Thursday, March 08, 2018

What Do Democrats Stand For?-- A Guest Post By Maine Democrat Jared Golden


On Sunday, Maine Democrats held statewide caucuses. In the state's sprawling 2nd district, a crowded primary yielded the one candidate, Jared Golden, who caucus goers know is the surest bet to beat GOP incumbent Bruce Poliquin. Golden had volunteers at 80% of the caucus locations in the 26,000 square mile district, straight off fresh the Canadian-American Sled Dog races where his campaign raised money for state and local Democratic candidates. And he won just over 90% of the caucus straw poll votes.

Lately Golden has been busy with the United Food and Commercial Workers Local 1445 strike against Hannaford, the second biggest private employer in the state. It was bought by Delhaize, a Belgian company, and then by a Dutch company, Royal Ahold in 2016. Hannaford has 181 stores in Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Vermont and New York with over 8,500 employees. Golden did a guest post for us on the strike and why it's important. Please give it a read and if you agree with his sentiments, consider contributing what you can to his campaign here.
Over the past year, a question I hear a lot is “what do Democrats stand for?” It’s an interesting question, considering our party is often criticized for being too far in the weeds when talking to everyday people about the issues we stand for.

I believe the challenge our party faces in 2018 is to make clear to voters “who we stand for,” rather than “what we stand for,” and that it’s a mistake to assume working and middle class people believe Democrats are fighting for them, and not for Wall Street, corporations or the wealthy-elite, just because we say we do.

Recently, at a Democratic meeting in Fort Kent, Maine, I told the attendees that I don’t care about labels like “progressive, conservative, Democrat, Republican or independent. What matters to me is what you do and who you do it for.”

As we enter into another election year, the GOP is going to take its only legislative accomplishment of substance, December’s tax bill, and attempt to sell it to voters as something that benefits working men and women. That was the basic promise Republicans made to the American people, stating the benefit of tax cuts to CEOs and corporations will trickle-down to workers in the form of new jobs and higher wages.

Democrats opposed the GOP tax plan, arguing that the majority of tax breaks should be given directly to working, middle-class people. The GOP, on the other hand, advocated for the same, failed approach of trickle-down economics that gives the majority of tax breaks directly to the super rich and corporations. At its base, this was a debate centered upon who the tax break was for, and the GOP wants to have it both ways.

Here in Maine, however, there are signs that reveal the GOP promise just isn’t true. Recently, Delhaize America Distributors refused to negotiate a new contract that would have provided more affordable healthcare and increased wages to its workers. They refused despite large profit increases for Delhaize in 2017, and the sizable corporate tax break it received when the GOP tax plan was passed.

As a result, the union workers from the United Food and Commercial Workers Local 1445 went on strike to demand their fair share from Delhaize. I fully support those union men and women because there is no doubt to me they ought to receive the higher wages and affordable healthcare benefits that were promised to them. Isn’t that the promise the GOP made to working class Americans? Corporations should make good on these promises, and if they don’t, workers should demand it.

As this debate continues into 2018, Democrats must make clear that our opposition to the GOP tax plan was never about opposition to tax breaks for the working and middle class, but instead, was focused on the wealthy and corporations.

The wealthy and large corporations need to bear a greater share of the weight in this country, and contribute more to the cost of rebuilding America. The working, middle-class has been carrying that weight on its own for far too long. Democrats need to sound off loudly that we will fight to take that crushing weight off working people and place it squarely where it belongs-- with the wealthy and the corporations that can most afford it: 
"for of those to whom much is given, much is required."

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At 11:49 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It should have become clear to us all (those of us who can still cause a blip on an EEG) that:
1) what an individual democrap SAYS *S/HE*he stands for should be treated skeptically.
2) What matters is what the democrap PARTY stands for is what Pelosi and scummer stand for, since the entire agenda (when they have majorities) is determined by the leadershit only. What Jared stands for (real or imagined) is irrelevant.
3) What the democrap PARTY stands for includes corporations, corruption, vote fraud, billionaires, banks, lies, cowardice and ineptitude.
4) based upon those being recruited and promoted by the democrap party, they are also standing for hatred, misogyny and the nra.

At 12:34 PM, Anonymous Hone said...

There are large cracks in the unity of the Democratic party and it is absurd to making sweeping generalizations about all of the Democrats in Congress. The party is at least having heated discussions about where it stands. The Republicans, on the other hand, vote in lock step and never have any discussion about different points of view. The Democrats are attempting to uphold democratic principles whereas the Republicans have shown there do not give a hoot about democracy. They, and Trump, are treasonous beyond any doubt. Their support of Trump and their obstructionist stance is surely criminal at this point.

So please, Anonymous, although your skepticism is well deserved, let's support the many Democrats who do stand for something and are fighting for the American people. Nancy Pelosi used to have liberal ideas - she has lost her way. She needs to go.

At 10:22 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

12:34, since Pelosi isn't going anywhere and she has a cadre of devoted corporatists lined up behind her, your plea for support is moot.
Even good people, running as democraps, have no relevance. Whatever they stand for is irrelevant. Whatever they say is irrelevant. They are impotent to affect changes because of the entrenched Pelosi democrap firewalls.

I might support your "many democrats who do stand for xx" if they were not democraps, where they are irrelevant and impotent.

It's what you call a conundrum. Change is impossible as long as the democrap party exists, even if a few of them aren't total wastes of carbon. Electing a few more who are not wastes of carbon won't make change possible.
Change is impossible. So keep voting for change never ever being possible. I'm sure it'll work this time.

At 6:43 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

That’s the spirit, always say fail! Like clockwork you are.

At 1:05 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

6:43, are you familiar with ANY quotes from Einstein? Of course you are not.

Try this one on for size:

"The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result." -- Albert Einstein

See where he was going with this???


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