Letter: Fight not flight

Published 6:07 pm Tuesday, March 10, 2020

The Democrats’ flight path is headed for crash. Fight or flight — that’s what it comes down to. “There’s nothing in the middle of the road but yellow lines and dead armadillos.” — Jim Hightower

Three years of Trump has been plenty of time for most people to accept or reject the thrust of his perspective and policies. Polarization is real. There are few left in the middle. Moderate or centrist labels only have meaning within one or the other side of the spectrum — as in, who’s the best candidate and what’s the best strategy, for or against Trump. For Democrats, the internal so-called moderate line is the flight path, not the fight path. Timidity and pandering to independents and moderate Republicans will accomplish the exact opposite intent by showing weakness in readiness, up front, to defer and accommodate (capitulate) to the Trumpian agenda and policies. Such credit will only drive opportunists and the undecided to Republicans. Why go Democrat when Democrats suggest Trump’s agenda has merit? And, critically more importantly, Democrats undermine the enthusiasm in their own base, affecting voter engagement and turnout. You lose more than you gain, and you won’t be able to advance the full field of candidates nationwide or significantly advance a Democratic agenda even with some moderate victories. We are still in a populist political movement where lack of confidence in our institutions means that a progressive message of boldness and fairness can expand the base and carry the day.

Youth are the key to this election. We need to trust the young people. It’s their future. We need their courage and idealism to venture the necessary changes relative to climate change, income inequality and general security to save our planet. What we can’t afford is cynicism and fear that accredits the status quo at their expense. We can’t ask them to wait. It’s not fair, and it’s not smart. Without engaging their enthusiasm, vision and energy, we can lose control of our future, and we don’t have that much time.

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Election Day is D-Day. With the Republican Senate, along with AG Barr effectively conceding Trump’s autocratic power, nothing less than a full-out assault will be adequate to smash this proto-fascist takeover of our democracy. If we lose this election, it could be the last legitimate election we will see. (We’ve yet to see how much this one may be tampered with.) It’s already political civil war. We must win this election big to keep it civil.

Mike Kelly

Albert Lea