Letter: A way forward for the 2020 election

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Editor of the Reformer,

We need a national dialogue to shift the way we do business electing our next president. Please give this idea serious and careful consideration.

The current process for this 2020 election is flawed and will cause the Democratic Party to splinter and to ultimately lose the election. It is essential that the Democratic and Progressive Parties and candidates seek an alternative way to achieve success. There is an abundance of talent and strength coming from all qualified candidates. In ordinary times dialogue and debate could be beneficial; however, these are not ordinary times. We cannot underestimate the power of the present Republican Party to divide us and to continue their dangerous agenda. If nothing else, Republicans and Fox News have taught us that staying on message means a lot to voters and is essential for keeping voter confidence. Democratic candidates need to be delivering a consistent message, rather than trying to outdo one another or simply reacting to attacks from the right. If they are seriously interested in saving our democracy and getting the best, they must focus on the needs of the American people and abandon the competition of the primaries that leaves voters disengaged, disenfranchised and ultimately refusing to vote.

All candidates need to come together NOW for the purpose of planning, developing and instituting a clear and consistent platform that supports social justice, attention to the environment, health care, education and the pursuit of peaceful approaches to world issues. That accomplished, the candidates must then collectively select the nominee for president and vice president — those who have the best chance of winning in 2020 — and all agree to work to get them elected. Should they win the general election, they will have the backing of all the candidates and the ability to form a strong coalition government that includes all their individual strengths and expertise. They won't have beaten one another up in order to win the nomination and the voters will support the nominee rather than abandon the political process because their candidate did not win.

The benefits of this strategy:

1. It will unite the party around succinct, intelligent ideas that support the values of their constituents.

2. There will be less of an appearance of ego and more intent on fostering the common good. The election will be less about the person and more about the issues.

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3. It will prevent clashes on the platform issues and help diminish the attacks on the candidates from within and outside the party.

4. It will build a much stronger and larger base without splintering the vote.

5. It will set an example of what it means to work collaboratively and to run on collective ideas.

6. It will allow for the pooling of resources and money for advertising and campaigning. Large donors or corporations will be supporting a platform, not an individual, avoiding a candidate being beholden to that organization or business.

7. It will invite more people and potential voters into the conversation and avoid the "I won't vote for so and so because my candidate didn't get the nomination" thus giving the election away again.

If you see this as a good strategy and a chance to put some sanity back into our government, please spread the word!!!! We have to start somewhere!!

Jane Findlay

Brattleboro, May 18


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