No, Democrats. Progressives were not the reason you lost House seats.

The Corporate Agenda of the Democratic Party must cease.

Representative elect Jamaal Bowman delivers his winning speech after his primary on June 23, 2020. (Photo: Stephanie Keith/Getty Images)

Why did Joe Biden feel comfortable enough to say “you ain’t Black” if you didn’t vote for him? Rumor has it that right before Lyndon B. Johnson signed the 1964 Civil Rights Act, he stated “I’ll have those n****rs voting Democratic for 200 years.” While this statement was not ever confirmed, it does coincide with the actions of a Democratic Party who feel like they own votes, particularly Black and Brown ones.

Over the last decade, it’s become clear that the Democratic Party has lost touch with its base with misguided corporate agendas that do not blend well with the identity politics they preach. Yes, there can be a lukewarm feeling behind having a Black and Brown faces in positions of power, but if they are not wielding it for good then the only purpose they serve is to the White elite. Rather than building on policy and investing in communities, the Democratic Party has become too comfortable propping up politicians solely by personality who lead with cliche platitudes like ‘Stronger Together’ that mean virtually nothing.

Because even with income inequality rising to exponential levels, the pandemic taking thousands of lives, and the insurmountable damage to our economy, the Democrats still happened to lose seats in Congress. This is the result of choosing to be the anti-Trump party with no counter-positions. There was no policy, no meaningful push to make the lives of working class people better, and the abject failure to tie Trump to the Republican Party.

Polls have consistently shown how an overwhelming majority of up to more than 85% Democratic voters and Democratic-leaning independents support ‘Medicare For All’ (M4A), but the DNC and chose to vote down M4A from their platform––a clear betrayal to their base. Of the 112 co-sponsors of Medicare for All, all of them won their races. This is a policy that wins at the polls, yet it has been rejected outright by most of party leadership.

If the goal is to turn out the base and win elections, then there must be a better platform presented. Democrats cannot continue coming up short for their base when in power or it will cost them further. So, if Democratic incumbents continue down the familiar road of austerity during the Biden administration, I can guarantee that there will be an even bigger red wave come 2022.

Aligning with popular policies that have strong support across party lines like M4A, cannabis legalization, ending the wars in the Middle East and more is probably the only way a red wave can be stopped––and it’s doubtful that they will adopt or move forward with these or similar policies. In a rare but brief moment during the second presidential debate, Biden went more populist than Trump’s 2016 rhetoric when coming out in support of a $15 minimum wage. Why was this not played over and over again in ads across the country? Especially in Florida where they voted for the $15 minimum wage referendum, but not for Biden––why?

This should have been an excellent moment for the Democrats to capture the entire Congress, but the failure to tie Trump’s empty 2016 campaign promises and incompetence to the Republican Party cost them down the ballot this cycle. Not to mention, the decades of passive and sometimes overt racism from the Republican Party definitely contributed to Trump being elected. It has been embarrassing to watch the outreach to moderate Republicans by the Biden campaign who are considering some for cabinet seats, which would be a spit it in the face to the Democratic base. Trying to emulate a washed up Republican Party will cost the Biden administration nothing but more House seats lost.

During the Obama administration, Democrats lost over 1,000 seats in state’s houses and senates, governorships, and Congress. At some point, accountability has to be put on those in leadership for this ongoing strategic failure. So sorry Democrats, progressive ideas and values is the only path forward to winning back what you’ve lost.

– Peace be unto you.

Human. Millennial. Afro-Latino. Brother. He/Him. @ohitsodali across all social platforms.

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