Forsyth Democratic chairman agrees party must compete

Forsyth Democrats Chair Eric Ellison

Forsyth Democratic chairman agrees party must compete
March 30
11:00 2017



In words that echoed across the Democratic Party, newly appointed Deputy Chairman of the Democratic National Committee, Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.), told the annual meeting of the New Hampshire Democratic Party on Saturday, March 25,  that the party should continue to challenge Republicans not only in Washington, D.C., but especially in the state legislatures and governorships.

“We can’t just say it’s all about Trump,” Rep. Ellison told the gathering, later adding that the fight to “literally save the nation” was just beginning. “We’ve got to have a higher vision than just winning an election. When we set our sights as, really, agents and champions for the American people, people start feeling the flow.”

The DNC deputy chairman will be pleased to know that here in North Carolina, among those agreeing with him is his brother, Eric, chairman of the Forsyth County Democratic Party.

“In the past nine years, we have lost over 950 seats, and we’re talking about state Houses, governors, in addition to the congressional seats,” Chairman Ellison, who is also a Winston-Salem attorney, said.  “North Carolina is the best example of where state governments are in a position to do just as much harm, if not more, than our federal government,” an obvious reference to the GOP-led North Carolina General Assembly, and its controversial laws like HB2, and court-cases seeking to take power away from Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper.

“We do need to call out the Republican Party when they put out false news, when they put out statements which are lies, when they put out policies that they say are helping the American people, when they are not,” Ellison said. ”I wholeheartedly believe that we need to bring that fight, and need to bring that hard.”

No question that Chairman Ellison sees Republican policies as a major hurdle towards adequately addressing the needs of the grassroots, but he cautions that fighting those policies should not be confused with fighting Republicans. Ellison says the Democratic Party exists to serve all people, and it must do a better job of getting that message out.

“When we ignore whole sections of Democrats, we aren’t competing,” Ellison continued.

“We work on behalf of all citizens, of all workers, so we don’t want to pick fights with people just because they’re Republicans. We do want to pick a fight, and wage a war for the best ideas for the citizens of Forsyth County, North Carolina [and the nation],” he said. “We’re fighting the fight of ideas and policies, and what’s best for working class people and the working poor.”

Ellison said Democrats need to “stick to our high ideals, stick to our high value in democracy … but we do need to compete smarter, and better.”

Acknowledging that there are “right-wing zealots who just want to destroy government,” he also noted that there are “moderate, reasonable Republicans” who could join with Democrats to bring about constructive change.

Ellison pointed to the schism that occurred last week when ultra-conservative GOP House Freedom Caucus members refused to go along with President Trump and Speaker Paul Ryan on the repeal-and-replace for Obamacare, forcing Ryan to pull the bill because of insufficient Republican support.

Now some moderate Republicans say maybe they can work with moderate Democrats to accomplish mutual agendas, like improving roads and bridges in the nation’s infrastructure.

Chairman Ellison agrees that such a partnership could work, though he’s not clear on whether North Carolina moderate Republicans are ready and willing.

“There is an opportunity for us to have reasoned, debatable, government and democracy with reasonable Republicans,” he said.

“Once we take the Democratic Party back to the communities which we represent, back to grassroots organizing, we will win. There are more registered Democrats than Republicans in Forsyth County, in the state and the nation. We have to engage those people in democracy,[because] when citizens sit on the sideline and don’t participate, we get people like #45 (Trump) elected president.”

“If we do what we’re supposed to do,” Chairman Ellison concluded,” … we win – period!”

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