Letter from a Bernout


To the Editor:

What is wrong with the Democratic Party leadership?

Hubris: They are always the smartest one in the room. When I spent a weekend at Elizabeth Warren’s campaigning boot camp, I was amazed how pro-Hillary she was. (The primaries were not over, and Bernie was still in it.) Her team was looking to a payday from working for Hillary and joining her administration. Half of us were Bernie supporters. Warren saw us as an irritation. If she had listened, she would have understood what we learned from campaigning for Bernie: that the middle class was angry and wanted anyone but Hillary.

Lack of diversity: They do not like to get their hands dirty and go out and have uncomfortable conversations with people who do not fit their demographic. They lack understanding to have honest empathy for Americans who are not in their social group.

Analytics/spin: Reliance on polling, big data, to spin a narrative, rather than “all politics is local.” This has the additional effect of alienating the voters and creating confusion, fear, and anger.

Corrupt: The Democratic Party is rigged: big money (Goldman Sachs, Arab governments), superdelegates (because “one man, one vote” does not work for them).

Opportunists: They see democracy as a career; there is money and status in politics. The party has the feel of a corporation, both in structure and in complexity. When I worked on a local campaign on Martha’s Vineyard and reached out to the Massachusetts Democratic Party, I got an answering machine, had to call three times to get an answer; emails were cryptic. They were clearly not interested in little fish, they were cashing in on the Hillary campaign. There was money to be made.

Results: The Democratic Party lost the presidency, the moral high ground, and the future (Millennials).

Solutions: We need a third party. This will change the electoral math and inspire people to vote because their vote will matter. The math now (I simplify) is 40 percent Democratic base and 40 percent Republican base, and elections are won by less than 20 percent of the electorate, the swing voters. A third party would change that math, increase compromise, inspire a new generation, create a forum for the millions of Americans who feel they have no voice.

Simplify the process. You have to be a lawyer to understand how the political process works; it should be straightforward, not complicated; inclusive, not exclusive.

What you can do: Get involved in your community, town boards, run for local office (dogcatcher), identify issues in your community, and call your local elected officials and ask what they are doing and how you can help.

Write, on paper, to your elected officials about how you see the world and how they can work to make the world better and get your vote.

Get educated: Democracy is about votes; politics is all about winning elections; learn the rules, support candidates who work for your best interests, expose the ones who don’t.

Discuss, post, blog, email about issues in your community; expose the truth.

Steve Gallas

Oak Bluffs