Imagining A Twenty-First Century Democratic Party

Our hope for the future is not found in our current politics. We are paralyzingly encumbered by a politics of division and polarization. We must do better. Our republic needs a politics of harmonization and unity if we have any hope to deal with the astonishing challenges that await us.

As the world’s oldest democracy with the most powerful economy and military, the future will bring great urgency for America to make its system of representative democracy work as it should. To imagine a 21st century Democratic Party is to imagine a 21st Century desperately in need of leaders of extraordinary character and wisdom.  The 21st century needs a Democratic Party that will be a large and representative community of Democrats acting as a deliberative democracy. It is in such a Democratic community where leaders of extraordinary character and wisdom can emerge.

We need a 21st Century Democratic Party built on this mission: To prepare and to elect leaders who are of the people and who demonstrate exceptional leadership skills and civic virtue. 

  1. Such leaders emerge from a bottom-up, grassroots process, rather than a top-down hierarchical process.
  2. They are known by their connection and service to meaningful broad-based communities and by their capacity to deal with conflicting points of view to find an avenue for consensus.

I like the TV ads for “Buddy” the carpet salesman who declares, “We don’t want to make money, we just love to sell carpet.” The 21st Century Democratic Party we need is one that can say, “We just love to make the system of representative democracy work as it is suppose to work.” By focusing on making the system work as it should, Democrats will be elected in droves.

Each of Ohio’s 88 counties has an independent Democratic Party organization structured according to a locally developed and locally approved constitution. The first step to imagining a 21st century Democratic Party, with a mission as stated above, is to envision a Democratic Party in Montgomery County where that mission is a reality.

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