A Victory For Old Fashioned Democratic Party Politics

December 13th, 2017

As the smoke clears from last night’s bellwether election in Alabama, one thing is clear — this is a victory for old fashioned mainstream Democratic Party politics.

From Tom Perez and the DNC all the way down to the newest kid walking precincts and working the phones, Doug Jones’s thin margin of victory was hard-won with blood, sweat, tears, and shoe leather.

It was won by very smart Democratic Party strategists and on-the-ground Alabamians who know their state and know how to craft a message that honors what is good and right and true about the New South.

Last night, the cold, dead hand of George Wallace finally fell away. Alabama stepped boldly into the 21st century.

It was trench warfare. By fighting a street by street, precinct by precinct campaign, the entire Doug Jones team avoided identity politics and the rhetoric of division and crafted a campaign about bread and butter issues that keep people up at night — jobs, income, education, infrastructure, healthcare, and fundamental fairness.

Let this victory be a blueprint for all the Democratic victories that lay ahead — we must stick to our progressive principles, but do it in a way that speaks to independent voters and the growing legions of disenfranchised and disillusioned Trump voters who, when the chips are down, just want what’s best for America.

For all its faults, flaws, and missteps, the Democratic National Committee is still the blue ribbon champion of strategy and top to bottom organization. Door to door, eye to eye, heart to heart, and soul to soul – that’s how elections are won. Tom Perez calls it “kitchen table” politics. A 50 state strategy, no regions written off, and no people forgotten. In these tumultuous times there are no such things as “safe elections.” Everything’s up for grabs, and in the fog of war, the best organizations win.

Peter Bolland

Peter Bolland is the philosophy and humanities department chair at Southwestern College in Chula Vista, California where he teaches world religions, Asian philosophy, world mythology, and ethics. Bolland is also a columnist for both Unity Magazine and the San Diego Troubadour. An award winning singer-songwriter and poet, Bolland draws on the world’s wisdom traditions as a frequent lecturer and performer throughout the San Diego region.
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