Just What the Hell is the DNC Thinking?

In the midst of the Democratic National Convention, the Democratic National Committee introduced a platform devoid of language promising to end subsidies for fossil fuels. The DNC took it out of the draft that so many people had worked so hard on and agreed to in advance.

It’s difficult to think of a more effective way to alienate hundreds of thousands, possibly even millions, of Millennial, Generation Z, green and progressive voters.

Just what the hell is the DNC thinking?

Keep in mind, we’re talking about language that was already in the draft of the Democratic Party’s 2020 platform:

“Democrats support eliminating tax breaks and subsidies for fossil fuels, and will fight to defend and extend tax incentives for energy efficiency and clean energy.”

Which was similar to what the Democratic Party adopted in its 2016 platform:

“Democrats believe the tax code must reflect our commitment to a clean energy future by eliminating special tax breaks and subsidies for fossil fuel companies as well as defending and extending tax incentives for energy efficiency and clean energy.”

These kinds of paragraphs are the least of what should be in the party’s platform in relation to addressing the climate crisis.

So… WHY?

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All the DNC has said publicly so far is that “…including the language in the first place had been a procedural ‘error.’” It has offered zero explanation as to why it was considered an error or by whom.

Environmental groups are livid. Understandably.

Greenpeace Executive Director Annie Leonard summed up the anger and consternation concisely:  “We are nearing global tipping points on climate, fires and extreme weather are killing people and devastating the economy, and the DNC can’t even accept an end to public subsidies for making it worse?”

The Sierra Club gave voice to feelings of betrayal – “Instead of reassuring the American people that the Democratic Party is committed to putting public health over corporate polluters, the DNC has quietly endorsed Trump’s recklessness.”

Even as the DNC took the red pen to one of young, green and progressive voters’ key concerns, centrist and conservative Democrats have bemoaned the fact that so few young people vote and that progressives might not go to the polls.

The party’s consternation is misplaced. It should look in the mirror, instead.

Furthermore, Democrats are engaged in voter shaming, telling young voters and progressives that if they sit out the election or vote third party they’ll essentially be voting for Trump.

I’ve been saying the same kinds of things.

While I am a green progressive and stalwart Bernie Sanders supporter, I’ll vote Biden/Harris on November 3. As I’ve written repeatedly, priority #1 has to be ridding this nation of Trump, his enablers and their autocratic proclivities, and we can’t afford to take the risk of another four years of them by not voting or voting third party.

I still believe what I’ve said, more strongly than ever. But, c’mon DNC. Seriously!


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And, again… WHY?

Why create this issue and exacerbate fissures in the shaky alliance between young people, environmental groups, progressives and the Democratic Party?

Some sources suggest the DNC’s flip-flop is tied to its approval a couple of years ago of a “… resolution from Chair Tom Perez that reversed a DNC policy prohibiting it from accepting contributions from fossil fuel PACs.”

I certainly hope that’s not the case, but at this point I gotta say:  the DNC has not given young voters or progressives much reason to believe otherwise.

Thankfully, Joe Biden’s campaign immediately reaffirmed its dedication to eliminating the exorbitant subsidies that fossil fuels industries and companies have been receiving year after year for decades.


Tweet from Biden campaign reaffirming commitment to end fossil fuel subsidies


Stef Feldman, policy director for the Biden campaign said, “Vice President Biden’s commitment to ending fossil fuel subsidies remains as steadfast as it was when he outlined this position in the bold climate plan he laid out last year. He will demand a worldwide ban on fossil fuel subsidies and lead the world by example, eliminating fossil fuel subsidies in the United States during the first year of his presidency.”

I sure hope so.


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Look, DNC, you want young and progressive voters? Pay attention to what we’re saying. Take action to address our concerns. Do not undo what you’ve already promised. Do right by us.

Meanwhile, if you’re wondering how to regain some faith, there’s a quick and easy solution.

Put the anti-fossil-fuel language back in the platform. Now.


Black outlined graphic indicating copyright 2020 Martin C. Fredricks IV

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Featured image graphic by Pete Linforth via Pixabay.

Martin C. Fredricks IV

Martin C. “Red” Fredricks IV here. I’m husband to an amazing woman who is also my best friend, dad to three outstanding kids, Fargoan (North Dakota, that is), proud introvert, veteran messaging strategist/copywriter, blogger (https://ivwords.com) nonprofit founder (https://theclimateknights.org/) and big-time reader. As they say, if you're gonna write good stuff, you have to read good stuff. A ginger, too - ergo the "Red" - although some of it's going white. Cinnamon-Sugar, I call it. Tattooed to boot; seven so far. At age 54, I'm stilling crankin' AC/DC & Metallica, but now and again I spin some Eric Church and Black Uhuru, too. I love hanging out with my (much) better half, spending time with our kids, writing, hiking, riding my mountain bike and reading.


bz · August 27, 2020 at 6:50 pm

I think you’ve hit the nail on the head.
But worse, this seems another indication that the Democratic Party is intending to protect, to some (major?) degree, TPTB in the Corporate/Business world.
There’s just too many red flags all around the place.
Dems didn’t seriously fight for Gore’s election when it counted.
They didn’t back Kerry enough to count.
They were sure “It’s her turn” was going to put HRC in office. It was a bad slogan.
Now they’re saying “He’s a nice guy”, which may be true, but is it a good slogan?
Do i need to give you a hint?
And Dems keep telling those they want to support their candidate: “Don’t make waves!”
It’s been true for me since Carter didn’t get decent Dem support for re-election that I often have a problem at not being angry at the party.
Not nearly as bad as i have been angry with the GOP, but there’s just so many issues that Dems won’t stand up and fight for. And those are issues that would be hugely popular with Joe Sixpack on Main Street. You know, the working stiff that Dems claim to care about.
In short: Dems? Stop telling us things and START SHOWING us things you’re getting done!
Note: This isn’t even a top level rant. Maybe on another post i’ll do one.

PS: did i say “good post?”

    Martin C. Fredricks IV · August 27, 2020 at 8:18 pm

    You did say that, yes, and thanks. I’m frustrated – pissed of, actually, but will still vote Biden/Harris because I believe strongly we need to repudiate Trumpism. But my distrust of the DNC has deepened. Again.

      bz · August 28, 2020 at 5:15 pm

      Yes, i too will be voting Biden as that is the only choice to Dump Trump.
      “Vote like your life depends on it! Because it does!”
      “Fire the Liar!”

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