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Jesus “Chuy” Garcia and 2016

As most of you know, on Tuesday night, Rahm Emanuel became the first incumbent mayor of Chicago to fail to defeat a primary challenge. Followers of this blog or my social media pages know that I was delighted. I think Rahm is the embodiment of all that is wrong with the democratic party today.

He’s the very picture of the "republican lite" bullshit that democrats tried to foist on us in the 2014 election. He’s a republican minus the batshit. And that’s something that no one wants. Republicans don’t want their candidates to lack the batshit that makes a republican a republican. Democrats certainly aren’t excited by "republican lite" candidates, and since democrats aren’t like republicans, they’re not going to show up to vote for any piece of crap with a "d" next to their name. Simply removing the batshit from the republican isn’t going to excite and mobilize democrats to vote.

You wanna know what excites democrats? Progressive candidates. Elizabeth Warren wasn’t ever supposed to be able to beat the senator from Wall Street. She was never supposed to raise more money than Scott Brown. And yet, a progressive ground swell put her in that senate seat, which she will keep for as long as she wants it. Bill de Blasio was never supposed to beat Mike Bloomberg’s heir apparent. I started volunteering for his campaign when he was polling in fourth place in the primaries. He subsequently succeeded in getting enough votes to avoid a runoff all together. Zephyr Teachout, who ran as a third party candidate in New York’s last gubernatorial election took 35 points away from Andrew Cuomo. She literally only had tens of thousands of dollars, versus his millions of dollars. Fourteen days before the election, her campaign hadn’t printed out a single piece of literature to hand out, and didn’t have lists of registered democrats to call during phone banking sessions. And yet, she still managed to take 35 points away from Cuomo on an essentially word-of-mouth campaign.

Every time a progressive dark horse wins, or leaves a serious mark on an election, we are sending a message to the DNC. Not only that, but we’re motivating more progressives to run. I don’t live in Massachusetts, but I donated hundreds of dollars to Elizabeth Warren’s campaign because I knew that helping to get her elected was good for progressives all across the country.

This mayoral race in Chicago may be more significant that the Warren victory, whether you live in Illinois or not. Defeating the former Chief Of Staff to the president, and high profile career politician will send a very loud message to the party and to progressives who are considering getting involved in politics. This would be a huge national progressive victory because of who Rahm Emanuel is.

This mayoral race is important to progressives all across the country. It’s not just about Chicago. It’s about 2016, and the slate of candidates that the democratic establishment ends up supporting. Nothing will shake the DNC to its core, like seeing one of their golden children crushed by a relatively unknown progressive candidate. We all have a vested interest in this election.

So, if you’ve ever donated to a political campaign and can afford it, now is the time to chip in ten bucks to help Garcia beat Rahm, who is about to dump several metric tons of money into this campaign. This race matters to all of us, and if we band together, we can win it.     


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