Democrat Tim Ryan (D-OH) is campaigning to be the next House minority leader, a job he hopes to win from far-left Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA). While his prospects are slim, he has an important message that he hopes the Democrat Party at large will hear.
Ryan went on NBC and spoke with Meet the Press host Chuck Todd about the various problems currently ailing the Democrat Party. Ryan mentioned one major problem in particular, the constant Democrat focus on playing “identity politics” by dividing the American people based on secondary features (like race, creed, color, sex, etc). Ryan argues that the Democrat Party needs to return to focusing on issues that actually matter to Americans and to stop yelling at Republicans about racism, sexism, homophobia, and other similar tropes. This kind of argumentation and name-calling does the nation no good and actually turns voters off and causes a culture of fear and distrust.
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Chuck Todd: “Do you think he’s alluding to identity politics here as the failure? What do you believe the failure is?”
Tim Ryan: “I think, in part, we try to slice the electorate up. And we try to say, ‘You’re black, you’re brown, you’re gay, you’re straight, you’re a woman, you’re a man.’ The reality of it is there’s no juice in that kind of campaign. There’s no energy in that because it’s divided…
The reality of it is our message has been wrong, but we can’t keep saying, ‘Oh, we got the message wrong, and so please forgive us.’ We’ve been getting the message wrong since 2010. We’ve got to get the message right. We’ve got to have the right messenger. And we’ve got to have someone who can not just go on MSNBC, but go on Fox and Fox Business and CNBC, and go into union halls and fish frys and churches all over the country and start a brush fire about what a new Democratic Party looks like.”
Ryan also said that liberals needed to stop mocking GOP voters and deriding their candidates because it was turning half the country against their party.
“I think we have an obligation to respect the voter who put Trump in. And we may not like it. And we may have fought really hard. I traveled the country for a year and a half helping Hillary Clinton to try to become president. But we have to respect what the American people have done.”
Ryan further argued that Hillary Clinton and her supporters should not join Jill Stein in contesting Donald Trump’s victory.
“I would counsel against it. But I’m moving on. I mean we’ve got elections to win. We need to start rebuilding. But, you know, they’re in a different position than I am. We’re moving into the next Congress. We have this leadership race. We’ve got to fill the DNC position. We’ve got to move forward. And I think that’s the best thing for us to do.”