I guess we’re sticking with the same, old Democratic party.
Wednesday, Nov. 30, Rep. Nancy Pelosi, D-Cali., was reelected as leader of the House of Representative Democrats, reaffirming the strength of the traditional Democratic guard. I guess House Democrats forgot who won this year’s presidential election.
President-elect Donald Trump confirms that half of America wants fundamental change to the American political process, and Sen. Bernie Sanders,’ I-Vt., unlikely success in the Democratic primary shows that many Democrats, additionally, believe in this kind of change.
For House Democrats, though, there is no such changing of the guard.
Top Democrats are showing their age. Pelosi is 76, her deputy Steny Hoyer, D-MD., is 77, Chuck Schumer, D-NY, is the House number two Democrat and the third ranking House Democrat, Jim Clyburn, D-SC, is 76. They managed the 2016 election terribly, tying all House Republicans to Trump, and as the president-elect would say, this was a big mistake — huge.
These leaders were oblivious to the pulse of middle America, the Rust Belt. They completely didn’t — and continue to not —understand the concerns of rural, white Americans. While this is a fleeting number of people, this group still has enough sway to determine who becomes president.
Now, what House Democrats should have done is incorporate someone from the middle of the country, from the Rust Belt, into a top leadership position as a signal to rural, white Americans that Democrats have realized that they’re still an important voting block, and their needs should be addressed.
Instead, the coasts and urban centers were put first, with each of the top three Democrats hailing from coastal cities.
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One such House Democrat who should have been put into a leadership position was Tim Ryan, D-Ohio. He is a 43-year-old back bencher from a blue-collar district, who challenged Pelosi for the House leadership spot. Pelosi beat Ryan in the election 134-63, which is a significant amount for a backbench Congressman. In fact, he got more votes than the challenger in 2010, when Democrats lost control of the House.
Now, Ryan shouldn’t have won the speakership, but he, or at least some other Democrat representing a blue-collar Rust Belt region, should have been included in the hierarchy of the House Democrats.
Aaron Reilly ([email protected]) is a sophomore majoring in social work and economics.