The Democrats’ path forward

By Jasper Scott

The Tower (Princeton, NJ)

 

November 8, 2016, is still a sore spot for many. Images of tearful, broken voters on national news represented the general mood of the American left — the shock of a profound loss mixed with the fear of a future that projected dark, hopeless, and oppressive times. As the results poured in, the nation held silent.

Since then, however, the Democratic Party has proven to be anything but silent. Immediately following the election, the U.S. experienced a historic backlash as hundreds of thousands of protesting voices assembled, and the slogan “Not my president!” conquered the national spotlight. And this passion continued — what was originally written off as a natural repercussion to a major election surpassed all predictions, and after the sixth consecutive day of widespread protest in response to the poll results, it became blatantly clear that a new wave of political activism was mounting.

The impact of this wave quickly became a popular topic of discussion. Currently, many hold concerns that the demonstrations support a faction too radical, and this rise in a new far-left and grassroots movement, characterized mainly by supporters of Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT), will only work to collide with existing establishment Democrats, increasing internal divides. In many ways, people fear the rise of a liberal “herbal tea party,” alluding towards the tension that arose in the Republican party after 2009.

But while the party demographics may appear divided, one thing still holds true and continues to strengthen Democrats on both sides. Nearly four months after the election, the organized passion, assembly, and widespread energy has not died out. Marches and protests continue to organize on impressive scales. Two months ago, millions across the country and even the world assembled for the Women’s March on Washington in support of basic human rights. Thousands have taken to U.S. airports in protest of the President’s restrictive immigration reforms. Every week, a “Resist Trump Tuesday” is held. The fire of resistance burns strong.

Perhaps this energy is just the enraged result of a truly preposterous election. But maybe it is the start of an active, motivated resurgence in the Democratic Party, one that will spur the party to find a platform of leadership and take back the ground it has lost in recent months. It is up to the Democratic Party and its people to decide how it channels the fire of resistance.

As with all sides of politics, participation is crucial. Even those who cannot vote or select their party’s representatives can still work to feed the flames of resistance. In this sense, the youth too plays a crucial role in the status of politics, and notably, in the future of the Democratic party. Participation, organization, and expression all speak as loudly as votes do, and they too can translate to progress.

In this sense, the widespread, passionate movements across the nation provide an outlet of optimism for those still sore from the election, and a strong source of motivation for many to speak up. Through these voices across the country, the flames of resistance burn on, and Democrats work to get back on their feet.

Photo Credit:Jason Mrachina

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