A Call to Action for the Democratic Party

When I coach executives, I encourage them to conduct experiments by testing out new behaviors. The point of the experiment is to do your best, and then learn as much as you can from your experience.

The Democratic Party just completed a pretty big experiment, with its first female candidate running for President.

Here’s a review to help the Democratic Party win the next election.

Went well:

1. Hillary won the popular vote in this country. She successfully engaged Latinos, African Americans, Muslims, Christians, Jews, women and men, the young and the elderly, recent immigrants, rich and poor. The majority of Americans voted for her. This is an amazing accomplishment.

2. Hillary mobilized more volunteers who made calls, wrote letters and knocked on doors than in any other presidential election in modern history.

3. Hillary was prepared and polished throughout the campaign, inspiring millions by describing her stance on the issues and what she would do if she became President.

Do differently:

1. We need to do more to engage white, non-college educated, blue-collar men. We need to learn how to speak their language so they will hear us. When they go low, we should go high and bring them up with us. That is what Nelson Mandela did in South Africa: he positively engaged the people who had previously oppressed him when they were at their most vulnerable. We need to do the same.

2. Close the gap between college educated and non-college educated people in this country (which is of course what Hillary would have helped us do if she were President, but we must find a way to do it now anyway). If this education divide continues to grow, the poorest, least educated people in this country will continue to vote for demagogues who appeal to their prejudices.

3. Our electoral college system was designed to favor rural Americans. Today, this gives voters in a handful of states more power over the outcome of the election than voters in other states. For the second time in 20 years, the democratic candidate who won the popular vote lost the election. We need to replace the electoral college. We’re counting the popular vote anyway; why make things more complicated? Trump himself tweeted during the campaign that the electoral college is a “disaster”.

We need to open up a national, popular dialogue on these issues. If these ideas speak to you, keep adding to them. What do you think Hillary did well? What can we do differently or better next time? Add your ideas in the comments below.