Analysis of a Defeat and Where Do We Go from Here?
On Tuesday night we went to a meeting of the Westlake Democratic Club which took place at Western Cuyahoga Lodge #25 on Center Ridge Road in Westlake. The discussion topic of the night was advertised as "Analysis of a Defeat and Where Do We Go from Here?"
As Mr. Vern Long, who coordinates the club with his wife Ms. Jeanne Long, accurately summarized at the beginning of the program, the democratic party suffered quite a defeat both nationally and locally in many local instances. Therefore, he wanted us to analyze what went wrong and make constructive suggestions as to what courses to chart for the future. Mr. Long noted that these issues have been a constant topic of discussion on news programs but on this occasion he wanted us, as democrats and concerned citizens, to have our say. He went on to assure us that he planned to put together a composite of what was said here and send it to democratic party officials like Mr. David Pepper, the Chairman of the Ohio Democratic Party.
Mr. Long then divided us into five groups and instructed us to write down our ideas on white boards with felt pens. Our own group composed of about ten people was headed by Ms. Tina Gangadine, a retired teacher, who gave us all time to speak.
We really wanted to attend this meeting because we are very concerned about how the incoming Trump administration will handle the "dreamer" issue. This concerns the undocumented young people between the ages of 15 and 30 who were brought to the United States by their parents when they were children and thus life in the U.S. in the only one they know. Through President Obama's policies, many of these young people (maybe 1.8 million but numbers vary) were protected against deportation but it is doubtful that the Trump administration will continue these policies. We contended that protecting these young people against deportation should be a priority and not necessarily one that wouldn't pay off because at least a few conservative group like the LIBRE initiative who otherwise support President-elect Trump take exceptions to many of the things that he has said regarding immigration.
Happily, most of the people in our group agreed with us and assisting the "dreamers" was one of the most favored suggestions along with better use of social media, constructive reform of the Affordable Care Act, finding common ground with groups that we wouldn't ordinarily work with, and stronger democratic party leadership on the national level. In terms of losing the election, the most agreed upon reasons included that democratic party leadership failed to understand just how well Mr. Trump was connecting with the disenfranchised and the Clinton campaign's inability to connect with the same people; the campaign could have been more focused on people living in rural areas, for instance.
It was one of the best attended democratic party meeting that we have attended in a long time and it gave us hope that, if nothing else, a new period of progressive activism is in the making.
Margaret W. Wong & Assoc. Co., LLC