Initially, I wasn’t sure why the election of a new Democratic National Committee (DNC) leader really mattered. It’s not even like the Democratic Party really has much presence in the House or the Senate right now, and with President Trump at the frontline, it is easy to imagine the Democratic Party being sidelined even further. However, because the Democratic Party is at their weakest point in the House and the Senate since 1928 and 1925 respectively, the new chairperson for the Democratic National Party will be very important. Therefore, regardless of who won the election, it is the job of the new chairperson to change the path for the Democratic Party in order to end this losing streak.
Between the rise of inequality, elitism and the hatred for the institutional establishment, Democrats are facing a serious backlash in politics. Nevertheless, with President Trump in office, a man who “didn’t know healthcare could be so complicated,” the Democratic Party may still have a sliver of hope in the 2018 elections. This is where the DNC leader plays a crucial role.
The American people are tired of the Democratic Party’s elitist mentality. The Senators and Congressmen in Capitol Hill need to take a break from Washington and formulate a strategy that reconnects them with constituents Officials need to break their ties with big money and address the concerns of the average American and have a bottom-up approach instead of a top-down one. The political agenda for the chairperson of the DNC is to spearhead this political change by reminding the Democrats of the values of the Democratic Party and the importance of reaching out to those outside of Washington.
Honestly, having Tom Perez, the first Hispanic DNC chairperson, and Keith Ellison, the first Muslim and African-
American DNC deputy chairperson, at the forefronts might revive the Democratic Party. Tom Perez and Keith Ellison had a very close DNC leader election. When Perez won, Ellison’s supporters exploded in anger chanting, “Party for the people, not big money!” As soon as Perez took the stand he placed Ellison as his deputy DNC chairperson, which was received with almost unanimous support. Both Ellison and Perez agreed that there was no room for division within the Democratic Party. Personally, I believe that change comes from within. There needs to be a shift in the structure of the party apparatus. If the party targets those communities bearing the full brunt of President Trump’s policies, in addition to their current supporters, they will expand their support base.
Thankfully, Perez and Ellison’s political perspectives align with regard to important issues such as minimum wage, immigration laws and civil and human rights, to name a few Both Mr. Perez and Mr. Ellison emphasize the importance of a grassroots level approach that will make individual Americans feel connected to the Party once again. In fact, this is probably the most incremental change that the Democratic Party can make, because it will cause the average American to think that the people in Washington care about those outside of Washington, regardless of whether those Americans themselves don’t care about the politics of it all.
At this point, I don’t think the specifics of who won the DNC election matters. What matters is what Tom Perez and Keith Ellison will do with their positions to make the Democratic Party win in the future. They have the difficult task of redefining and reviving the Democratic Party in a way that helps voters understand what the Democrats actually stand for. For the longest time, the Democratic Party championed the phrase “lesser of two evils.” The Presidency has been decided. It doesn’t matter what side they’re on, if the Democrats want to win in 2018 they need to find a new phrase, one that all the American voters can relate to and one the represents the party ideals. Tom Perez promised a “dramatic cultural change” to the Democratic Party, and he can deliver nothing less if he wants the party to win.