Dear DCCC, Can You Hear Us?
Everywhere you look, you see something amazing happening across the nation. Democrats are beating Republicans in deeply red districts; the same districts that Trump won in 2016. Thirty-seven legislative districts have flipped, and that trend is likely to continue. With places like Florida’s 72nd, Kentucky’s 49th, and Missouri’s 97th switching from red to blue, a wave of change is sweeping our country.
One would think that this would be enough evidence to show that a real Democrat could win a vacant House of Representatives seat in a congressional district with more registered Democrats than Republicans. One would think...
Instead, the DCCC decided to endorse a "Democrat" with an A rating from the NRA who voted against marriage equality, against protecting immigrant rights, and against removing guns from the hands of aggressors in cases of domestic violence. A candidate who has refused to criticize or condemn the actions or rhetoric coming from Trump.
The DCCC, which insists itself a bastion of Democratic values, endorsed Mr. Van Drew less than one week after the school shooting that killed 17 people in Parkland, Florida. The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee has decided to back an NRA endorsed "Democrat" even after such horrific acts of gun violence that rocked our nation to the core.
It’s also important to mention Van Drew’s backing from the local establishment machine. He was endorsed by the party in South Jersey as soon he announced his intent to run. This is not a candidate who cares about the people - Van Drew is bought by corporate interests. Do you wonder why Mr. Van Drew refuses to criticize Donald Trump? Birds of a feather.
Hey, DCCC and DNC, are you surprised with the outrage?
The good news? It's not too late to do something!
I know that you may not like the word progressive. It’s an old word in American politics. But we can look back at the Progressive Era with admiration of the accomplishments: The forty hour work week, labor unions, child labor laws, and many other things that helped create the American middle class that propelled us to greatness in the past. Let’s build off of that legacy. The truth is, the progressives are winning everywhere.
The reason? We are not moderate. No great leader has ever been moderate. We will never be happy with the middle. Change starts with bold thinking and action, like our nation's founding fathers and mothers, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Gandhi, Sojourner Truth, and so many other genuine and inspirational leaders.
Instead, we stand for real, tangible solutions to help Americans. Medicare-for-all, debt-free college, student-loan reform and forgiveness, campaign finance reform, massive investments in renewable energy, complete divestment from fossil fuels, legalizing and taxing marijuana, a fifteen dollar an hour minimum wage, criminal justice reform, actual gun control and gun safety, and the list goes on.
Why run from the progressive policies of people like Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders, Keith Ellison, and so many others? Why not embrace the people, like myself, who are supported and endorsed by progressive groups like Our Revolution?
I feel you are failing to recognize the future of the party. If Democrats are going to win elections and create a party that is focused on helping others and doing the right thing, you should practice what you preach and step up. Renounce your endorsement of Van Drew and get behind a candidate that stands for what our progressive Democratic leaders believe.
I'm here. I am willing to talk. I, as well as the people of New Jersey's second Congressional district, will accept your apology. I look forward to hearing from you. I’m not here to shame you. I believe that when people realize they made a mistake and make a genuine effort to do better, everyone benefits.
So DCCC, my last question to you is: do you embrace your Democratic values? We all know Van Drew doesn’t.
Sean A. Thom
Citizen. Educator. Progressive. Democrat.
The Only Progressive Candidate for NJ CD-2