In our increasingly complex world it has becoming more and more difficult to make good choices. It’s hard to know who to believe and who to trust. It is challenging for the majority of people to have the knowledge and education to understand many of the issues facing us.
For example, I believe in healthcare for all. I believe some level of healthcare is a right rather then a privilege. But the truth is nobody can predict with certainty the outcome of many of the decisions we make on healthcare policy. There are too many factors, too many unknowns and predicting human behavior is notoriously difficult. Will easy access to healthcare encourage folks to adopt healthier lifestyles or facilitate poor choices with little or no consequence? Should all of us bear the cost of your poor choice to be a heavy smoker and subsist on candy? But, if not, what are the alternatives?
The same can be said of trade policy. We use phrases like ‘free-trade’ but aren’t clear about their meaning. Does it mean a country is free to sell us goods made by slave labor? Does that mean we’re free to flood a country with goods putting their local manufacturers out of business?
Does every country have to meet our same high standards for food production? Should American companies be free to manufacture a good we want in another country where they can dump untreated hazardous waste in the nearest stream?
We often rely on expert policymakers to help us make these decisions. We look to people who share our values and whom we can trust. That’s why all of us as Democrats should care about what’s happening in California. There is plenty that has been said about the race for State Party Chair as a contest between the party insider & the outsider, between Northern & Southern California, and between two different leadership styles. Until now, there was truth in all of these.
Now, there is one overriding question. Does the largest State Democratic Party in the country have the transparency, integrity and willingness to hold each and every leader accountable? Or are we really no different then the Republicans in the end. Are we also guilty of thinking that the ends justify the means? Do we tell ourselves the same lines that Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell must have repeated a thousand times; ‘so what if his way of getting elected was a bit sketchy – it’s over now, let’s move on. Our agenda is more important.’
If we think our ‘end’ being superior to theirs, excuses anything, then we have completely lost our way.
Our best path is to step up and show the entire country that we are worthy of their trust. Even if it airs some dirty laundry, even if it means changing election results and causes us disruption & inconvenience, we must commit ourselves to doing right. We can and must do everything within our power to see that the vast majority of our constituents, in this case the State Delegates, are satisfied with the honesty and integrity of the election of our Party Chair.
Establishing the Democratic Party as the one to trust because they are willing to do the right thing, even when it is hard and painful, is priceless. This will help us more in the fight against Donald Trump than anything that can be accomplished by the CDP Chair in the next 8 weeks. That is why I believe we must have an independent forensic audit to either lay to rest, or substantiate claims of voting irregularities without further delay. Only by confronting our own ethical obligations, can we claim the moral authority to challenge the Republican swamp in Washington, DC.
Barbara Nelson has been involved in OC politics for over 40 years. She is an elected ADEM representative and organized on behalf of Kimberly Ellis in Orange County.
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For a different view on this issue, consider: