Having lived in the Cincy area for more than a decade now, I've watched former Ohio state senator Nina Turner go from one of the champions of black liberal values in an increasingly red Midwest state to Bernie Sanders supporter to where she is now as the new head of "progressive" outfit Our Revolution, and in Collier Meyerson's interview with Turner in The Nation this week, unfortunately it seems like both Turner and her advocacy group are now only committed to the total elimination of the Democratic party as it stands today.
CM: How will Our Revolution relate to the DNC, the DCCC, the DSCC, that kind of establishment that so many activists and politicians, including you, have frequently criticized?
NT: I don’t think it is our job nor our obligation to fit in. It’s their job to fit in with us. But the overwhelming majority of registered voters in this country, I think it’s 53 percent or maybe 54 percent, identify as independent. Now, we know independents lean one way or the other but they identify as independent so that means that both political parties need to do some soul searching. I’m certainly willing to sit across the table with almost anybody if we gonna work towards the collective good, but it is not Our Revolution’s job to fit in with them.
CM: And how will Our Revolution relate to progressives within government who didn’t back Bernie, like Sherrod Brown and Tammy Baldwin, if they go on to seek reelection?
NT: If they want Our Revolution’s endorsement they will seek it like everybody else and so they gotta start with the local affiliates, and if the local affiliates say that this is the person that we want to back, then there it is. There it is.
CM: And what about the Democratic Party at large. Do you see Our Revolution working to bring some unity to factions in the party?
NT: No. Not really. I want people to be unified. I would say that the board of directors wants that too, but we’re here for a very specific purpose, and that is to help the everyday Americans in this country who feel left behind. That is what this movement is about, for people to know that the power is absolutely in their hands and we are providing the organizational structure to give the power back to the people.
CM: Will the group be endorsing non-Democrats?
NT: You know what, yes. We are open to it. And for me, I’ve also heard the senator say this lately too: Let’s put the political affiliation to the side. If there is a Republican or a Libertarian or Green Party person that believes in Medicare for all, then that’s our kind of person. If there’s somebody that believes that Citizens United needs to be overturned, that we need the 28th amendment to the Constitution that declares that money, corporate money, is not speech and that corporations should not have more speech than Mrs. Johnson down the street and Mr. Gonzalez around the corner, then that’s our kind of people.
And there we have it.
Look, she's not completely wrong: there are terrible Democrats out there that aren't reliable votes for progressive issues and who will never will be. They come from places where there really isn't too much difference between being a Democrat and being a Republican.
But the approach she's describing right now, when we have Republicans actively working to undo decades of classical liberalism, civil rights, and voting rights in America? We don't have the luxury of relying on that. We have to get rid of the GOP now, not embrace them if they have the correct values on her check box, because in the end they'll still support the GOP.
It's not your job to fit in the Democratic establishment, Nina? Neither is that of the GOP. Think long and hard about that one.