Friday delivered a decided gut punch to many Democrats across the state when Governor Bredesen released a statement supporting U.S. Supreme Court nominee, Brett Kavanaugh. None of us knew how to react or how to respond when this happened. And no one is here to sugar coat this; this move was strategic and hurtful. It was and we all needed a moment to catch our breath, vent a little to friends and family, before we started the work of picking up the pieces.
There are no perfect candidates until YOU decide to run for office. And don’t misunderstand, we need YOU to run for office. We want YOU to run for office. But as important as that conversation is, this isn’t the time for it. We’ve all read the meme that’s been shared across social media targeting Democrats stating that in 2018 an imperfect candidate will be on the ballot. We’ve all seen it. We’ve all reacted to it either positively or negatively. And if I’m being honest, my reaction to it at the time was negative. But my reaction then was rooted in the knowledge and hope that the only way things change are if we step up, if we expect more, and if we demand a better government, better candidates, and better leadership within the Party.
But we missed the moment to step up and run for office ourselves or to run new leadership for offices within the Party. Planning for those moments will begin with preparations for the 2020 election. But right now the 2018 election is what is before us.
I’m not here to argue for the merits of this campaign decision. But I am here to tell you that if we sacrifice this moment, a moment to have a Democratic majority in the Senate, then we are shooting our own selves in the foot. A Democratic majority means an opportunity to change the make up of the leadership in the Senate, including on committees such as the Senate Judiciary Committee that oversees nominations to the US Supreme Court. Having a Democrat controlled Senate means more opportunities to resist legislation that only benefits big business, rolls back environmental protections, further defunds public education, and rolls back minority rights. A Democrat controlled Senate means being able to write legislation that further protects women, that protects marginalized populations, protects the environment, funds public education, and creates more opportunities for everyone, including entrepreneurs.
We have an opportunity here to create the change we want, and we can get that without invalidating our current feelings. Because as we all know our current elected officials, Senator Alexander and Senator Corker, haven’t listened to us despite all of our letters, phone calls, or demonstrations. And we all know that if Marsha Blackburn is elected, our voices will continue to go unheard.
Yes, we do need more candidates like YOU to run for office. But we’ve missed all those deadlines to get YOU on the ballot for 2018. Therefore, let’s play the cards we’ve been dealt, make the best play we can in 2018, one that will set us up for 2020 as well as every election that follows. Just like you, we don’t want to continue with more of the same, and if we have to take an incremental step forward, it’s at least a step forward.
I’m asking you to join me in voting for Governor Bredesen on November 6th to take the steps we need in changing the face of government, having a Democratic majority to shake up the committee assignments and leadership in the Senate, and being able to have the power we need to write the legislation that will so desperately benefit all Americans.
Washington County Democratic Party