I would imagine that except for only a relatively small slice of those Democrats, who, out of disgust over Hillary’s negatives, DNC malfeasance and Bernie’s primary loss, voted their “conscience” for Green Party nominee, Jill Stein, must be just as shocked and dismayed by the outcome as those of us who held our noses and voted our “pragmatism” for the best qualified of the two most despised presidential candidates in our nation’s history.
The causes of this major set back for progressivism – for a generation, at least – will be studied for years to come. However, the loss by the Democratic Party of the rural-white working class looms the largest of all of the post-election punditry, and, once the battle over the new DNC leadership is won, there are only two years until the mid-term elections for a united front to gain back even the slightest bit of ground.
While the cause and effect of how we on the left got to this place is deserving of debate, and, the lessons learned never forgotten, the reality is that we are now faced with a GOP governing trifecta, led by a serial liar, rampant xenophobe, racist, misogynistic, anti-semitic, alt-right legitimizing despot empowered only by Electoral College vote, whose Christian Taliban VP pick is firmly entrenched in the whiter than white bread fraternity of the 97% of House and 90% of Senate incumbents returning to DC for the 115th Congress (with a self-proclaimed mandate by the current House Speaker, no less), and, whose cabinet is shaping up as a rogues gallery of denizens from the very swamp he promised his dupes he’d drain.
So, in light of the daunting task ahead of the progressive movement, I’m left wondering if the throngs of still registered Democrats and defectors who threw their support behind Stein in protest, are going to hang on to the impossible dream of building the Green Party from grassroots to national prominence entirely within the span of two or even four years – the Green’s currently hold only around 137 elected offices nationwide, none in Congress, no sitting governors and Stein won a paltry 1% of the popular vote (far short of the 5% needed for national recognition and federal funding for 2020) – or, if they’re going to snap out of it and come back home and rally around the new blood running the party that’s already there.