Taking Stock, Progressives Say Democratic Party Needs 'a Reckoning'

The Democratic Party and the Democratic National Committee (DNC) needs a reckoning, progressives said this week as the dust from President-elect Donald Trump’s historic upset settled.

The Progressive Change Campaign Committee (PCCC), which called Trump’s election “a stunning, scary, sad time for America,” said his victory shows that the DNC needs new, younger, and more diverse leadership to make authentic connections with its constituents. And, just as importantly, it needs to start taking its cues from the lawmakers who have done that successfully, such as Sens. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), who have long campaigned against corporate power.

Adam Green, PCCC co-founder, told the Associated Press that the Democratic Party should model itself after the populist senators “and offer a systemic critique of the rigged economy.”

Democrats must make a “conscious decision to separate themselves from the corporate villains who are to a large extent funding their campaigns,” he added.

Progressives noted that Trump was able to win by tapping into voters’ economic and social anxieties. “People are fed up with bad wages, too much debt, and child care costs through the roof. They are tired of watching their jobs disappear because of bad trade deals. They know that something is wrong when a corporation can break laws and destroy livelihoods and get away with it,” the PCCC wrote. “And Donald Trump spoke to that.”

In an email to its supporters after the election, PCCC elaborated, “Democrats must start fighting for working families with an authentic understanding of how we got here—and a willingness to take on Wall Street and corporate donors to get us out.”