For the Democrats to retain this seat, they can’t have another Hillary Clinton establishment moderate like Stephanie Murphy taking the reins.
By Sean David Hartman
Back in 2016, I made the decision to vote for Winter Park Democrat Stephanie Murphy over incumbent Winter Park Republican Congressman John Mica. As a Republican at the time, I was shunned, but my reasons were sound—Murphy ran a solid conservative campaign focusing on fiscal responsibility and ending partisanship, whereas Congressman Mica was a career politician who bragged about his spending bills.
I was of course betrayed by the Congresswoman, who almost immediately reneged on her promises to be bipartisan, voting for failing House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), who is doing more harm to the Democrats than good, and who has continued to seemingly play the role the Democratic Establishment has asked her to play.
Ironically, now that Congresswoman Murphy has become a tool for the Democratic elites who run their party for the rich and powerful, she has become a target of the progressive base who too feels betrayed.
An example of this is Congresswoman Murphy’s early promises to stand up to President Trump. The freshman Congresswoman was at the Parkland meeting with the President—the one where he famously agreed that we need to take people’s guns without due process, said somehow with very little outrage from his cultish base—and had the opportunity to speak out not just on Parkland but on Pulse as well, which is very dear to the hearts of her constituents.
Yet Congresswoman Murphy made no fuss and said VIRTUALLY NOTHING, despite her stated positions on gun control. This has angered Chardo Richardson, a Progressive Democrat running in the Democratic primary against Murphy.
“I would’ve said far more,” Richardson told The Central Florida Post. “The refrain ‘thoughts and prayers’ has become nothing more than an empty platitude uttered by those in a position to affect change yet have no intention too.”
“There have been over 50 mass shootings since Sandy Hook,” Richardson continued. “How many innocent people need to die before the Government does something than other than repeat the same three words?”
Richardson is a member of Justice Democrats, a progressive movement seeking to remake the Democratic Party into a progressive, populist image in the vein of Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT). Richardson also serves on the Board of Directors for Brand New Congress, which holds some similar motives, but which includes participants from both parties seeking to unseat incumbents in general.
Richardson is taking many of the same social democratic stances as Senator Sanders, including a national living wage law and a strong single-payer healthcare system.
To be clear, I personally disagree with almost every economic policy Richardson proposes. However, he is more representative of the progressive base than Congresswoman Murphy.
Congresswoman Murphy is no progressive, she is certainly no centrist, positioning herself more in the establishment Democrat wing, akin to her allies like Leader Pelos and Hillary Clinton. The only issue where she seems strongly to the Right is national security.
Mrs. Murphy has been taking tough stances against North Korea, despite what seems to be willingness to, or at least an appearance to disarm, thanks in part to the tough foreign policy of President Trump (who she continues to attack regardless).
Part of this reason is the Congresswoman touting herself, at least implicitly, as a military veteran. She will never say outright that she served in the armed forces, and that is because she did not. Congresswoman Murphy served as a national security specialist in the Department of Defense, taking the post after the 9/11 attacks.
And noble that may be, it still doesn’t change the fact that the campaign seems to be subtly incepting the idea of Murphy’s background as a “veteran” into the minds of voters, showing her in military garb on Army helicopters, despite her never serving in active duty.
Compare this to Richardson, who actually did serve his country in the armed forces, dedicating over a decade to the American people as an airman in the United States Air Force.
Congresswoman Murphy has been betraying progressives and conservatives over and over. And for the Democrats to win, they can’t have another Hillary Clinton establishment moderate taking the reins. Democrats win when they choose leaders who represent the people. This is what the Republican Party has done with President Trump.
Democrats must do the same to win.