An Open Letter to Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
On the subject of the Justice Democrats.
This letter is in regards to the ongoing “feud” between you, and the young leftists who’ve recently joined your ranks in Congress. With all due respect I would just like to make some points that your comments reveal you may be missing, and discuss some of the hypocrisy in said comments as well.
Firstly, the underlying premise to your criticisms of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ilhan Omar, Rashida Tlaib, and Ayanna Presley seem to all revolve around the same theme: unity for the sake of unity, and your frustration with the notion that these individuals won’t simply fall in line. Unfortunately, this ignores the idea that there are deep ideological differences between their policy platforms and their political approaches as opposed to yours. For instance, when it comes to the funding of the border wall, the notion of allowing the Trump administration to have billions of dollars worth of funding, and demanding absolutely no oversight when you and Chuck Schumer had the leverage to was a battle they absolutely felt they had to pick, and I would argue that they had justifiable reasons for picking that fight. This is an issue that they take very personally, as all of us should, and to mock and minimize their protests the way you did in the New York Times was frankly a very, very poor manner of approaching the situation.
Secondly, there is no denying that the freshman democrats are the future of the Democratic Party, and to belittle them and their ideas is silly, but also telling. You rode their coattails to the cover of Rolling Stone, banking on their populist political clout (that you belittled by calling it their twitter “whatever”) to get you back in to your position of power. Now, suddenly, that political clout is an inconvenient problem when they implore you to actually use that political power to help the most vulnerable people currently in this country. You call on them to talk to you in private, but they do. You plea unity, but only behind the moderates. That unity goes out the window when you decide to throw them under the bus in the New York Times.
Differing viewpoints, at times, can be inconvenient. But I think it’s important to acknowledge those differences and even how they frustrate you without resorting to petty hypocrisy. I would also note that unity for the sake of unity is not always healthy. Differing viewpoints and engagement can bring out the best in people and their movements, and turning your back on that is not going to do your political party or even our democracy any favors. Everyone within the Democratic Party, whether they are moderate or left leaning, should strive to do better and have the courage to bring their disagreements straight to the people in an honest way.
Speaker Pelosi, trying to do better is vital, and these women have joined your party and ran for Congress because they want the left to succeed. They care about the people of this country, and they’ve had the courage to take their ideas to the people. In mocking them, you are mocking the energy of the Democratic Party base, and that’s unfortunate to see.