In 2004, I watched a skinny man with a funny name remind us that the country we belong to can unify us beyond our differences. In 2008, he inspired me to take part in the political process, and build toward a hopeful America. I watched his speeches incessantly. I attended both of his Philadelphia rallies, standing on my feet for hours, waiting to hear him, with people of different races, genders, orientations and religious beliefs. Barack Obama made me a Democrat. I am a Democrat, and I don’t mind admitting it. I believe Democrats run the country better than Republicans. But I have an issue with the Democratic party. Democrats lose. Democrats lose because they don’t have a backbone. They’re cowards. Barack Obama won two terms, despite being the most opposed president in modern history, and let’s be honest, he would easily win a third if he could. In the 2014 midterm elections Democrats refused to align themselves with President Obama and they lost big time. Many Democrats treated the president as if he had the plague, doing all they could to distance themselves from Obama. They believed the GOP’s unfounded and erroneous notion that Obama was disliked and popular. Kentucky Congressional candidate Alison Lundergan Grimes refused to state whether or not she voted for President Obama in 2012, although she was a delegate at the DNC. Only a few candidates bought Obama in to stump for them, one being my governor, Tom Wolf in PA. Coincidentally, or not, they won. And won big. The right’s narrative that Obama is unpopular is quite frankly untrue. The only Democrat to win anything of significance since 2008 is Obama. The party isn’t popular. He is. The party’s fear is crippling. He’s carried The Democratic Party. People and personalities win elections, not party affiliations.
Fast forward to 2016. Now, the party wants to again move in fear, and hand the nomination to Hillary Clinton. Really? We had our choice of Hillary in 2008, and didn’t want her, and now 8 years later, the party wants her, and the people once again don’t! She isn’t progressive, no matter how much she tries to prove that she is.
Hillary isn’t the next step forward after Obama. I’d dare say she’s a step backwards. She represents the political elite oligarchy that many young progressives are tired of. We don’t want another Clinton. Honestly the “Clinton-Brand” doesn’t mean much to us. Now, they’re wondering why she isn’t leading in big ways against Sanders, and why her campaign has no energy. It’s because Hillary isn’t the progressive, hopeful, charismatic imaginative candidate that the Democratic Party needs to energize the base. Secretary Clinton can’t even separate herself from old, self-proclaimed socialist Bernie Sanders. He shouldn’t even have a chance! And the party wonders why? It’s because they’ve allowed the empty noise rhetoric of Obama’s unpopularity to keep them from choosing another candidate like him. And that’s shameful. It seems as if our options on the democratic side aren’t a step forward but 3 steps backwards.
Every young progressive liberal minority democrat should be kicking himself or herself for not running. They’ve allowed the party to tell them to wait their turn. They’ve believed the RIGHT-LIE that “the country would never elect another “Obama”. And that’s a shame. That’s what Obama was told 8 years ago. If the party had their way, he’d be running for the first time, now, as the next candidate after two Hillary terms. Democrats would not be in this position had Cory Booker, Joaquin Castro, Elizabeth Warren, or some other rising star in the party had decided to run. If that happens, no old socialist with beautiful theories deprived of specifics or moderate blue dog democrat clothed in faux progressive clothing would be our candidate. The party would be energized and there’d be ZERO fear of a Republican presidency. The turnout for the Iowa Caucus was very low for the Democrats. It was much lower than the turnout of 2008. I wonder why. The left’s biggest fear isn’t that liberals, young people and progressives would vote for a Republican. Rather the concern is that in November, people simply might not show up. And that’s nobody’s fault but their own. I don’t want Bernie, and I don’t want Hillary. I want the next step in the Obama America. And I don’t think I’m alone. With that said: when we move in fear, we revert back to a known hell when we should be pressing forward towards an unknown yet hopeful future. That’s what took us to the polls in 2008. That’s what birthed the Obama-Democrat. That’s who might not show up, on a rainy Tuesday come November.
By: Corey Johnson