Democratic Party needs younger blood

We have seen a lot of rumors about the possible forced retirement of Nancy Pelosi after the spectacular loss of Jon Ossoff in Georgia’s 6th special congressional election last week. He lost to Republican Karen Handel, 48.1 percent to her 51.9 percent.

It’s amazing that the Democrats thought they could make the seat Democratic given that that was Newt Gringrich’s seat and was most recently held by Dr. Tom Price, the Health and Human Services secretary. Tom Price won the district by 61.7 percent in November. Depending on whose numbers you use, Democrats raised somewhere between $23 million and $25 million for Jon Ossoff’s campaign. That’s an amazing fundraising effort in a district that has been Republican for years.

There has been a lot of speculation in the press about why the Democrats lost. First, it is a Republican district. Why would Democrats ever think they could win it? Jon Ossoff getting 48.1 percent of the vote is actually amazing. However, 48.1 percent of the vote is far from a win.

With all of that money raised, it is unbelievable that he did not live in the district. Why didn’t he rent an apartment and live in the district in which he was running? He said he grew up in the district and that he was supporting and living with his fiance, who is a medical student in the Atlanta area. I am glad he loves his girlfriend, but that is not the same as living in the district in which you are running. Why didn’t Democrats who were raising money for his election tell him to live in the district?

Then there is the Nancy Pelosi question. Much has been made about her retiring. I am one who likes her but believes her time has come to leave. As John F. Kennedy said in 1961 at his inauguration, “[T]he torch has been passed to a new generation of Americans.”

I spoke to Dr. Chip Espinoza (Disclosure: He’s a relative of mine) about the generational issues with Nancy Pelosi. Dr. Espinoza is an expert at generational issues and specifically the millennial generation. He has written three books on the issue of generational change, and he consults all over the world on it. He co-authored “Millennials@Work: The 7 Skills Every Twenty-Something Needs to Overcome Roadblocks and Achieve Greatness,” “Managing the Millennials: Discover the Core Competencies for Managing Today’s Workforce” and “Millennials Who Manage: How to Overcome Workplace Perceptions and Become a Great Leader.” He is also the academic director of the organizational psychology program at Concordia University Irvine.

I asked him about the controversy with Nancy Pelosi, and he said: There is a basic frustration of both generation X and the millennials with the baby-boomer generation (born between 1946 and 1964). They see the boomers like a bad case of herpes, because they want to continue working and they won’t go away. The next two generations see boomers as limiting upper mobility and opportunities as well as impeding the influence of the newer generations.

There is also, Dr. Espinoza says, a perception by activist groups that there needs to be different tactics and methodology. He also said young people appreciate what the older generations have done to advance causes that are important to them, but there the needs to be a change in how activists go about making change in the future. He also said there is a built in suspicion about people who are self-serving verse self-giving. On Thursday this week, Nancy Pelosi told reporters at the Capitol, “I think I’m worth the trouble.”

Chip Espinoza asks: When does the shift take place from self-giving to self-serving? If you stay in those positions, when do you give them up to future generations? The issue, he says, is not what Pelosi has or has not done; the issue is, what can Democrats do to move forward? We can argue about the variables of the loss, but he says there is a common denominator in all of this, and the Democratic Party needs a new voice. He says, “For better or for worse, new voices get squashed,” and the “Democratic Party has to give voice to a new generation.”

Perhaps if it wants to win future elections, the Democratic Party should have a leadership conference to listen to generation X and millennials and their ideas for an agenda. They must learn how to “pass the torch” and retire some of the ideas, tactics and leaders of the boomer generation.

Media wishing to interview Ellen Ratner, please contact media@wnd.com.

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Democratic Party needs younger blood
Source: WND