Loading...
I see the Mayor is getting out his signs again this year. This is a welcome sight because he deserves another term for...

Don’t let the Democratic Party leave me

DGMartin.jpg

D.G. Martin

Loading…

Friday, March 15, 2019

 

“I didn’t leave the Democratic Party, it left me.”

This declaration is not new.

I heard it over and over again back in the early 1980s when old-line conservative Democrats, still smarting from Lyndon Johnson’s civil rights legislation, were looking for a different pathway. And they were finding one. It was blazed by Ronald Reagan and Jesse Helms.

More recently, we heard it from formerly loyal working-class Democrats who felt their party had lost interest in their concerns. They found Donald Trump’s pathway more to their liking.

As the late state legislator Martin Nesbitt, an unapologetic mountain populist, warned me, when you lose these votes once, you will have a hard time getting them back.

Today, Democrats are flirting with losing another important part of their coalition. Worried Democratic leaders see that some of the over-the-top campaign promises of prospective Democratic presidential candidates could drive away a slew of moderate progressive voters who support our competitive economic system.

Bernie Sanders, Vermont senator and current leading candidate for the Democratic presidential nomination, self-identifies as a democratic socialist. Trump, of course, brands all the current candidates as socialists.

Sanders does not run away from Trump’s branding. He takes credit for his ideas being in the platforms of many other Democratic candidates.

In their March 10 article in The New York Times, Jonathan Martin and Sydney Ember quoted Sanders, “Those ideas that we talked about here in Iowa four years ago that seemed so radical at the time, remember that? Shock of all shocks, those very same ideas are now supported not only by Democratic candidates for president but by Democratic candidates all across the board, from school board on up.”

Other candidates are adopting or copying Sanders’ platform of Medicare for all and free college tuition, certainly important ideals but budget-bursting in implementation. Last week, Sen. Elizabeth Warren proposed breaking up Amazon, Google, Apple and Facebook.

Warren and Sanders seem like moderates in comparison to the outspoken super-progressives like newly elected Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, known as “AOC.”

In 2017, after the Democrats’ impressive showing in the Virginia elections, Republican columnist Peggy Noonan cautioned, “The threat for Democrats is that they’ll overplay their hand — that heady with their first big win since Barack Obama’s re-election, they’ll go crazy-left. If they are clever they will see their strong space as anti-Trump, socially moderate and economically liberal. Will they be clever? Hunger encourages discipline, and they are hungry. But emboldened progressives will want to seize the day.”

Noonan was right and is still right. Today, Democratic presidential candidates and many youthful activists are seizing the day.

Many young Democrats have no patience for or understanding of the hard-fought gains their parents worked so hard to win. “We have had enough of the centrist, corporatist Democratic — the type of Democrat that my mom would have voted for back in the ’90s. We just don’t have patience for the platitudes,” one young Sanders volunteer told Martin and Ember.

But the new Democratic majority in the House of Representatives is due to victories in center-leaning, competitive districts, like the North Carolina 9th Congressional District where hard-charging, but moderate, candidate Dan McCready nearly won on election day.

If McCready hopes to win the special election in the 9th later this year, he must distance himself from any connection to socialism.

And if his Democratic Party wants to help him win, it will not allow itself to be branded with Sanders’s socialist tag.

Looking forward to the 2020 presidential election, the Democrats’ greatest asset is widespread disapproval of President Trump.

But, if put to the choice, some traditional Democrats and even Trump haters would still vote for Trump rather than a candidate they view as a socialist.

D.G. Martin is a a retired lawyer, politician and university administrator and is host of UNC-TV’s “North Carolina Bookwatch.”

 

 

Loading…

Humans of Greenville

@HumansofGville

Local photographer Joe Pellegrino explores Greenville to create a photographic census of its people.

Op Ed

September 21, 2019

At almost the same moment our state was boasting of a $900 million cash surplus, one important sector of state government was encountering serious shortfalls. Lawmakers should address the funding problems with the N.C. Department of Transportation before considering refunds to taxpayers or other…

Tom Campbell.jpg

September 05, 2019

The year was 1990. While serving as pastor of a church in Greensboro, I became involved in a ministry to the most vulnerable.

At the time, North Carolina was at the top of the list when it came to infant mortality. Politicians who ran a strong anti-abortion campaign in the name of…

011616bobhudak.1.jpg-1

August 25, 2019

The travel and tourism industry is one of the most mid-understood industries across our nation despite its huge contribution to the national economy.

The United States Travel Association reported that $1.1 trillion was spent by travelers to the U.S. in 2018, resulting in a $2.5 trillion output…

071616GuestColumnSchmidtPic

August 24, 2019

As North Carolina teachers start to return to classrooms, they will undoubtedly have a lot on their minds to prepare for a new academic year. Fortunately, they will no longer have to worry about the status of their in-network health care coverage for 2020 under the State Health Plan.

Thanks to the…

0918SteveLawler_0_0.jpg-1

August 24, 2019

If you come to the end of the year and you’ve got surplus money in the bank what do you do? This seldom happens in most homes, but would you spend it? Save it? Or, with a government, would you return some of it to the people who sent it? That’s the option Senate President Pro Tem Phil…

August 21, 2019

For many parents, August is a month of both pride and tears. Pride because their teenager is taking that big educational step and tears because for many it's the beginning of an empty nest. Yet, there's a going-away-to-college question that far too few parents ask or even contemplate: What will my…

Walter Williams

August 18, 2019

I have had the distinct honor and privilege of leading the Greenville VA Health Care Center as the Administrator and Associate Administrator since November 2016.

Over the past two and a half years, I have enjoyed working all of the veterans and staff members as we grew together, overcame obstacles,…

Forte.jpg

July 23, 2019

Since being sworn in January, I have been working hard to help the people I represent in Lenoir and Pitt counties — and the biggest opportunity to do this has been through the state budget. I’ve talked with elected officials, educators, administrators, nonprofits, business owners,…

121718chrishumphrey

July 12, 2019

Over the past three years, I have had the good fortune to work on a project that has the potential to transform the farming landscape in eastern North Carolina, one that involves harnessing gas produced from hog waste.

As CEO and founder of OptimaBio, our work with Smithfield Foods to capture…

Maloney

July 01, 2019

The American system of checks and balances government does not work the way most people think it does or the way the Founding Fathers said it would.

The president serves at the pleasure of Congress, just as the prime minister of the UK serves at the pleasure of Parliament, which means that the…

eleanorclift.jpg.jpg
50 stories in Op Ed. Viewing 1 through 10.
«First Page   «Previous Page        
Page 1 of 5
        Next Page»   Last Page»