An open letter to Nancy Pelosi

Saadia Akhtar

Nancy, before I begin this letter, I want to commend you for all that you have accomplished and to thank you for all that you have done for the United States of America. Your tenure as Speaker of the House united Democrats and helped President Obama pass his agenda of healthcare, financial recovery and auto industry reinvestment. You are an inspiration to women (and men) all across the country, having been the highest ranking female politician in United States’ history. But, like all good things, I think it is time for you to go.

After the devastating loss of Clinton in the 2016 presidential election, is it is clear that this country wants to go in a different direction. Democrats especially, want to embrace a more progressive future for America, a vision that you do not share.

In December, you went on CBS’s “Face the Nation” and said that Democrats do not want a new direction, despite the fact that most Democrats do. Why is it that Clinton was able to lose even with the establishment backing her, the President of the United States campaigning for her, and with plenty of money? Simple –   despite winning the popular vote, Clinton and the Democratic Party were not able to resonate with a key demographic of the Democrats’ base – white, working class voters. Do you know who reaches those voters? People like Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren.

Yes, the same Bernie Sanders who proposed a single-payer healthcare plan; a plan which you said was not going to happen, despite the fact that a majority of Americans support it. Yes, the same Elizabeth Warren who you said does not speak for the Democratic Party, even though she is a popular voice in the Democratic Party and a leader among progressives. When running for re-election for House Minority Leader, you only received 2/3 of the Democrats’ vote, brushing the 1/3 off, saying they were not “defections.”

You say that the Democratic Party needs experienced leadership and I agree. But it also needs new leadership; it needs fresher, younger faces in this new era of battling Trump and reclaiming of the Democratic identity. I think it is time for you to step down and let someone else take your place as House Minority Leader. You should definitely still be in an advisory role in the Democratic Party and should remain a representative from your district, but I think it is long overdue for the Democratic Party to “clean house” and get back to the more grassroots politicians and leadership.

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