So I got an email from MoveOn the other day. They want their members to send a message to the DNC
about the qualities they should be looking for in a new party leader. I am really disgusted with the national Democratic party's tendency to move to the right every time they lose. The thing is, they do this, then lose, then move to the right again, then lose again, and so forth. Someone ought to give these people a good spanking and tell them that doing the same thing over and over and over is not going to turn out a different result.
So here is what I wrote the DNC:
Party leaders. What is that? Especially in the Democratic party. Today. Here is the straight truth: at the national level, there are no leaders. A leader must lead the people who built the party, who stick to the party through thick and thin, and lead with conviction in the values the party aspires to. Equal rights, universal healthcare, free and equal public education, investing in our infrastructure and our children - these are the values America aspires to. Anyone who believes we need to become more like Republicans by supporting bills titled "partial birth abortion" or by voting for an unjustified war is not a leader. Nor is anyone who thinks the Democratic party needs to move to the side of the biggest corporate forces and abandon its base of hard working people and organized labor. We don't need a "leader" who abandons the African American, Hispanic and other minority communities because the Republicans play the race card in the South. We don't need a crackpot who thinks gay bashing is the latest fashion in politics. We don't need somebody who thinks speaking to southern white people about race and racial understanding in America is somehow talking down to them. Frankly, if your opinion is to keep moving to the right, there is no purpose for the Democratic party, and you should leave and join the Republicans instead.
That's all the things we don't need. Here is what we do need. We need a fiscally iron-fisted leader who believes deeply in all 10 Amendments of the Bill of Rights. Someone who believes that privacy is not a prerogetive of the president or the Congress, but it is a Constitutional and inalienable right of everyone. We need someone who believes that every single person - regardless of their origin, race, creed, color, sex or sexual orientation - is entitled to the equal and same freedoms and rights as every other person. Someone who believes that the party needs to stand with and be proud of the people who brought the Democrats to the dance: the trade unions, women, Black and Hispanic Americans, the economically disenfranchised, the hard working people. Somebody who believes that America's greatest strength is her moral convictions, not her military might. Someone who knows "school choice" is just a nice phrase for the beginning of the end of public education. Someone who is not afraid to stand up to Bush and his cronies. Someone who is not afraid to take on the corporate media.
In other words, if he privilages the Democrats with his candidacy for the DNC chair, we need Howard Dean.