Many Democratic Presidential Candidates Should Learn From Stacey Abrams

September 23rd 2019

 
Georgia State Rep. Stacey Abrams ( Barbara Jordan Forum 2012 )

Georgia State Rep. Stacey Abrams (Barbara Jordan Forum 2012)

By ilyichd (of the Daily Kos community)

Daily Kos

After years of suffering under President Trump, true progressives across the country are finding themselves more eager and capable of running for elected office than ever before. Unfortunately, some of these candidates have significantly worse chances than others, and too much talent is being squandered when it could be put to better use elsewhere.

Democratic candidates, particularly those seeking the presidential nomination for the forthcoming 2020 contest, should learn from Stacey Abrams. Here’s why the former Gubernatorial nominee from Georgia deserves our respect and emulation.

It all comes down to the senate

Let’s fast forward past the 2020 election, imagining that a democratic candidate bested Donald Trump and is now in the White House, eyeing the forthcoming four years and eagerly making plans to radically change the country. Any of the current presidential candidates vying in the Democratic primary could beat Trump, but the truth of the matter is none of them will be capable of doing much after that. As long as Republicans control the senate and have a huge advantage in local legislatures around the nation, any Democratic president would find their ambitions radically frustrated by GOP opposition.

That’s why so many of the candidates currently trying to become the Democratic nominee should instead focus their time, energy, and resources elsewhere. Running for the senate would be a fantastic alternative for many candidates who are struggling right now, particularly Beto O’Rourke. He could take a lesson from Stacey Abrams, who decided not to run in 2020 but is instead investing her time and energy in fighting against voter suppression.

Beto has been vocal about the president’s immigration policies, particularly news this week that the US will ban immigration for people coming from poor economic backgrounds.

We need more Americans like Abrams; we need more people willing to set aside personal ambition and desire and work towards achieving meaningful change. Whether it’s dropping out of the presidential race to pursue a senate seat or focusing one’s energies elsewhere, like in a voter registration drive, current 2020 contenders could help America more by putting their personal presidential ambitions aside.

We need a national movement of progressives

If the damage that Donald Trump has already inflicted upon this country is ever to be undone, we need a national movement of progressives capable of harnessing the talent of every American. As the Democratic debates progress we should spend less time focusing on who’s going to be the party’s 2020 contender against Donald Trump and more time wondering about the rest of the country.

It won’t matter if Donald Trump leaves office unless the rest of the Republican party suffers a massive defeat alongside of him. As long as Mitch McConnell remains the majority leader, progressive ambitions will always be thwarted. Currently, far too many Democratic candidates are wasting valuable time, money, and effort running for president when they could instead be securing competitive congressional districts.

It’s a real possibility that states like Ohio, Pennsylvania, and even Texas go purple or blue. For that to happen, however, we need fewer presidential candidates and more candidates running for local offices. In order for the post-Trump era to be meaningful, we must retake the senate and bolster our standing in the house.

 

Posted with permission