The Democratic Party is reeling after losses on Election Day at both federal and state levels.
Trump beat Clinton decisively even as most pollsters and talking heads assured America Clinton would win. In the Senate Democrat gains were minimal, as they were in the House, leaving both chambers in the hands of Republicans. Soon President Trump will nominate a judge to replace Antonin Scalia restoring the conservative tilt of the Supreme Court.
All this results in a potentially dangerous scenario in which one party controls every branch of government.
It’s no wonder that Democratic leadership is in grave jeopardy. Obama’s term is at an end, and everyone expects that he will retire and work on his legacy (what’s left of it), his golf game and lining his pockets with speaking engagement fees.
If current comments and attitudes are any indication Democrats will attempt to disrupt the Trump tsunami. This could be a recipe for disaster for the party. Obstructionism in today’s environment could alienate voters even further and result in more losses for the party in 2018.
Democrats should seriously consider a proactive plan to recapture voters and protect the two-party system. With a flood of good ideas the minority party can be successful and relevant. There are a number of issues where Democrats can work with Republicans constructively.
It’s a given that Obamacare is going to be repealed or significantly amended. And so it’s absurd for Democrats to oppose the process. Instead Democrats should work with the other side to save those aspects of the law that both parties are in favor of, namely preexisting illness protection and a continuance of health care for children until the age of 26.
A positive attitude in a Trump health care initiative could result in other compromises that would be beneficial to Democrats and Americans. It would decrease the animosity we have come to expect involving all significant legislation. And Democrats could showcase their creativity and conciliatory attitudes to voters.
Similarly Democrats should recognize that the Iran nuclear deal is bad for the U.S. and the Middle East. The global community does not need another rogue nation armed with weapons of mass destruction.
Withdrawing from the arrangement will create a great stir with U.S. allies. European countries, blinded by the economic benefits of doing business with Iran, have said they will oppose efforts to abrogate the deal.
Democrats and Republicans should come together over this issue. Congress has the ability to put great economic pressure on Iran with punishing sanctions that the rest of the world would not be able to mitigate. The U.S. alone could and should drive Iran into bankruptcy if it continues to develop a WMD. This would have the derivative impact of creating political unrest in Iran.
And finally there are the infrastructure initiatives that Trump has promised. This effort could have a tremendously positive impact on economic activity in the country and result in millions of high paying jobs. Democrats and Republicans can work together to overwhelm expected conservative push back and use a massive infrastructure effort to legislate a work program than may rival FDR’s success during the Great Depression.
This will not be easy. A lot of money is at stake, and legislators must believe that higher construction activity will enhance economic growth. But there is a great need as our roads, tunnels and bridges crumble before our eyes.
The possibilities are grand. Even though Democrats are the minority party they will receive great accolades from voters if they are cooperative and creative about making America great again.
If Democrats decide to protect Obama’s fallen legacies and Republicans are successful, it will serve to degrade the party even further.
An emasculated opposition party is bad for our country. It must be strong to ensure that the federal government is balanced and supportive of social equality.