Salon: Opinion: Mike Conrad: The Left’s Real Choice in 2016: Why it Doesn’t Need Elizabeth Warren to Run
I agree that the Democratic Party needs a strong progressive challenger to Hillary Clinton. At the very least to challenge Hillary for working-class blue-collar voters that use to be the core of the Democratic Party that are now moving to the Republican Party. My preferred choice is former Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley. Who I believe once Democrats get to know him, especially young Democrats they’ll get to like him a lot. And then they look at his record as Mayor of Baltimore and Governor of Maryland, they’ll like him even more. A Democrat not of Washington, but someone whose had to govern and get things done with real results, with real executive experience. Not from Congress who just has to look and sound good and stay out of trouble. But doesn’t really have to govern as long as they are fighting the good fight.
Martin O’Malley, will probably sound like a corporatist or centrist mushy-middle New Democrat to a lot of so-called Progressives. But he isn’t because his whole agenda is about the middle class and empowering more Americans to join it. Through things like infrastructure, education, job training, making government work and not just bigger. These are things that Democrats use to stand for as a party. And not just a faction of the party, but we use to be a party of Democrats Liberals and Progressives who wanted to use government to actually empower people. And not make people dependent on it for the rest of their lives. O’Malley is a JFK Liberal Democrat and someone who knows how to govern and who actually has governed. And not sit in Congress or teach at an Ivy League university.
But if Martin O’Malley is not progressive enough for today’s lets say real Progressives and not people who are more socialist in nature, but who call themselves Progressives, you have alternatives as well. And you don’t have to pick a McGovernite who’ll scare the hell out of American business’s and send all of our good jobs oversees as a result. Because they don’t want to get taxed and regulated out of business. Or a Democratic Socialist who’ll do exactly that and make state and local government’s, as well as individuals almost meaningless, because of all the power that will now be in Washington. Someone like Senator Sherrod Brown of Ohio would make a great progressive challenger to Hillary.
If Progressives want to be a real factor in the Democratic Party and hold real leadership positions in the Administration, Congress and at the state level, they need to go back to their roots and go back to what progressivism really is. And not make it democratic socialism under a different name. They need to go back to FDR and LBJ and be about using government to empower people and so the American economy works for everybody. Not make government so big that people essentially don’t have to take responsibility for themselves for anything. Because Uncle Sam is big enough to do practically everything for everybody. Senator Brown is a real Progressive. He would be the Howard Dean of 2016 and someone who could go straight to blue-collar Democrats and Independents for their votes. Be able to compete in the Midwest, Northeast and South for their votes. Because of his appeal to working-class Americans that he’s represented in Ohio in Congress since 1993. And is someone who real Progressives should look at.