The Democrats face a landslide defeat this year. They must change course now | Bernie Sanders

Aa moment in history where the Republican Party leadership is undermining democracy, ignoring the climate crisis, trying to overthrow Roe v Wade, opposing a minimum wage hike, passing more tax breaks for the rich and growth of the oligarchy, and prevents us from passing serious gun safety legislation, it would be a disaster for this far-right party to take control of the US House and Senate. Unfortunately, it seems that the current strategy of the Democratic Party allows this to happen.

According to numerous polls, the Republicans have an excellent chance of winning next November. The main reason: while the Democratic Party has, over the years, lost support from the white working class, it is now also losing support from Latino, Black and Asian workers.

Additionally, when it comes to the 2022 election, the level of enthusiasm among the Democratic base is extremely low. It’s not just working class support that’s fading, but it’s also that young people, who helped elect Biden and other Democrats in 2020, are increasingly demoralized and unlikely to vote. not in large numbers in this next election.

Why does this happen? Can this trajectory be changed?

During his campaign, Biden promised to be the most progressive president since Franklin Delano Roosevelt. And in his first months in office, with strong support from Democrats in Congress, he delivered on that promise. At a time when Covid was wreaking havoc on the health and financial well-being of the American people, under the leadership of President Biden, we passed the American Bailout, the most important piece of legislation in modern history. This $1.9 billion bill has provided financial support to tens of millions of American families and businesses, stabilized the economy, and improved our response to Covid.

After this grassroots legislation passed in March 2021, President Biden had a 59% favor rating, the highest of his presidency, and there was broad support for what the Democrats were doing. There was also a strong understanding that we had to go even further. The US bailout was an emergency bill that addressed the Covid-related issues facing the country. Now, with a new administration in place, the American people wanted us to address the long-neglected structural crises facing working families in our country.

Amid grotesque and growing inequalities in income and wealth and decades of wage stagnation, the existential threat of the climate crisis, a rigged tax system and crises in health care, childcare and housing, the American people wanted Congress to finally stand up and represent their interests, not just the greed of wealthy campaign contributors. And that’s what the Build Back Better Act was all about. Poll after poll has shown overwhelming support for virtually every provision of this act.

Yes. The American people want the rich to pay their fair share of taxes. They want to reduce the exorbitant cost of prescription drugs, expand Medicare to cover dental, hearing aids and vision, solve the home and health care crisis, make child care affordable, preschool and higher education, establish a paid family and medical leave program, and build the millions of affordable homes we need. Yes. The American people want us to invest heavily in fighting the climate crisis by transforming our energy system away from fossil fuels.

Unfortunately, despite the strong support of the American people, despite the support of the President, despite the passage through the House of Representatives, despite the support of 48 members of the Senate, two Democratic companies – Senators Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema – who have both received millions of dollars in campaign contributions from billionaires and corporate interests – decided to sabotage this legislation. We needed 50 votes to adopt Build Back Better. We had 48.

And it’s only gotten worse for Democrats ever since. After nine months of fruitless “negotiations” with Manchin and Sinema, it is high time to realize that this is a path that leads to nothing but defeat at the polls and the perception growing that the Democrats have turned their backs on working families. We need a new strategy. We have to face the Republicans. We must fight back.

In extremely difficult and troubling times – inflation, the pandemic, global warming, gun violence, abortion rights abuses, the war in Ukraine – the American people want their elected officials to stand up to the powerful special interests and fight for them. Good. Democrats control the White House, Senate, and House — and it’s not happening. They are held accountable for their inaction and they lose.

Is the situation hopeless? I do not think so. But to turn the tide, Democrats need a major change of course. And in doing so, they can learn a lesson from Harry Truman’s 1948 campaign. In 1948, no one believed that Truman had a chance of winning this election. Strom Thurmond and the segregationists had blocked the party and Henry Wallace, a third party candidate, was taking away progressive votes from Truman. Truman responded with a simple and straightforward strategy. Unlike today’s Democrats, he led the fight against the Republicans. He didn’t let them hide behind their moaning and “doing nothing”. He exposed them for what they were – special interest tools. He gets them to vote on important issues. And, time and time again, they voted against the interests of working families. Truman showed the difference between the parties very clearly – and he won.

What Democrats need to do, right now, is make it clear: They can have 50 votes in the Senate, but they don’t have 50 votes to pass the legislation the American people want and need. They have Nope Republican support and there are two Democrats who will vote with Republicans on important issues.

Now is the time to make democracy work. Let us bring the major issues affecting working families to the Senate and let us vote, vote and vote again. Even if we lose those votes, which is likely, the American people have a right to see where their elected officials stand. Get them to vote!

In any given year, there are billionaires and big, profitable corporations that don’t pay a dime in federal tax. Let’s see how many Republicans will vote for real tax reform to close these loopholes.

Millions of workers continue to earn poverty wages. Let’s see how many Republicans will vote to raise the minimum wage to at least $15 an hour.

We pay, by far, the highest prices in the world for prescription drugs. Let’s see how many Republicans will vote for Medicare to negotiate prescription drug prices and cut drug prices in half.

Many seniors are unable to afford the exorbitant cost of dental care, hearing aids or vision care. Let’s see how many Republicans will vote to expand Medicare to cover these basic health care needs.

On average, the cost of childcare in this country is an unaffordable $15,000 a year, if parents can find an available spot. Let’s see how Republicans will vote to lower the cost of child care and make pre-K free.

We are the only major country that does not guarantee paid family and medical leave. Let’s see how many Republicans will vote to grant at least 12 weeks of paid family and medical leave to working families across our country.

We have the highest child poverty rate of almost any major country. Let’s see how many Republicans will vote to keep the $300-a-month Child Tax Credit, which has reduced child poverty by more than 40%.

Millions of older people struggle to survive on their inadequate social security benefits. Still, the Social Security tax limit is $147,000. Let’s see how many Republicans will vote to lift the income cap and increase Social Security benefits.

Scientists tell us that time is running out to tackle the climate crisis. Let’s see how many Republicans will vote to create millions of well-paying jobs by transforming our energy system away from fossil fuels.

Workers who wish to join unions are often unable to do so due to the illegal actions of their employers. Let’s see how many Republicans will vote to give workers a fair chance to unionize.

And that’s not all we have to do.

We cannot allow murderers armed with AR-15s to continue slaughtering children in schools or grocery stores. Let’s see how many Republicans will vote to pass strong and meaningful gun safety legislation.

The Democratic Party cannot continue to ignore the needs of our country’s working class and hope to retain majority control of the US House and Senate. It’s time to show which side we are on. It’s time to start voting.

About Therese Williams

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