Letters to the Editor: Can the Democrats Come Back?

Letters to the Editor: Can the Democrats Come Back?

I voted for President Ronald Reagan in 1980. That may come as a surprise to many who know me because I am a Democrat, and proud of it. When I was hired to be press secretary to Frank Lautenberg in his first U.S. Senatorial race, I confessed that fact to our campaign manager. That background, I believed then and now, gave me a unique perspective on what we democrats had to do to win over Reagan voters. Frank Lautenberg would go on to be a five-term U.S. Senator from New Jersey.

With recent deregulations hitting home runs on health care, social security, the arts, humanities, clean air and water, science, gun ownership, Planned Parenthood, deregulating banks, and more, it also reduces the business tax rate from 35% to 15%. Warren Buffett, the guru of the securities business, recently admitted that this is a boon to his and other large corporations, who will save millions in reduced taxes.

As of April 27th, President Trump and the GOP have gutted 13 Obama programs. The House GOP have crushed Obamacare and placed Trumpcare in its place, with approximately 24 million people losing coverage. And then, of course, there’s the whole pre-existing conditions debate. Briefly, I’d like to point out that mental disorders are a pre-existing condition that may not be covered in the new Trumpcare, yet the new GOP gun rules state that a mentally unstable person can buy guns. I’m just saying.

House Republicans also voted to repeal and replace the Dodd-Frank Bill, which protected average consumers and families from the overhyped financial contracts like mortgages and credit cards that caused many foreclosures. So far, the U.S. Senate has not voted on either proposal. Like Alice in Wonderland, it’s getting “curiouser
and curiouser.”

With all this coming down the pike, Democrats must be scratching their heads on how to take back control of the legislative and executive branches of government. The easiest answer to turn direction from the current administration, we would need more elected democratic officials in Washington. People have overwhelmingly protested and marched. Throughout our country’s history protests and marches have worked to bring change. Like our 16th President, Abraham Lincoln (a Republican) said at Gettysburg, “that government of the people, by the people, for the people shall not perish from the earth.”

According to Roger C. Altman, an investment banker and former Democratic politician, in a March 2017 opinion piece in the Wall Street Journal, “A true Democratic comeback will be impossible without top-to-bottom changes.”

So, how to elect Democrats in the coming elections, local, state and national? In 2018, all 435 congressional seats and 33 U.S. Senate seats are up for election. Democrats already are jockeying for support in the 2020 presidential election. In the past national election, most people voted Democratic, as we know, but didn’t carry the states with the needed Electoral College votes. Strategic planning is needed on the part of the Democratic Party to target swing states and states with large electoral votes.

Democrats should look to new and younger candidates, both in Congress and local races, with fresh eyes, smart ideas and confidence in self-government and individual freedom. That’s the “by the people and for the people” catchphrase.

Is there ever a time when the economy is crisis free? In the 1992 election campaign, “it was the economy, stupid.” And, while President Bill Clinton left office with a surplus, we got there again: it’s still the economy, stupid. People need to work, pay their bills and have some security in their retirement. In Frank Lautenberg’s first election, we drilled home that people wanted jobs in New Jersey. I remember doing a campaign commercial with a man who had told me he worked two jobs to keep his head above water. Nothing much has changed in 35 years. Jobs! Jobs! Jobs!

Republicans over the last eight years maneuvered the boundary lines in congressional districts to favor, who else? Themselves. It’s called gerrymandering. They’re not the only party who redistricted their state in years past. However, in the past eight years, GOP gerrymandering has been extraordinary. Redrawing the lines to concentrate most voters into two districts can send an election to the other dominant party. Divide and conquer. To change that tide, ballot referendums to change the districting is hard work. We’ll see.

The day after super tennis player Serena Williams shockingly lost her bid for a grand slam at the 2015 U.S. Open, Ms. Williams emerged in a television commercial for Dr. Dre’s “Beat” headphones to the “Rise Up” song by Andra Day. The significance of the song comes through the words:

“And I’ll rise up, I’ll rise like the day,
I’ll rise up, I’ll rise unafraid,
I’ll rise up, and I’ll do it a thousand times again…”

Democrats, will you rise up?

Judy Brenna
Marco Island

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  1. Very thought provoking article. I have high hopes for 2018!

  2. Michaelon Wright

    The road to hell is paved with good intentions. It is fine for Warren Buffett to get on his bully pulpit and say we should pay more in taxes because Warren, Gates, the Hollywood set, bankers, large international corporations and others know full well that they don’t pay much if anything in taxes now and will not in the future. They have armies of lawyers and accountants and politicians in their pockets to write loopholes for them in the tax code. Who pays taxes now the middle class, small businesses and professionals and raising taxes on the “rich” or “corporations” will only increase the tax bite to the poor, middle class, professionals and small businesses. Reducing corporate income taxes allows for a more level playing field for small business to expand, provide more jobs and compete internationally.

    Memory appears to be short term as the Affordable Care Act -ACA-resulted in tens of millions of people losing their insurance only to find after much searching a more costly policy with greater deductions. Millions of people lost their jobs or were suddenly reduced to part time employees have now to work 2 jobs. The cost to insure every individual on the ACA costs taxpayers over $100,000. per person and that does not include their premiums and co-pays. Many on the ACA can’t afford medical care as a result of the high deductibles. Thousands of doctors have closed their practices and thousands more either do not take insurance or are selective in what insurance they will take. And what is happening to all that money, it is going to highly paid federal bureaucrats, not health care providers. When government gets involved prices skyrocket and results decline.

    Dod-Frank has resulted in over 1500 community banks closing because they cannot afford the lawyers necessary to abide the burdensome regulations. What does that mean, less competition and higher cost to consumers and a consolidation of banking leading to a more dangerous situation for our nation. Let’s not forget it was Bill Clinton, Barney Frank and Chris Dodd that enacted banking deregulation in the first place that lead to the catastrophic collapse of 2008.

    The more control government takes of our daily lives the less we are a free people and the more we becomes slaves to government largess. Our Children and grandchildren are inheriting a $20 trillion debt and over a $100 trillion entitlement deficit. They will be slaves to a pyramid scheme set in place long before they were born.

    We better assess the situation created and make some drastic changes or we will lose our status as the worlds reserve currency and when that happens the USA will look like Venezuela.

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