Though Rep. Keith Ellison has received endorsements from Sen. Bernie Sanders, Our Revolution, and other progressives, another candidate is resonating with progressives.
“In, perhaps, the biggest upset in American politics, Hillary Clinton lost the election, and Donald J. Trump took the victor’s stand instead. In the aftermath of this revelation, however, the Democratic Party began to disintegrate, as the poorly held together camaraderie that was the result of a bitter and hard fought primary dissolved that very same night,” Ronan wrote in a press release announcing his candidacy. “I am stating, unequivocally, that the Democratic Party made a grievous mistake in shunning the ideals and passions of the ‘bernicrats’ and ‘millennial‘ base, which they took for granted. The Democratic Party, instead of embracing the exuberance of youth, reprimanded their excitement for not having it directed in a manner that ‘they’ saw fit.”
Ronan is the only DNC chair candidate that has spoken out against corporate fundraising and acknowledged that the primaries were rigged. In order to mend the rift in the Democratic Party, he has recommended that the DNC to do the same.
“So many of those people who are disenfranchised thought the primaries were rigged against them and their candidates. The fact of the matter is, it’s true. The Democratic Party has not been open to outsiders and new members in our entire history, and if we want to bring those people back, we need to prove to them that we are willing to open the doors,” said Ronan during a DNC chair candidate forum on February 5. “The hard part, the truth, the reality is that we messed up as a party. We need to own that and hold our fellow Democrats accountable.”
The Democratic leadership has not been held accountable and has instead been rewarded for their loyalty to the Clintons. Former DNC chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz was hired by the Clinton campaign after resigning from the DNC, and establishment leaders—including Barack Obama, Joe Biden, and Hillary Clinton—campaigned on her behalf in her primary election. Regardless of her failures and ethics violations, Wasserman Schultz is treated as a Democratic Party spokesperson. Donna Brazile is the Interim DNC chair, despite being fired by CNN for helping the Clinton campaign cheat in the primary debates. No Democratic leader has acknowledged the failures and ineptitude of the Clinton campaign. In truth, it was self-destructive for the for the Democratic Party to anoint Clinton as their presidential nominee.
Ronan has called for holding Democratic leaders accountable and making necessary changes to the DNC to make progressives feel represented rather than resented. He is the only DNC chair candidate to call for banning super delegates and donations from lobbyists, PACs and corporations. Though he is unlikely to win the election, given that DNC delegates vote on the candidates, Ronan provides the corrupt Democratic establishment with a needed dose of reality. Ronan and the organization Justice Democrats are already in discussions about Ronan running for Congress after the DNC Chair election.