Don't Soul-Search—Stiffen Your Backbone

It’s a time-honored tradition. After months of covering the midterm elections through a prism of polls and tactics, pundits will shift their focus to the defeated party’s so-called season of “soul-searching.”As a Democrat, I’m disappointed in last Tuesday’s results. But as a progressive, I know my party need not search for its soul — but rather, its backbone.The truth is that the Democratic Party has core values that are very much in sync with most Americans.We believe in taking dead aim at the income inequality that infects our communities — from big cities like New York, to small towns and rural areas across the United States.We believe that the wealthy should pay their fair share so we can lift people out of poverty and grow our middle class.And we believe in rules that prevent big corporations and Wall Street banks from unraveling workers’ pensions, suppressing employees’ wages and benefits, and rigging the system to reward wealth instead of work.This year, too many Democratic candidates lost sight of those core principles — opting instead to clip their progressive wings in deference to a conventional wisdom that says bold ideas aren’t politically practical.To working people, it showed Democratic weakness — a weak commitment to the change desperately sought by struggling families, and a weak alternative to a Republican philosophy that has held America back.Bold, progressive ideas win elections.Just ask Sen. Al Franken (DFL-Minn.), who has fought fearlessly to rein in Wall Street, and won by a larger margin on Tuesday than President Obama did in Minnesota in 2012.Or Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), who never backed away from his support for Obamacare — a federal program that is already working to reduce income inequality, and promises to do more to address the inequality crisis than anything out of Washington in generations. Merkley won re-election in Oregon by six points more than Obama won that state in 2012.Read More.Source: The Progressive Populist/New York City Mayor BILL DE BLASIO