Are you as stunned and saddened as I am? I thought I'd seen it all in my years struggling for healthcare and progress and equality. But life has a nasty habit of sucker-punching us the minute we think we have a real grip on things. The gut-wrenching election results from last night is making many of us reexamine and reassess. Count Progressive Democrats of America (PDA) among those wondering what happened.
As we begin soul searching, hoping to find some sense or meaning in this grim situation, we can pause briefly to reflect on how we came to arrive where we are, and then begin to focus on what we can do now. Spoiler alert: we will continue working to build a New Democratic Party that embraces the younger and more diverse voices we need to listen to much better if we're going to win elections going forward.
Please contact PDA Field Coordinator Judy Hess now to help launch or strengthen a chapter in your state and locality. Sign up with Mike "Phone Guy" Fox to make calls from your own home. Donate generously now to support our unabashedly progressive organizing.
In 2004, Tim Carpenter led the effort to launch PDA in Roxbury Massachusetts. We committed ourselves to fostering progressive change by working inside and outside the Democratic Party. A dozen years later, PDA remains the insurgency working to renew and reform the Democratic Party. We are still the Democratic Wing of the Party.
2016 began with such promise. We persuaded Bernie Sanders to run as a Democrat, and thereby helped launch the movement he dubbed a "Political Revolution." Our movement grew beyond all our expectations. After the resounding repudiation of neoliberalism yesterday, PDA's work for real progress is more necessary now than ever before. And today, we need your help more than ever before.
We've come much too far to stop now. We remain committed to building this movement, and we ask that you join with us in this next phase of our ongoing struggle. We value all people of all genders, and all cultures equally. We reject all racism, sexism, intolerance, regressiveness, and abusiveness as so destructively presented by the Donald Trump campaign.
Facing the hopefully short-lived triumph of these negativist tendencies, PDA rededicates ourselves to the ever-more critical need for a caring, inclusive, political revolution. We cannot deny grim reality. We're deeply disappointed that we must face continued right wing Republican control of the Senate and House.
We clearly will have a much tougher mountain to climb as we struggle to achieve needed progress—and our struggle now becomes more difficult than we'd hoped or expected. Our courage is tested. Still, we cannot and will not fail this test. Our love and commitment to one another, our drive to achieve real justice for all, will prevail.
We embrace our new partners, Young Progressives Demanding Action (YPDA), and welcome their exciting contributions to our movement. We invite their new energy and appreciate their ability to teach us new things. After all, as we bid farewell to our lost friends like Tom Hayden, we must pass the torch to a new, more progressive generation. And with no time to lose.
Our fragile planet cannot survive ignorance or inaction with the growing threats posed by the climate emergency, armed conflict, and destructive greed. PDA stands ready, even as we grieve, to forge an exciting path forward. Please join with us among the millions of progressives who demand a better, fairer, more enlightened society.
Our work will not be easy. Still, we have no choice but to take on our burden. We will soon have Republicans in charge of our federal and most of our state governments. As progressives, we warned that neoliberalism offered few solutions and risked strangulation by triangulation. We are not gratified that our concerns came true beyond our worst fears.
Where failed corporate Democrats offered a muddled message and tacit acceptance of a system beholden to too few, we redouble our demands for a reformed and renewed system that will guarantee basic human needs and dignity. We demand fundamental reforms, not small changes to the status quo.
We need Healthcare Not Warfare, Windmills not Weapons, and Solar Panels not Pipelines. We must decisively confront the climate emergency. We must end racism and sexism and all other forms of hatred and bigotry. We must invest in all our people to create good jobs with real opportunities. We need an empowered labor movement, and trade deals that work for all people—not just the huge multinational corporations.
Hate, division, and regressive backlash may occasionally roll back hard-won progress. But history tells us that negativism cannot prevail forever. We cannot lose so long as we never give up. Our cause is righteous, our resolve is strong, and history is on our side. As the venerable spiritual assures us, “We shall overcome.” And so we shall. As Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. explained, "The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice." And so it does. Together, we will push as hard as we're able to bend that arc toward justice so our wait is not so long and a brighter future dawns sooner rather than later.
Are you as resolved and as determined as we are? Can we count on you to join with us dusting ourselves off, soothing our bruises, and getting back to work? If so, please contact PDA Field Coordinator Judy Hess now to help launch or strengthen a chapter in your state and locality. Sign up with Mike "Phone Guy" Fox to make calls from your own home. Donate generously now to support our unabashedly progressive organizing.
Donna Smith for Mike H, Judy, Mike F, Janis, Dan, Kim, Deb, Teva, and Amos Your Progressive Democrats of America National Team
P.S. We're here to help you make progress in your state and locality! If you need any help organizing a new PDA chapter or energizing your existing chapter, please contact PDA Field Coordinator Judy Hess.
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