North Texas Daily

How can Democrats succeed in the next four years?

How can Democrats succeed in the next four years?

How can Democrats succeed in the next four years?
February 20
19:50 2017

On the morning of Nov. 9, 2016, Democrats awoke to a crude reality. Not only had their candidate lost the election for the 45th presidency, they were also now the minority party in Congress. They had to realize that Republicans had gained control of the Senate, the House and the majority of state legislatures.

The election helped show everyone that a status quo candidate was not able to win in a “change” election. Regardless of how prepared or experienced Hillary Clinton may have been, she was not good enough to make the White House blue for another four years.

Democrats need to think and plan a strategy that will allow them to energize their base as Barack Obama did back in 2008 and 2012.

Republicans were great at this, as they carved a winning path to gain a congressional majority in the elections of 2010 and 2014. In big part due to the Tea Party movement, they were successful at taking some of the strategies that were more notorious in the Democratic Party – protesting, vacating town hall meetings and even calling senators – to transform their mandates into voting booth successes.

Democrats must take note of this. They need to be able to turn the protests and nonconformity of this administration into action. As the Women’s March on Washington demonstrated, there is no lack of support either.

But the biggest challenge will be for Democrats to think and act as the opposing party. They have to unite and, at the same time, find new leadership able to transmit the energies and innovations that their constituency requires.

Democrats need to find strength in the fact that their candidate won the popular vote, as has been the case in six of the last seven elections, but at the same time, find a way to reinvent the party. They need to give room for new voices like as Joaquín and Julián Castro, Cory Booker, Kamala Harris, Elizabeth Warren and Kirsten Gillibrand to lead and design a message the nation can get behind.

For many, the results of the election came as a shock. But for Democrats in Capitol Hill, there is no time to waste. They need to create a concise strategy, one allowing them to preserve their support and also gain ground with the constituency who may not be satisfied with this administration.

What we have seen so far from the opposition of President Donald Trump’s cabinet choices – such as Al Franken and Elizabeth Warren’s grilling of Betsy DeVos – has been promising. But Democrats need to realize that the road ahead is going to be difficult. Being the minority in Congress, the actual effect Democrats can have is still extremely limited.

As much as Democrats want to oppose everything Trump proposes, some of the party’s biggest voices will be required to work with his administration and must be prepared to communicate their actions to voters in an honest manner.

Democrats must act precisely and be intelligent to stay relevant for the next four years. In the end, they should see this as a chess game – being able to read their opponents, develop a strategy and always have in mind that it can take one bad move to make them lose.

Featured Illustration: Samuel Wiggins

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Gabriela Macias

Gabriela Macias

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1 Comment

  1. Trump deplorable
    Trump deplorable February 23, 14:35

    Clinton was a very flawed candidate from the start, but the Democrats made the mistake of nominating her anyway, and then were flabbergasted at her defeat – which some wise people knew was coming. If the Democrats go back to the way they were 15-20 years ago, and nominate better candidates who don’t bash Americans for holding traditional values, many of which are religious-based, then the Democrats will regain footing. That also means rejecting political correctness, which has gone too far to pander to certain special interest groups at the expense of denying religious freedom to other groups and at the expense of killing people – certain attacks in the U.S. by Islamic terrorists happened because people didn’t want to be branded as bigoted by turning in Muslims.

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