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Democrats Must Change Their Mascot from the Donkey to the Ostrich

Johnny Townsend: Moderate Democrats have been blaming progressives regularly since Trump won the presidency in 2016. They’re pre-blaming us now for the next defeat.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, in an interview with Lesley Stahl, insisted that Democrats need to “hold the center,” dismissing the progressive wing of the party as “like five people.”

Democrat Mascot

Thank God Democrats won’t lose any more than five votes in the 2020 election. We can all breathe a sigh of relief. The centrists have won the tug of war between progressives and moderates. We are safe now from unrealistic ideas.

But then Pelosi went on to say that she is a progressive.

Uh oh.

During the ten years I taught logical reasoning to college students, I pointed out how to recognize when opponents are changing the definitions of key terms in the middle of an argument. It’s a sign they don’t have something substantial to offer in their defense.

Pelosi went on to say that the Affordable Care Act is better than Medicare for All. She probably hasn’t talked to my sister, an LPN who can’t afford insurance. She’s had to pay the tax penalty instead, but that penalty hasn’t actually provided her any coverage. She told me several other nurses in the facility where she works can’t afford insurance, either.

Nurses without health insurance. And Democrats say President Trump is the emperor with no clothes.

Moderate Democrats have been blaming progressives regularly since Trump won the presidency in 2016. They’re pre-blaming us now for the next defeat.

Wouldn’t it be better to simply avoid that defeat by recognizing the obvious?

Moderate Democrats have been blaming progressives regularly since Trump won the presidency in 2016. They’re pre-blaming us now for the next defeat.

Casting blame on progressives, publicly shaming us, and assigning guilt to us is not an effective strategy. When I told my Mormon bishop I was gay, he explained in great detail why I was “choosing” the wrong path. He had me read a book written by prophet Spencer W. Kimball, “The Miracle of Forgiveness.” He sent me to a Mormon therapist who had me read “The Unhappy Gays.” He sent me to an ex-gay therapist.

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My bishop told me I’d be cast into Outer Darkness for eternity.

But you know why none of that changed my mind about coming out? Because once you know something, you can’t unknow it.

I was excommunicated from the Mormon Church, attending a “Court of Love” to hear the verdict. I was no longer welcome in their midst.

That didn’t prevent countless other gay Mormons from leaving the Church. It didn’t prevent countless other straight members who loved their gay friends and family from leaving the Church. Once a critical mass of people recognize a truth, there is no going back for them OR for the organization. Refusing to acknowledge the obvious will not save any organization.

Casting blame on progressives won’t give the moderates strength. Being blamed by centrists won’t limit the power of progressives.

Pelosi and other moderate Democrats dismiss us at their peril. And ours, too. We need them to move to the left as well. For years, I bore my testimony in Fast and Testimony meeting that I “knew” the Church was true. But even as I said those words, I always knew I only believed. I simply thought that if I said the right words often enough, it might finally be true.

But it wasn’t. I understand the difference between belief and knowledge. And what I know is that the Democratic Party won’t survive long on gas fumes. Democratic leadership must move to the left, and do it soon, if they want to maintain any power at all.

If they insist on bearing testimony that they are the one true path to happiness, they might want to consider changing the party’s mascot from a donkey to an ostrich.
Or maybe something closer to an elephant instead.

Johnny Townsend

A woolly mammoth, perhaps?

Johnny Townsend