“The working class feels like it was left behind by both political parties.” 

Rick Santorum, Republican, in response to the 2020 election being called for Joe Biden.

“They’re not wrong. People were sacrificed.” 

Van Jones, Democrat, in response to Santorum. 

You two have had a good run in this country. You’ve each built a strong following among smart, passionate people, and you’ve left a lasting impact on the election process in the U.S. You’ve positioned yourselves as keepers of all that is right and good about this country, and you’ve successfully painted your opponents as the picture of all that is wrong. You’ve even used all the right words to lure people into your ranks and convince them of your good intentions.

“The Republican party is the party of the open door…. the party of liberty, the party of equality, of opportunity for all, and favoritism for none.” 

2016 Republican Rules

“As Democrats, we respect differences of perspective and belief, and pledge to work together to move this country forward, even when we disagree … we do not merely seek common ground—we strive to reach higher ground.” 

Democrats’ Who We Serve statement

The Juggernaut

For more than 160 years, the two of you have accumulated substantial power, and together, you have effectively shaped the direction of the political conversation in the United States. 

Together, the DNC and the RNC have begun to operate as a single, symbiotic machine with each dependent on the other for its very survival. I like to think of it as The Juggernaut.

Sound far-fetched? 

Consider, DNC,  your assessment of your War Room as a “… rapid response unit… entirely dedicated to kicking Trump out of the Oval Office in 2020.” 

And you, RNC, have posted more content about the Democrats on your blog than you have about your own party’s accomplishments.   

You’ve convinced well-meaning people to do your bidding, so that people who ran for office with the intention of making positive changes find themselves swept up in a political monolith that demands unconditional loyalty in a desire to win at all cost. 

Somewhere along the way, you stopped listening to the will of the people and you became singularly focused on the destruction of the other. For years, you’ve manipulated and gaslighted the American people in an effort to maintain your stranglehold on the political process. 

The problem, of course, is that the current political process in America is a certified disaster, and your fingerprints are all over it. 

Third Party

The immediate fallout of The Juggernaut is this: you two don’t have to be particularly good at what you do, and you don’t have to be in-tune with the American voters; you simply have to be better than the other side. Or stated another way, you only have to convince us that the other side is worse than you.

You’ve each convinced your followers to focus on the destruction of the other side, and your ability to successfully keep us at odds with each other helps you two retain power. 

Worst of all, you’ve crowded out many other voices because those third-party infiltrators present an existential threat to the work you’re doing. We know this, of course, because when then-candidate Donald Trump felt like he wasn’t getting a fair shake from the Republican party, he threatened to run as a third-party candidate, and the RNC made him sign a vow not to. 

Likewise, Senator Bernie Sanders and his supporters watched as The Juggernaut crowded him out of the conversation two election cycles in a row.

Consent of the governed

The bad news for you is that you can’t blame this disaster on any single person, because this monstrosity has survived countless leadership changes and personnel moves. If the current leadership left today, the problem would still exist. 

The problem isn’t the people, it’s the parties. We firmly acknowledge that most of the people involved in the political process never intended to create such a mess of the system. But now you, RNC and DNC, have an existential problem. 

The voters are paying attention. We’re learning to fight through hard conversations, and we’re determined to find common ground even in the face of stark differences. We’re educating ourselves about the reality of our political system and we’re preparing to do the hard work of taking back our government.

The American people aren’t stuck with this system, but if you find yourself tempted by that idea, ask yourself who benefits if we continue to believe it.