On November 28th, Actify Press will release the long-awaited book, Political Dysfunction: The State of the Democratic Party.
The only way to heal any rift begins with truthtelling. This path to unity is valid in relationships, business, and politics. The split between the Progressive and Centrist wings of the Democratic Party is no different. An honest review of how the Dems have strayed from the people they once claimed to represent is the first step on that difficult path. Political Dysfunction: The State of the Democratic Party goes a long way in getting the process moving.
Contrary to popular opinion, telling the truth is not the hard part. There are three other parts to the process that are far more difficult:
- Finding the Truth: Sifting through the wreckage that is the Democratic Party’s record is particularly tricky. Media and political operatives have worked very hard over the years to hide or change the truth. When it is not possible to do either, they muddy the waters.
- Listening to the Truth: Hearing the truth is often painful. It can trigger cognitive dissonance. When this anxiety is prompted, people will likely stop paying attention and walk away. Even when reputable sources are provided, humans will still avoid dealing with what they have heard or read. The world of social media makes flight easy by offering several options for disengagement—mute, block, unfollow, etc.
- Heeding the Lessons: Once a truth is excavated, presented, and accepted, a strategy must be developed to move into the future in a manner that facilitates favorable outcomes in the future.
Political Dysfunction is an unflinching view of the Democratic Party. The perspective is unapologetically Progressive. American politics has become a graveyard for ideas and policy that can help the average American. My contribution was decent. But, Progressive Army’s own Beth Lynch and Actify Press’s Matt Cox pull no punches. The book is a powerful document that brings it from the very beginning. From the Introduction:
There was a time when the Democratic Party was the party of movements and changing the status quo. Democrats were champions of equality, the working class, the New Deal, Women’s Rights, and Civil Rights. In effect, the Democratic Party was the people’s party. In this role, Democrats served as a foil to conservatism, inequality, and to the injustices of bigotry and poverty. However, over the last 50 years, Progressives have watched as the Democratic Party has torn itself apart over the Vietnam War. They’ve watched as the party chose management over labor, as they abandoned blue-collar workers in service to white-collar professionals…
The book does not shy away from hard truths. From Chapter 4:
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. warned of “taking the tranquilizing drug of gradualism” in his famous I Have A Dream speech. When people are faced with harsh times, they are filled with another King aphorism, “the fierce urgency of now.” It was only by asking for the proverbial “whole loaf” of freedom that the Civil Rights movement was able to achieve the milestones that they managed to accomplish.
All-in-all, this book puts the party in stark relief. The loss of over 1,000 seats, at every level of government, is not a record to stand on. Righting these types of losses requires a dramatic strategic shift to attract what is needed most—voters.
Beth, Matt, and I hope you enjoy the book. But, most of all we hope that this book helps the nation move forward into a more inclusive and equitable future. This path requires unity. That unity without a reckoning cannot be real or effective.