Give DNC a wake-up call

Give DNC a wake-up call

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The Democratic National Committee (DNC) has refused to dedicate one of its presidential primary debates to the existential issue of our time - climate change. Governor Jay Inslee, led the push among presidential candidates to hold such a debate, and his call was backed by at least half a dozen other Democratic candidates, including Senators Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), Michael Bennet (D-Colo.), and former Obama cabinet official Julián Castro. Although this DNC's decision was shortsighted, its threat to not invite Inslee and others to future DNC-sponsored debates if they choose to participate in a non-DNC-sponsored climate change debate is downright un-American. Why should the DNC get to limit the freedom of speech of candidates running for the party's nomination?

In the run-up to the 2016 presidential election, the DNC overplayed its hand in the primaries, creating mistrust among Bernie Sanders supporters that may well have figured in the eventual defeat of Hilary Clinton by Donald Trump. Has the DNC learned it lesson? Apparently, it has not. As Inslee has rightfully pointed out, “The DNC is silencing the voices of Democratic activists, many of our progressive partner organizations, and nearly half of the Democratic presidential field who want to debate the existential crisis of our time. The climate crisis merits a full discussion of our plans, not a short exchange of talking points.”

It's time for the voters to step in and tell the DNC in no uncertain terms that we want to hear the plans for climate change action that the Democratic candidates support. We must encourage not only Inslee, but also Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders, Kirsten Gillibrand, Michael Bennet, and Julián Castro to challenge the DNC and demand that any candidates who want to participate in such a debate should be allowed to do so without fear of retribution from the DNC.

 

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