Populisms Left and Right

John Whiston contrasts two strains of American populism and ponders how a populist agenda could unite diverse Democratic constituencies.-promoted by Laura Belin

You hear a lot of anxiety these days about the rising tide of “right-wing populism.” How in God’s name did Donald Trump increase his share of the vote in localities like Lee and Clinton counties in Iowa and Kenosha and Dunn ounties in Wisconsin?  So, maybe it’s time to take a step back and think about what “populism” really means – today, historically,  and for the American future.

Continue Reading...

Iowa Democratic Party vs Democratic voters: Can the shepherd find the sheep?

Glenn Hurst: “Democrats across Iowa are looking for a candidate who is not playing to the middle, the establishment. They want to vote for someone who runs as a Democrat and espouses Democratic values.” -promoted by Laura Belin

In 2016, when Bernie Sanders lost the primary to Hillary Clinton and then Donald Trump won the presidency, Iowa Democrats were at each other’s throats. Blame was laid on the left-leaning voters for not turning out for Clinton. The establishment was accused of running a system to “fix” the nomination for an unpopular candidate.

This intraparty drama was such a common phenomena across the country that a reconciliation committee, a.k.a. the “Unity Panel” was formed to address the conflict.

If my Facebook wall and Twitter feed are a measure of political discontent, the party is absolutely pacified. There has been a relative lack of backroom chatter regarding the presidential outcome this year compared to 2016. The Joe Biden win appears to be taken as a relief and eyes have turned away from questioning why he lost in Iowa. This does not mean the Iowa Democratic Party has wiped its brow and is moving on with business as usual.

Continue Reading...

Where are the freedom fighters? A plea for help from a beleaguered Black man

Linn County Supervisor Stacey Walker: “Until a renewed season of action on the hard issues springs forth from the Iowa Democratic Party, my people will continue to freeze in the long winters of apathy, and die during the hot summers of violence.” -promoted by Laura Belin

During a recent Facebook Live conversation with Kimberly Graham where we discussed issues facing the African-American community, I recounted a high-profile officer-involved shooting that happened in my neighborhood shortly after I was elected. It was during this very conversation, in real-time, that I realized this officer-involved shooting fundamentally changed who I was as a public servant.

Continue Reading...

I am grateful to you, Senator Sanders

Susie Petra, a Democratic activist in Ames, wrote this letter after Bernie Sanders ended his presidential campaign last month. -promoted by Laura Belin

Dear Senator Sanders,

I am a member of Iowa CCI and an active supporter of yours for over nine years. My heart actually hurt for you when I heard you had suspended your campaign…and hurt for the many millions of your supporters. We had seen, and almost grasped, that exquisite light at the end of the 9-year tunnel. However, I know our collective work isn’t finished, yet!

I wanted you to hear from me that you actually did turn that light on for millions of us.

Continue Reading...

Bernie Sanders’ success in Iowa shows Democratic Party must adapt

Sami Scheetz: Democrats must speak to issues working-class people face and welcome the diverse coalition Bernie Sanders formed in Iowa. -promoted by Laura Belin

For more than 150 years, Iowa has served as a progressive beacon for the rest of the nation. We outlawed the death penalty nearly 60 years ago and became one of the first states to legalize same-sex marriage in 2009. Contrary to the popular belief that most Midwesterners are centrists, Iowa Democrats have historically been leaders of this nation’s progressive movements.

Continue Reading...

I'll fight on that hill

Laura Hubka chairs the Howard County Democrats and is vice chair of the Iowa Democratic Party’s Disability Caucus. She volunteered for Bernie Sanders’ campaign before the 2016 caucuses and endorsed Pete Buttigieg this cycle. -promoted by Laura Belin

My heart goes out to all my Bernie-supporting friends today. They are some of the most loving and inclusive people I’ve known.

I do wish people would stop using “Bernie bro” to describe them. Because it’s not the reality of most of the people who support Bernie. I was one of them myself in 2016.

Continue Reading...
View More...