In the days following the election, the Democratic Party is seriously considering and evaluating their losses. The party continues to face inner turmoil as it tries to figure out how to move forward, so Democrats across the nation are wondering: what is the fate of our party?
Donna Brazile has led the DNC since Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz stepped down in July after Wikileaks exposed emails that indicated the former chairwoman was helping Hillary Clinton in the primaries. Now that the election is over, who will be the next chairperson? The party must choose the best course of action to assure it can succeed in the future. Had Hillary been elected, she would have named the successor, and it probably would have been someone close to her. Bernie Sanders has voiced his opinion on the subject, arguing the leadership needs to be less of an “insiders club” only interested in raising money and instead must focus on the working class. Because of Hillary’s loss and the subsequent power vacuum in the party, the chairperson is sure to be quite prominent within the party.
Some people within the DNC are calling for a total “renovation” of the party organization. The goal of this renovation should be to make the committee less elitist, less focused on money, more focused on constituents, and more in touch with grassroots advocates. A few Democrats, including Representative Raul M. Grijalva from Arizona, have stated that Hillary’s lost because the DNC was unable to properly evaluate and understand the electorate. The party must focus on regaining the support of the voters it lost.
The working class has become a prominent target for the post-election Democratic Party. Donald Trump was able to snatch a large bloc of formerly Democratic-leaning voters from liberals, and the DNC should focus on getting them back. Because Trump was able to garner so much support from the frustrated white working class, Democrats turned to the support of minorities across the country, which unfortunately, wasn’t enough to cover up the loss of the former group. Looking forward, will the Democrats focus more on minorities and give up on winning back on the working class? This is a question the new leader of the DNC will have to grapple with. Sanders stated that he was “deeply humiliated” by the Democrats’ inability to maintain support from the white working class.
Was this election just an anomaly and perhaps not a valid predictor of party support for the future? If that is the case, will the working class move back to the Democrats in 2020, or even as early as the 2018 midterms? Many progressives like Bernie Sanders are hopeful the right leadership of the DNC will be able to recapture the support they lost in this election. Now is the time for introspection and reevaluation of what we stand for as a party.