A simple, proven effective, plan:
Newt Gingrich utilized a very effective strategy in the election of 1994. He and Richard Armey drafted ten pieces of legislation, packaged them as the “Contract with America” and asked every Republican candidate for the U. S. House of Representatives to pledge to support. 433 of the 435 Republican candidates signed on. The strategy proved to be very effective. The Republicans picked up 54 seats and took control of the House for the first time in 40 years.
Democrats in Oregon utilized a similar strategy, with progressive legislation, in the 2006 election and were equally successful, flipping the state legislature from Republican control to Democratic control in a single election.
“Our Promise to America” is designed to utilize this same strategy in 2018, for both houses of Congress, with ten powerful pieces of legislation drawn directly from the Democratic Party platform. We are encouraging Democratic candidates for state legislatures in all 50 states to do state-specific versions of Our Promise to America.
A modest proposal:
Expecting a political party’s candidates to agree with and support most of the planks in a party platform is a fairly modest expectation. The Republican Party has demonstrated a great deal of unity in pushing their agenda. Their attempt to repeal the Affordable Care Act, which would have taken health insurance away from over 20 million people, came within a single vote in the Senate of passing. Their giant tax cut for corporations and tax-averse billionaires passed with only a single dissenting vote in the Senate.
There is not a single piece of legislation called for in the Democratic Party platform that has anywhere near that level of support, among Democratic members of Congress.
Robert M. LaFollette once remarked that, “If the people want a government of their own, they must do the work of making it their own.” We believe that doing that work today begins with making the Democratic Party the party it claims to be – a true party of the people, actively promoting the general welfare by supporting and passing needed legislation.
Our Promise to America will help voters and activists identify Democratic candidates who will support and vote for legislation drawn from our platform.
This is what democracy looks like. This is what our political revolution looks like.
Bad government is the problem. Good government is the solution.