together.
The election of Perez as DNC Party chair does not divide the party or separate progressives in any way. Even The National Review had to admit that, “Perez will probably be more effective than his predecessors in mobilizing disparate elements of the Democratic coalition.”
The election of Tom Perez and the candidacy of Keith Ellison show people exactly how united the Democratic Party is and how prepared it is to champion the progressive values of civil rights, human rights, healthcare, workers’ rights, environmentalism, and more.
The Democratic Party is united and prepared to defeat the extremist policies of Donald Trump’s Republican regime.
Hilary Hodge lives in Grass Valley. Her column is published on Tuesdays. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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