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Dem Victors Say Democrat, Progressive Not Socialist &Bold 10-Pt Agenda: Weiner, Lasky in Tallahassee Democrat&USAToday

Weiner and Lasky say Dem upset winners Gillum & Presley gave Democrats lesson for the midterms:say “Democrat” or “Progressive” not “Socialist," 10-pt bold plan

WASHINGTON, DC, UNITED STATES, September 11, 2018 / -- In an op-ed published this week in The Tallahassee Democrat and the USA Today network, Robert Weiner and Ben Lasky contend that recent Democratic upset winners Andrew Gillum (FL) and Ayana Presley (MA) have given Democrats a lesson for the midterm elections: say “Democrat” or “Progressive,” not “Socialist,” and provide a specific, bold plan. Weiner and Lasky also include a Ten-Point issue agenda because “Democrats need their own positive plan.”

Weiner and Lasky begin, “lost in Republican gubernatorial candidate Ron DeSantis’ ‘monkey this up’ remark was another term meant to mislead voters: calling Tallahassee mayor Andrew Gillum’s ideas a ‘socialist agenda.’”

They continue, “Unlike some on the left, Gillum does not identify as a socialist. On Aug. 29’s ‘MTP Daily’ on MSNBC, Gillum said, ‘I’m a Democrat. I ran as a Democrat, I am a Democrat. And frankly, the values that I hold are consistent with the values of the Democratic Party.’”

They explain, “Ayanna Pressley, the September 4 Massachusetts upset victor over 10-term congressman Michael Capuano, also did not say ‘socialist’ in promoting a bold progressive platform.”

They write, “This isn’t a new issue in Florida. Sen. Claude Pepper failed to win a third term in 1950, partly because his opponent, George Smathers, gave him the nickname ‘Red Pepper’ for his liberal beliefs like universal health care.”
They argue, “When most people hear the word socialist, they picture the hammer and sickle. Republicans will advertise this fear.”

They go on, “Even among Democrats, it's one of the reasons Bernie Sanders didn't win the nomination. In reality, Democratic socialists aren’t in favor of socialism's authoritarianism. Socialism implies a state control over your mind.”

They continue, “Democrats should continue talking about their main points to win in November’s midterms, and quit the socialism branding. It's fine to be against Trump. He now has the lowest approval since his presidency began — people don't trust him.”

They write, “They support Mueller by 20 points over Trump on the investigation of Russian election collaboration. They know the "Trump Tower meeting" happened, and they know about the Bank of Cyprus and other Russian banks covering his bankruptcies.”

They argue, “With the Stormy Daniels and Karen McDougall hush money confirmations in the Michael Cohen guilty pleas, and the president's lie to Comey about having no time to be in the Moscow hotel alleged in the Steele dossier, Americans are making their own determinations.”

They explain, “Those are allegations for which Democrats can demand answers if the president wants to prove there is no Russian "kompromat" or blackmail vulnerability.”

They go on, “But if they want to retake the Congress, Democrats need their own positive issues, just as Newt Gingrich did with the "Contract with America" in 1994. Here's a 10-point plan that incorporates the upset platforms of Gillum, Pressley and New York's Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who also defeated a powerful 10-term incumbent.”

Weiner and Lasky conclude, “When politicians call themselves socialists, their words take a back seat because they’re automatically seen as fringe candidates. ‘Democrat’ or ‘progressive’ will do just fine.”

Robert Weiner is a former White House spokesman and was chief of staff of the U.S. House Aging Committee and Health Subcommittee under Chairman Claude Pepper. Ben Lasky is senior policy analyst for Robert Weiner Associates and Solutions for Change.

Robert Weiner
Weirner Public News
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