Monthly Two Cents

THEY DEFINE AND DEFEAT, SO WE MUST DEFEND

By Ashley Hall

Republicans define their opponents with a pinch of truth and a ton of lies to defeat them. But we can combat that.

The GOP playbook: Define, defeat. John Kerry: Truth — he was in the military and received many medals of honor. Republicans started a rumor that he was undeserving of his medals and somehow defined him as a kind of Benedict Arnold. And it worked.

Define, defeat. Hillary Clinton: Truth — she was a First Lady, a secretary of state, a U.S. senator. Republicans started a rumor that she was a underhanded witch that put the country in danger by using a private email server. They created such a fervor that FBI Director James Comey felt he needed to make a show out of “investigating a new set of emails.” And he felt he had to do this, I believe, because the country demanded it, Republicans and Democrats alike.

I remember hearing very, very little defense at the time for John Kerry, and even less for Clinton. And I feel one strong way of showing a united front is by not acknowledging every asinine thing that comes up about our candidates.

Let’s be real here. We are going to have to be prepared to advocate for and defend Biden. He’s going say poetic things and he’s also going to say doofy things. He will, and we can’t freak out about it. As Democrats, if we are looking for every excuse to call out Biden on the internet, in public or even among friends, then we can say hello to a second term of Trump.

Biden is a great candidate and we should say so every day. This is a fight, and we better believe the Republicans are going to say that Joe Biden caused the Challenger to explode and all sorts of other ridiculous nonsense. The news is going to cover it.

But we can’t take the bait. We have to defend him and we have to fight for him, because this is a battle we absolutely cannot lose.

Ashley Hall is director of outreach for HDC

Postpone the Wegman's Public Hearing

As published in the Local

We are hearing from many residents that they fear they must decide between their health, protecting their homes, and their right to attend and be heard at the upcoming Board of Supervisors’ public hearing for the Wegman’s rezoning application. The Hanover Democratic Committee stands against the suppression of speech and impairment of the right to participate in local government, especially on topics that are important to residents. Since Governor Northam has issued a stay-at-home order until June 10, 2020, it does not seem in line with public safety to hold a public hearing on the Wegmans’ project. There are many residents who deserve the right to attend and have their voices heard. Many residents feel it is important to hear and respond to Wegman’s position at the hearing since its representatives will be present throughout the proceeding. There are no deadlines that require the hearing now and there are no procedures that will allow citizens the ability to attend and fully participate in the hearing process. It seems the prudent thing to do is to postpone the May 6th public hearing on the Wegmans’ project until it is safe for Hanoverians to meet in public.

The Hanover Democratic Executive Committee

This feature includes different perspectives on who should be the Presidential nominee for the Democratic Committee.  We are committed to supporting the eventual nominee.  We also believe it is useful to share different points of view.

Progressivism is Necessary to Address Our Current and Future Challenges

By Chance Lee

Thanks in no small part to the work of politicians like Bernie Sanders, ideas with progressive roots like Universal Basic Income and curbing free markets, once considered beyond the pale by moderate voices, have gained firm footholds in the popular imagination. With COVID-19 spreading across the country, these proposals are finally achieving the semblance of political salience. We live under the thumb of a right-wing administration, yet Congress is cutting Americans direct checks while the President’s handpicked economic czar flirts openly with state-owned equity in private business. We live in strange times. This crisis is forcing us to test the limits of our political horizons, and it becomes ever more apparent that progressive change is not only within our reach but a matter of necessity.

At a basic level, progressives propose reorienting our societal investments to empower the real people and workers who create value. One argument, though, has haunted single-payer healthcare, publicly funded universities, and other progressive policies for decades: the proposed cost. Election cycle after election cycle, the same tired rejoinder of “how are we going to pay for it?” rises like a vampire from its coffin and drains Democratic enthusiasm for progressive change. The federal response to the global pandemic at our doorstep finally drives a stake through this Nosferatu’s heart as our federal reserve pumps trillions into markets through record-shattering bond-buying and repurchase agreements. It’s no longer tenable for our leaders to say the alternative course is a financial impossibility.

The situation itself exposes the true cost of our misaligned priorities and how vital it is we shift to a progressive course. None of the measures so far to cushion Wall Street have staunched the bleeding nor has our privatized health system left us with the capacity to address the virus’s human toll. The bets we placed on job creators and big businesses aren’t paying off; instead, we find ourselves relying on increasingly precarious essential workers to keep fragile supply chains intact while the number of nonessential unemployed creeps upwards.

Programs like Medicare for All ultimately put the country in a better position to combat crises, allowing our institutions to be proactive instead of reactive. The current strategy, delivering a one-time stimulus, or proposals to waive COVID-19 treatment costs, won’t prepare us for the inevitable next disaster. Emergency progressivism can’t fix the structural failures that lead us to this moment and facing the challenges the future holds requires us to tackle these problems with a comprehensive progressive agenda.

Why I’m Ridin’ With Biden

By Ethan C. Lynne (PHHS Sophomore)

Courage, that is the word I would use to describe Joe Biden. That cannot be said for most normal politicians, but Joe is not a normal politician. After being elected as the youngest U.S. senator ever at 29, he got sworn in in his son’s hospital room after losing his wife and daughter in a car accident. He served in that capacity for decades, giving him the much-needed government experience that is extremely helpful to become the President. When you’re president, you have to have a lot of allies, both in the country and around the world, and Joe already has that. In 2008, after agreeing to serve as Vice-President on one of the most historic presidential campaigns in history, he fully immersed himself in the political world. He has been a Democrat his whole life, never switching to an independent, unlike Senator Sanders. After seeing his margins on Super Tuesday winning almost every county in most states, and his huge percentage of the African-American electorate, it is clear, the candidate who can win is Joe. We must choose the Democrat with courage, and experience over the independent with widely controversial promises.

Don't Let the Perfect be the Enemy of the Good

By Ashley Hall

Let us not forget ... if we get a progressive Democrat in office, we can move him more to the middle. If we get a moderate Democrat in office, we can move him more to the left. We can call, we can march, we can shine a light on issues important to us, and these issues will fall on Democratic ears and the ears of their Democratic advisors. Not the case if Donald Trump wins a second term. So when it’s time to volunteer, time to call, time to vote, the Democrat on the ballot may not represent everything you want or need at the moment, but whoever it is, they are a HECK of a lot closer to your ideals than the current President in office. It’s a cliché, but clichés can be true. Don’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good. 

Why I’m Ridin’ With Biden

Ethan Lynne, high school sophomore

Courage, that is the word I would use to describe Joe Biden. That cannot be said for most normal politicians, but Joe is not a normal politician. After being elected as the youngest U.S. senator ever at 29, he got sworn in in his son’s hospital room after losing his wife and daughter in a car accident. He served in that capacity for decades, giving him the much-needed government experience that is extremely helpful to become the President. When you’re president, you have to have a lot of allies, both in the country and around the world, and Joe already has that. In 2008, after agreeing to serve as Vice-President on one of the most historic presidential campaigns in history, he fully immersed himself in the political world. He has been a Democrat his whole life, never switching to an independent, unlike Senator Sanders. After seeing his margins on Super Tuesday winning almost every county in most states, and his huge percentage of the African-American electorate, it is clear, the candidate that can win is Joe. We must choose the democrat with courage, and experience over the independent with widely controversial promises.

The 2020 Democratic Presidential Primary Will be the Most Significant in More Than a Century

By Tom Hicks

I am not one for the dramatic, but the 2020 presidential election decision will be the most consequential in several generations. Accordingly, the predecessor decision involving the selection of a Democratic party candidate to challenge President Trump will be similarly momentous. As one Democratic candidate recently stated, “we can’t screw this up.”

The circumstances driving this significance involve the fear that our country could experience another four years of a president that has caused grave damage to the office of the presidency, abused his power for his own self-interest, denigrated long-standing government institutions, strained relationships with allies, fostered ethnic and racial divisions, and promulgated Russian initiated conspiracy theories about election meddling. A second term for President Trump could bring our country to the breaking point. Given that the president was acquitted in the impeachment trial, the 2020 election is the only mechanism remaining to end this executive office travesty.

This means that the Democratic party choice for our presidential candidate is all that much more important. The good news is that when the primary process started, we had a large number of highly qualified Democratic candidates with noticeable variances in background, experience and policy proposals. The bad news is that this large selection of candidates made it more difficult for many primary voters to focus in on a preferred choice. This perceived indecision was cited as the reason for two late entrants into the race in December. The important message here is that we Democrats need to take the time to educate ourselves regarding what each candidate offers. This presidential primary race might be the most significant any of us will ever experience and it deserves our heightened attention.

The televised debates are a useful tool to assist in our decision-making process but they only provide a small window, a snapshot, into each candidate’s suitability, strengths and weaknesses. To effectively screen the candidates more time is necessary to review speeches, voting records, editorials, and policy proposals. We owe it to each other to put in the research time, pick the best candidate, and rally to support that candidate in 2020. The stakes are enormous. History will look back at this critical time and pass judgment regarding our decision. The media has often simplified the Democratic party’s choices as two paths: revolution or gradual improvement. I believe the choices are more subtle.

Polls indicate that the main goal of Democratic primary voters is to defeat Trump although most Democrats also want significant action on healthcare, education, climate change, and infrastructure. Senators Warren and Sanders have spoken out for big structural changes while former President Obama recently articulated concerns that Democrats risk alienating voters if the 2020 primary choice is too far to the left.

After considerable study, my personal choice is Senator Amy Klobuchar. Her experience, intellect, integrity, mid-western roots, and moderate policy proposals indicate to me that she is best suited to take down Trump, unify the country and govern to a brighter future. Some of my Democratic friends whom I respect have different opinions. That’s democracy. But the election process only works if we support our basic civic duty with candidate research. Let’s roll up our sleeves and make posterity proud of our 2020 selection.

Tom Hicks is a resident of Montpelier, Va., a USNA graduate, former nuclear submarine officer, engineering consultant and a former Democratic candidate for Congress in Virginia’s 1st Congressional District. Follow him on Twitter @tomhicksva1