Many in the Democratic Party are determined to do whatever they can to undermine Donald Trump’s presidency. One of the ways they planned on doing this was by winning special elections, but doing so is easier said than done.
Democrats recently lost a special election in Georgia despite spending vast sums of money campaigning against the Republican candidate. Many on the left were unsurprised by the loss, claimed it was expected, and argued that it didn’t mean anything was wrong with the Democratic Party. Thankfully, however, some on the left, like Rep. Debbie Dingell (D-MI), are willing to be more honest about the reason why they lost.
During an interview with MSNBC’s Craig Melvin earlier this week, Dingell, who was frustrated by the Republican victory in Georgia, decided to speak frankly about the problems plaguing the Democratic party. “We’ve become this identity politics. We’re the women’s caucus, the black caucus, the Hispanic caucus,” explained Dingell, noting that she sometimes doesn’t feel like she belongs in any of them. “We’ve lost sense of ‘we,’ that our strength comes in community, and that community of all of us,” she added.
When asked if she thought that “identity politics” have hijacked the party, she replied, “I am very concerned that that is what’s happening, and that we are forgetting that our strength comes in being ‘we,’ all of us coming together.” She believes that by focusing on differences, instead of similarities, the party has lost its sense of unity. “If we don’t figure out how we become ‘we’ again, we’re going to keep losing,” she warned.
“So, I think it’s important that we need to understand each of these groups has issues,” she continued, adding, “look, I’m a woman. I’ve been discriminated against. I could tell you story after story, like when I started at GM and I got asked, ‘Why would a woman want to work at GM?’ But I know my power comes — or my strength is being part of a broader community, where we all pull together and fight for an issue.”
She claimed that instead of “identity politics” they need to focus more on the working class. Specifically, while speaking about the recent loss in Georgia, she told reporters, “we, as a Democratic Party, have got to talk about working men and women. The issues that matter to them. Understand the issues that they’re concerned about and talk about them.” According to her, one of the most important issues is trade. “I believe that Donald Trump won the election because of Trade issues. We were afraid to talk about them,” she stated, adding, “we’ve got to get our act together.”
In addition to focusing more on trade, she believes Democrats need to show that they’re willing to work with their colleagues across the aisle. “I think we need to start working together more,” she reasoned. “I think the American people are tired of the partisan bickering. I think they’re tired of us not getting anything done. They want to see us work together so that we will start solving the problems that this nation is facing,” she continued.
Dingell isn’t the only one frustrated with the Democratic Party. Shortly after the Republican victory in Georgia, Rep. Seth Moulton (D-MA) also called on the party to change tactics. “#Ossof Race better be a wake up call for Democrats – business as-usual isn’t working. Time to stop rehashing 2016 and talk about the future,” he wrote on Twitter. In a follow-up tweet, he added, “We need a genuinely new message, a serious jobs plan that reaches all Americans, and a bigger tent not a smaller one. Focus on the future.”
We need a genuinely new message, a serious jobs plan that reaches all Americans, and a bigger tent not a smaller one. Focus on the future.
— Seth Moulton (@sethmoulton) June 21, 2017
Dingell’s comments reveal that the Democratic Party is completely falling apart. By embracing identity politics, they’ve completely lost sight of what’s important. This is because all of the different identities create division instead of unity and lead some people to feel like they don’t belong at all. This lack of unity is costing them votes. If they refuse to abandon identity politics, then it is unlikely that things will change.