Editorial - Room with a View

Room with a view: My personal response to Young Democrats of America

Earlier this week, Orange County Breeze published a statement from Young Democrats of America, “the official youth wing of the Democratic Party of the United States.”

I would like to respond personally. (Orange County Breeze is non-partisan.)

Transparency note: I am a conservative Constitutional originalist. Currently, I am registered as No Party Preference because the Republican Party, especially since the rise of Donald Trump, drives me crazy, and because the Democratic Party supports political policies that I deem to be outright evil.

For the purposes of this commentary, text taken from the YDA article is displayed in a typewriter-like font. My responses are italicized.

The losses in Virginia and the poor performance of Democratic candidates in New Jersey are still fresh, but we are sounding the alarm. Young Democrats fought valiantly up and down the ballot for our candidates. Many of our members even came in from out-of-state to help Governor Terry McAuliffe’s campaign and yet he was still defeated with the Democrats also losing control of the House of Delegates in Virginia and underperforming expectations in New Jersey.

Are battles won merely on the strength of a valiant effort, regardless of the goal of those making the effort? Is it possible to make a valiant effort in support of a goal that others might disagree with? Why are YDA members travelling from out-of-state? Local voters could easily view these campaign workers as “outside agitators” or “carpetbaggers” who are unfamiliar with local needs and won’t have to live with the election results.

Last night’s results in both states highlight the urgent need for Democratic leadership to listen to young organizers and Black, Indigenous, & People of Color (BIPOC) people who had been raising the alarm for months leading up to the November 2nd election. These organizers warned our leadership that attempting to nationalize races, focusing solely on national issues, while ignoring the voices of burdened communities in their own states would only lead to defeat. In many cases, outreach to Black and Brown communities as well as religious minorities and LGBTQIA+ communities had been severely drawn back. Still, last night we also saw Democrats win handily and make historic strides by electing a diverse, progressive slate of candidates who ran on the issues that matter most to these communities.

YDA almost comes face-to-face with local issues with “…organizers warned our leadership that attempting to nationalize races, focusing solely on national issues…” then lops the nose off its own face by restricting “burdened communities” to special interest groups defined by race, religion, and sexuality/gender identification. Do they believe that anyone outside these groups cannot feel burdened?

Terry McAuliffe, the Democratic candidate for governor, received more votes than any prior Democratic candidate for governor, yet lost because Glenn Youngkin, the Republican candidate, received more votes than he did. How much more energized a base could the Young Democrats call out through greater outreach to “Black and Brown communities as well as religious minorities and LGBTQIA+ communities”?

Inaction on Capitol Hill further hindered election outcomes. In order to display why people, especially young people and BIPOC communities, should show up to vote for Democrats, we have to deliver — by legislating campaign promises when they entrust us with majorities — not just to win elections.

I presume that this refers to the Build Back Better Act and the attempt to cram down trillions of dollars in new spending with the slimmest possible majority in the Senate, and not much more in the House of Representatives. Contrary to assertions by many Democrats, their efforts are not popular. Together with mandates for this and emergency regulations for that, no great imagination is needed to understand why people generally feel burdened. Personally, I want the government to get out of the way. Stop trying to “help!” Just get out of the way.

The Young Democrats of America encourage our elected officials, campaign committees, and our party leaders to listen to and uplift the voices of our youth and BIPOC communities. We must stress the importance of multiracial democracy and social democracy, while underscoring the intersectionality of social, economic, racial, and environmental justice in our campaigns and our legislation. We can no longer run to the middle and try to appeal to “both sides,” while ignoring the most loyal voters in our base and the policies that people desperately need.

Enough with gobbledygook. Drop the intersectionality schtick. From where I sit, peering out my (metaphorical) broken window, all that “intersectionality of social, economic, racial, and environmental justice” means is being constantly told “No, you can’t do that!” Instead of seeking harsh justice and thereby ensuring injustice, YDA should consider tempering that harshness with mercy, which as Shakespeare had it, “droppeth like the gentle rain from heaven.” If the Democratic Party veers yet further to the left, they may find that the intersection yields a null set.

Wathum-Ocama continued, “it’s time for Democrats to get serious on delivering transformational change for the American people – continued inaction only shows the diverse multi-generational coalition that put Joe Biden in the White House that all our promises were merely lip service.”

The reason Joe Biden was elected was because he is not Donald Trump, and a lot of people who held their nose and voted for Trump against Hillary Clinton had had enough of his all-thumbs Twitter rants and general numbskullery. Imagine their horror at what has rolled out since Joe Biden was sworn into office! A disaster followed by a catastrophe followed by a crisis, more and more with never competent handling in sight. If the presidency were a game of Blind Man’s Bluff, Joe Biden would be playing not only blindfolded but also with his ears stopped up and his shoelaces tied together.

It is on our generation to lead us toward progress. The Young Democrats of America will continue to organize and uphold our Democratic principles, while leading to correct all the issues expressed previously. YDA has and will continue to deliver elections for our candidates, when we have a seat at the table. We will not stop until that progress is realized.

Dear YDA, you have a blinkered understanding of what progress might be. Your “Democratic principles” conflict with the founding principles of our nation. Before you attempt to deliver any further elections, you need to go back and study history. Re-read our nation’s founding documents and the commentary on them — not the interpretation asserted by the 1619 Project and similar writing. Quit defining people as a demographic, as members of a class, or race, or gender preference. Look at each person as an individual, and cherish each person as an individual. Right now, you have no conception of the immensely precious and valuable thing that you are trashing.