Don't Give Up!
by J. Carlos Jiacinto
The Democratic Underground message board seems to be full
of posters claiming that the Democratic party's cause is lost
going into 2001 and 2002. The defeatist mentality fills web
sites with Democratic loyalists acting as if they already
lost the elections of 2001, 2002, 2003, and 2004. Reading
their posts, one leaves with the impression that the world
has ended and that the sky is falling. In this current period
in time, where Bush's numbers are extremely positive, many
Democrats have adopted a defeatist mentality.
Although the attacks of September 11, 2001 changed the political
dynamics, I am writing to say that by no means are the Democrats'
chances gone. If anything the party is still alive and well.
I say this because two major races are occurring in this country.
In Virginia and New Jersey voters will elect two new governors.
In the New Jersey race, due to his opponent's horrendous
missteps, Jim McGreevey stands poised to return Trenton to
Democratic control. In Virginia, with the endorsements of
the Washington Board of Trade, the Firefighters Association,
various sherrifs, and the Washington Post, coupled with more
than enough money, businessman Mark Warner leads GOP Attorney
General Mark Earley.
Warner seems headed for a narrow victory, returning Richmond
to the Democrats after eight years of Republican rule. Coupled
with Jim Hahn's win in Los Angeles, and the likelyhood that
Mark Green will defeat Michael Bloomburg in New York city,
the Democrats seem poised to deal the GOP several critical
blows on November sixth.
The fact that the Virginia's governor's mansion remains in
the grasp of the Democrats this close to election day should
be good news. Democrats should be out celebrating that they
stand to make a resurgence not just in the Old Dominion, but
also the Garden State. These two races will undermine GOP
strength, especially the Virginia Governor's contest, taking
place in Republican National Committee Leader Jim Gilmore'
home state. Although on the presidential level the prospects
look weak, they are anything but so on the local, mayoral
and gubernatorial letter.
Across the country those Democrats who feel that the cause
remains hopeless need to stand tall and stop feeling nothing
but pity for themselves. The country is depending on the Democrats
to stand firm in this time of crisis. They demand that the
Democrats fight these 2001 with the strongest level of enthusiasm.
In order to build momentum for 2002 and 2004 the Democrats
must begin winning 2001 key contests.
2004 is three years away. Worrying about Bush's reelection
prospects and superhigh approval ratings helps no one - and
actually hurts the Democrats who are running for office. Democrats,
stand tall and calm down! The candidates in Virginia and New
Jersey need full enthuasism and dedication, not pity and defeatism.
Whether the Democrats can run an effective race against Bush
in 2004 is a question that remains to be answered. However,
the answer to the question of what the Democrats should do
now rings loud and clear: stand tall for our ideals and fight
for our candidates in 2001.
While we cannot do anything to change 2004 or the wrongs
of 2000, we can at least direct our energies to the goal of
winning 2001. That fact is uncontestable and should drive
us all to improve the party now - and not feel sorry for ourselves.