The Numbers Don’t Lie: Democrats Win When They Show Up To Vote

bernie sanders clinton democratsThis past Election Day, Democrats didn’t show up in some states and in Kentucky, a Tea Party fanatic won the governor’s race against the moderate Attorney General Jack Conway. This was a disturbing setback, and it was repeated in local elections like in Houston where an LGBT protection ordinance was struck down by voters.

Houston is a fairly progressive city, especially when compared to rural Texas which gave us politicians like Louie Gohmert or Ted Cruz. Kentucky has given us Rand Paul and Mitch McConnell, but it does have a lot of Democrats who apparently didn’t show up to vote on Tuesday.

However, as the Washington Post notes, where progressives did turn out and vote in an off-year election, they did score victories.

Democrats, who have long viewed the 2016 election as a demographic grind, finished Tuesday with confidence that they’d cracked the suburbs. In Colorado, where Democrats lost a 2014 U.S. Senate race after a heavy focus on abortion rights, party activists ousted three members of the Jefferson County school board.

Progressives put recall elections on the ballot after the board members introduced merit pay and challenged history lessons that did not respect “American exceptionalism.” Julie Williams, one of the defeated conservatives, told the Denver Post that “the liberal agenda and union bosses” were responsible for a 28-point landslide against her. But nearly half a million dollars in pro-recall spending was matched — unsuccessfully — by the local branch of Americans for Prosperity, funded in part by the Koch brothers. (Source)

For all of the complaining about rigged elections and gerrymandered districts, we can win – if we simply show up to vote.

Over the past few years, too many Democrats have been under the assumption that as long as they vote for a Democrat for president, their job is done. Worse than that, many have engaged in ideological purity battles where they refuse to vote for or support a Democratic candidate who isn’t 100% in line with their beliefs. Don’t believe me? Just go to any pro-Hillary Clinton article and see how many people you can count who call her no better than a Republican.

Many of these same people also refuse to vote for moderate Democrats in red states, oblivious to the fact that you cannot run a candidate that resembles Elizabeth Warren in a state like Arkansas or Oklahoma and have a chance of winning.

Sometimes you have to work together with moderate Republicans, and here in Louisiana, a conservative Democrat could win the governor’s race with the endorsement of Republicans. John Bel Edwards currently has a double-digit lead over David Vitter, thanks in part to state GOP lawmakers like Lieutenant Governor Jay Dardenne who is set to endorse him instead of Vitter.

Edwards isn’t the most ideal choice for a lot of progressive Democrats, but what they need to learn from this is that they can’t take their ball and go home because they didn’t get the candidate they wanted. Democrats also need to learn that it isn’t enough to just show up every four years to vote for a presidential candidate, because way too many conservatives show up for every election.

This is why conservative Republicans dominate state governments across the country. If we’re going to take this country back from the GOP and the Tea Party, it’s time to stop complaining and start voting – in every election.


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