Frustrated. As a Democrat, I feel as if I’ve just taken a dive into a muddling ocean of hazy policies and blurry promises. 2020 brought an entire stage of Democrats that volley their positions back and forth. It was like watching a tennis match on steroids—with twenty players instead of two. And it’s in the midst of this tennis match, with the ricochet of insults, the snaps of policy relating, and the cheers of an engrossed crowd, that we lose ourselves and enter an adobe of confusion. I have entered this adobe of confusion; I simply do not know which candidate I prefer, and as 2020 creeps ever closer, the Democratic Party is still the disorganized jumble it was in 2016.
This is a harsh reality of the party. The party as an organization, whether it be at the local, state or even national level, leaves much to be desired in terms of structure. I’ve seen this evident in the town where I completed high school; Williamsport, Pennsylvania has a superlatively structured committee of Republicans (that may be due to the town’s right leanings), that has high levels of engagement with the community, and push local candidates through efforts such as canvassing. The Democrat committee, by comparison, is practically nonexistent. By neglecting small niches like Williamsport, Pennsylvania, considering them worthless because of their majority-right leanings, the Democratic Party is doing a disservice to itself. We also all know that there are many people who don’t vote. This disenfranchised population is the type of voter population that the Democrats should make themselves known to. Encouraging and enabling people to vote, especially in communities like Williamsport, would benefit the party in both this current election and future elections.
Instead of presenting themselves as a unified party, Democrats tend to resort to tearing each other apart. Such animosity harms the party in the long run, leaving voters in a mass of confusion. Yes, I understand primaries are in their nature to be brutal, but it is November 2019, and the Democrat Party is yet still lacking a candidate. This gives the opposition more time to prepare, campaign, and develop strength within their already-established base (because the opposition is an incumbent president). Yes, debates are chances to highlight your worth as a candidate, and point out glaring holes in the competition’s, but the animosity on the debate stage, especially to the extent the Democrat Party exhibits it, just leaves me with distaste.
Such animosity also clouds issues that need the focus of Democratic candidates. Such is the case with reproductive rights. It is automatically assumed on the Democratic debate stage that every candidate is pro-choice, and in favor of protecting reproductive rights, which is why it is never spoken about. But not speaking about the issue, only because it is assumed to be a concern, is actually avoiding the issue altogether. Reproductive rights have developed an increased amount of tension within the U.S., with the pro-life movement gaining unprecedented momentum (which is no surprise, considering the current president is pro-life). And it is wrong for Democratic candidates to simply brush it aside, because of course, they are certainly pro-choice. No, reproductive rights are complicated, and it’s important for candidates to make themselves clear on every crack and crevice of the issue, because we may very well find that their stance may be different than expected.
But I digress. The Democrat Party has an inherent disorganization that is becoming increasingly important to address. Without addressing this disorganization, apparent at the local, state and national levels, we will inevitably tumble into 2020 yet again the spectators to a party that is, ostensibly, liberally organized, but is jumbled mass of hazy policies, volleyed animosity and unclear stances.