…The Enemy of the Good
Unlike Republicans, Democrats have a big tent. We tolerate a diversity of opinion within our ranks. We think of that as an advantage. In terms of electoral appeal, it is. However. it is problematic both in terms of internal appeal and outreach to less progressive independents, such as disaffected Republicans.
In every election cycle, there are Democrats whose desire for perfect candidates becomes the enemy of good but imperfect candidates. It happened in 2016 when some Bernie supporters stayed home or even voted for third party candidates. It is happening again in 2018.
Republicans have so narrowed what will be tolerated from candidates that they do not have to worry very much about supporting someone whose beliefs and positions, or at least their votes, deviate from their opportunistic orthodoxy. They just concentrate on winning and do it very well.
On the other hand, Democrats have a tendency to want candidates whose beliefs and positions mirror their own. Many will deny it. But, often, if a Democrat candidate does not completely reflect what some see as the “right” position on all issues they deem important, those Democrats will be less than enthusiastic in their support for that candidate. Just as importantly in 2018, that ignores the need to win the votes of independents and former Republicans.
Such lukewarm support unfortunately translates to not working to elect these candidates. Unenthusiastic Democrats all too often stay home or do not vote for that candidate, which helps hand elections to Republicans.
An example of a current race is the race for governor. None of our candidates for governor are perfect. But each of them is far better than either Republican. Neither is Sen. Nelson perfect. But he is a great American and, to say the least, far better than Governor Scott, in every way.
So, if you have reservations this year about any of our candidates, put them aside. Shrugging and discounting or not voting for any of them because their position on an issue is different from yours makes you part of the problem.
In 2018, apathy is a luxury Democrats cannot afford.
–Fred Grumman, Communications Committee