To All Democrats: Start Leading Today!

November 15, 2010

(ChattahBox Op/Ed) – I’m not in the mood today to wax eloquently about politics or go out and skip though the olive tree fields to find a fallen branch in which to offer the Republicans as we begin the lame duck session of Congress today.  I’m neither feeling generous of compassionate today, and I am aware that as I think about the plethora of issues that will go ignored in the next two weeks and how little legislating will get done, I am certain that America doesn’t win as we approach the leadership change in the House and what is surely going to be dominated obstruction and regression.

I am also powerless to do anything about it; we all are to be honest.

With that made plainly clear I am offering a bit of advice to my Democratic brethren in the country and serving in Congress.  Well, maybe advice isn’t the right word, but I’m looking for a cathartic and a healing opportunity of only to make myself feel better this morning.  So yeah, I’m being a bit selfish today, but so what, I have a right to how I feel and sadly I have powerful reasons for how I feel.

My message today is intended for Democrats.

Wake the freak up!  Grow a set and start using the gifts that you have and start leading in a way that looks like something that is leadership.  Stop waiting for America to find you and go out and find America.  Believe that your message and your agenda is the best course for America and then go out and sell it like you have never sold anything before.  Stand up and be counted and be counted on.  And try to remember that it has historically been the Democrats that have been brokers, designers, and reshaped the America we needed in times of hardship and great need.

We need that now more than ever.

As an American I am frustrated; as a Democrat I am infuriated.   I have chronicled the accomplishments of the Democrats over the last two years and have gladly done so as it marked real progressive progress and change that matter to all of us.  Democrats and President Obama have instituted great sweeping change in many areas of our lives that really matter, and it is clear that we have a President that desperately wants change and wants to lead with conviction and intelligence.  It is profoundly critical that we continue on a path that brings dramatic change to the way we run this country and that the ongoing relentless inequality that Republicans love be ousted and shoved aside so that the slight progress that is being made takes hold and has a chance to have the effect that matter in our everyday lives.

Democrats need to rediscover their voice and refuse to let anyone take their message and manipulate it ever again.  They need to fight and get their hands dirty when it’s time to do that and that time is now.  We don’t need moderates leading our charge, what we need are real people with a real passion for America to be unafraid to not only do the right thing but to make the right thing happen to begin with.

Democrats need to learn how to fight back, but they also need to learn how to start the fight, too.  If this country wants to grow and find its way back to prominence and financial stability then great courage and leadership is needed.  But we also cannot allow regressive policies and positions rule the order of business in this country.  It will take a real leader to keep this country on track and keep the Democrats on their message and on their agenda.  You have to play the hand you’ve been dealt and it’s clear that Democrats have done a miserable job at defining themselves and the clear victories they have given this country and allowed their Republican counterparts to play the hand for them.  Shame on you for playing fair, it’s not working.

Listen, I know you have made mistakes and I’m genuinely sorry that you have allowed your message and your agenda to be hijacked, but you did, so get over it and learn from it.  You did lead but you allowed the Republicans to lie and did nothing to stop it figuring “We the People” would figure it out on our own, we didn’t.

So now what?  Grow a set and demand the respect you have earned the hard way.  Support the President and make sure that at every turn you look as unified as you possibly can.  Demand legislation that moves the country forward and is at the center of every conversation and stop thinking we care about you personally, we don’t.  We care about our country, our families, and our future and we know you have the answers that will get us there.  We know that Republican rule will mean a large step backward and we know that the GOP leadership is not concerned about much more than protecting their wealthy political partners, history taught us that and continues to teach us that.

Democrats…it’s time to lead!

The next two weeks will most assuredly be embarrassing to the Democratic Party as they squirm and wiggle to try and find something to call progress, and most likely they won’t, but the next two weeks could and should be a test for January when the 112th Congress is sworn in.  Grow a set now and make sure the Republicans and more importantly the American people know that without a doubt that if what change is what they wanted then change starts with a Democratic Party that is not afraid to stand for what it believes in but is also willing to fight for it as well.

It’s really that simple.  Try it.

Tony Trupiano is a former national syndicated progressive radio talk show host, author, and a former candidate for Congress. He is also a nationally recognized media trainer.  He can be reached at and can read his Blog at


2 Responses to “To All Democrats: Start Leading Today!”

  1. Miles on November 15th, 2010 2:13 pm

    Its so refreshing to hear someone say something intelligent about what the Democrats and Obama need to be doing! This is the key point that the Dem strategists are missing. If the Obama has been naive about one thing, it is in their neglect of the reality and necessity of spin. Obama was a great campaigner. What he needs to remember is that the campaign doesn’t end when you reach office. The Obama whitehouse needs to wake up and get with the reality of our adversarial political system. The Republican party will do anything to get in the way of moving the country forward. We cannot sit by while they define the national discourse, and make the significant legislative accomplishments of the last two years look like some kind of mistake. We must argue vigorously and tirelessly for the merits of what we’ve accomplished even while cleaning up the mess made by the Bush Administration. The Republican party is weak and lacking in vision. The Democratic leadership must do everything possible to undermine their position, while articulating and selling a real progressive vision for America.

  2. Trupiano on November 15th, 2010 4:44 pm

    Bravo, Miles, Bravo!

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