by Thomas Caltabellotta
I’ve joined the Greene County Democratic Party Central Committee not because I want to make the party into some radical left organization, but because I want to take it back to being the Democratic Party of FDR and the New Deal. As Democrats we have been losing steadily since the 2010 midterm and have since lost over 1000 legislative seats. Now we can point fingers and blame everyone from in independents and third party voters to racism, sexism, and Russia; but I believe to accept the fact that the problem was us and that we did not give the voters anything to vote for other than more of the same. That is why I am here, to push for more progressive policies, particularly in the economic area, that will engage Ohio voters in this area and bring them to the polls for us.
Socialism is not the boogeyman of politics that it was 30, 20, or even 10 years ago. In fact, according to a January 2016 YouGov poll, 65% of millennials view socialism favorably, with less than 1/3 viewing capitalism favorably. It goes farther to show that 43% of Americans under 30 viewing socialism favorably as well. This sentiment was again echoed in an April 2016 Harvard University survey showing that 51% of respondents aged 18-29 had an unfavorable view of capitalism.
These people are the future of our party. If we continue to fight against them, we will undoubtedly see our party weaken in the coming years. We cannot continue to expect these voters to turn out for us in elections while we continue insisting on not giving them anything they want in return.
Now you’re probably asking, why is this important? This is important because this is the future of our party. As millennials grow older they take over for older Democrats that move on. Millennials are the future of our party, and we cannot continue to expect them to vote for us when the party will not even listen to them. Even before that, as we continue to lose young voters to third parties (or even worse to not voting), that weakens our ability to defeat Republicans in 2018 and 2020.
THAT is why I want to be involved with the Democratic Party leadership now. While many of my fellow College Democrats have decided to use their time and manpower towards helping other parties and progressive organizations, I am not. I still believe that we can fix the party from the inside by embracing the pro-socialist progressive grassroots movement that young voters crave and revitalizing the Democratic Party from the inside. THAT is why I want to be involved in creating real, positive change within the Democratic Party.
In the past the Democratic Party was revered as the party who fought for our neighbors and the working man, the average American. Today when you ask a fellow Democrat why they support the party, you are just as likely to hear what they don’t like about the guys in red as you are what we like about ourselves. It is this lack of identity of who we are and what we fight for other than not being the other guy that fails to excite and envigorate our base. It is not too late though, we can become this again. We can become the party that guarantees healthcare as a right to all Americans, links minimum wage to inflation, and passes FDR’s economic bill of rights as a new New Deal for Americans. It will not be easy, and it will take some work, but we can do it.