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LETTERS

The Democrats are at each other again

In this Feb. 25 file photo. then-Democratic presidential candidates Senator Elizabeth Warren, Senator Bernie Sanders, and former vice president Joe Biden participate in a presidential primary debate in Charleston, S.C. Calls for pragmatic centrism helped President-elect Biden clinch the Democratic nomination. But they left many of the party’s strongest liberals worried that little progress will be made toward their sweeping goals.
In this Feb. 25 file photo. then-Democratic presidential candidates Senator Elizabeth Warren, Senator Bernie Sanders, and former vice president Joe Biden participate in a presidential primary debate in Charleston, S.C. Calls for pragmatic centrism helped President-elect Biden clinch the Democratic nomination. But they left many of the party’s strongest liberals worried that little progress will be made toward their sweeping goals.Matt Rourke/Associated Press

Heed wisdom of Trump voters: A job with a living wage is the most effective social program

Re “A country splintered, a party divided: Democratic differences complicate Biden’s task” (Page A1, Nov. 16): How do you sue a political party for malpractice?

The Democrats should routinely be getting 80 percent of the popular vote — and soundly winning the electoral vote (though that’s another story).

My grandfather was a tool and die maker who would laugh at the idea of voting Republican. Yet today the working man’s vote (use of gender intentional) is going to Donald Trump’s GOP.

The Democrats could pass a first iteration of the Green New Deal if they framed it as an infrastructure and jobs program. Trump voters know what the progressive wing apparently doesn’t — that a job with a living wage is the most effective social program of all. Trump spoke (speciously) to that overriding concern. Progress on climate change and social justice, including economic inequality, will be much more likely if there is food on the table.

President-elect Joe Biden has already set the right tone on the social issues and detoxifying the political climate. He and the rest of his party need to first address middle-class economic anxiety if they don’t want to drown in a “red wave” in 2022.

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Mark Lohr

Jamaica Plain


Key to success: moderate candidates — and policy

Re “A country splintered, a party divided”: Progressive claims of not having lost seats in swing districts in Congress may be technically correct, but they are highly misleading. The single instance cited, Katie Porter, represents a district in California that Hillary Clinton won by more than 5 percentage points in 2016 and was not considered a swing district. Republicans did not seriously contend the district, getting outraised more than 10 to 1.

In 2018, moderate Democrats retook the House of Representatives while Our Revolution, the progressive group aligned with Bernie Sanders, lost all of their 22 races against Republicans. Justice Democrats, the group that recruited Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez among other progressive challengers in overwhelmingly Democratic districts, has never flipped a single seat from Republican to Democrat.

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This is not a new phenomenon. Political science research has consistently shown that moderate candidates do better; 2018 and 2020 are merely the latest data points.

Liam Kerr

Needham

The author is cofounder of The Welcome Party, which engages independent voters and advocates for a big-tent Democratic Party.


He voted for Democrat for president for first time, and he has a warning for progressives

Dear progressives: I know you are dreaming big. I don’t blame you. But your dreams will kill your long-term goals.

I voted for a Democratic presidential candidate for my first time ever in this election. I always voted Republican until 2016, when I voted for the Libertarian ticket of Gary Johnson and William Weld. Donald Trump bothered me way before he ran for president.

But let’s be clear: My vote for Joe Biden and Kamala Harris in no way indicates that I want Elizabeth Warren (whom I have never voted for as senator) or Bernie Sanders to have any more say in the running of things than they do now as two out of 100 senators. And I’m not alone. Voters put Republicans back into the House in seats held by Democrats. As for the Senate, it will either remain in Republican hands or, if the Democrats gain control, it will be with the consistent deciding vote of the vice president.

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If you want to see Biden and Harris serve but one term, keep pushing far-left ideas. We are a 51-49 country on most days — not overly liberal or overly conservative. More people voted for Trump in Massachusetts in 2020 than in 2016. To discount what more than 72 million Americans voted for is something you do at your party’s peril.

Sometimes you just have to take your victories, push for incremental change, and stay away from the edges of the swimming pool.

The only blue wave out there is the ocean tide that rolls in twice a day.

Dave Pill

Pittsfield