by Brent Budowsky
Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) may run for president. I hope he does. Here is why.
Brown would run a “Born in the USA” candidacy, speaking simple truths with simple words about the American way of life with the spirit that Bruce Springsteen brings alive with song, which Robert Kennedy brought alive when he campaigned to unite Americans from all backgrounds in an America that belongs to all.
The evening of Nov. 6, was the night of a thousand Democratic stars. A new generation of male and female Democratic leaders was born before the eyes of a grateful nation yearning to turn the page. Democrats are blessed with a diverse and extraordinary team with a deep and extraordinary bench that is ready to lead America.
On election night Brown gave a powerful and compelling speech that every aficionado of presidential politics and every American concerned about the future of our country should watch in full. With the passion, authenticity and call to idealism that has been a trademark throughout his career Brown offered testimony to the Democratic credo in its noblest form, and a blueprint for Democrats to rekindle a magic throughout the Midwest and across America in 2020.
On Election Day, Brown won more votes than the winning GOP candidate for governor of Ohio. He had long been a major target of aggressive Republicans who spent millions of dollars over decades to defeat him. But Brown beat them all, every time! He was elected as Ohio’s secretary of state, repeatedly reelected to serve in the House of Representatives, and now reelected for the third time to serve in the Senate.
Brown offers a “Born in the USA” message to honor work, unite workers, create jobs, raise wages, improve health, promote justice, cherish faith, value service and champion a patriotism that includes all of our people.
In his victory speech on election night, Brown inspired Democrats with a sweeping, unifying and uplifting vision of politics that is the diametric opposite of everything Donald Trump represents, which so many Americans want ended, and is the antidote to the poisons Trump injects into our democracy, which so many Americans want purged.
Brown declared that Democrats and progressives can win throughout the heartland by honoring the dignity of work and battling on behalf of all workers without one inch of retreat on women’s rights, civil rights, LBGTQ rights and without caving to powerful special interests or the gun lobby.
Brown declared that when we fight for workers we fight for all people, whether they punch a clock or swipe a badge, earn a salary or make tips, raise children or care for aging parents. We do not divide. We unify. All workers are created equal.
We fight for them all regardless of their race, religion or gender. We appeal to them all, including those who were tempted by Trump, the benefactor for the rich. We invite them all to join our cause as we fight to better their lives.
Brown quoted Martin Luther King Jr., who was martyred after supporting sanitation workers in Memphis. He quoted Jesus, who said: “When I was hungry you fed me. When I was thirsty, you gave me drink. When I was a stranger, you welcomed me.”
Brown declared that populists are not racists. Populists are not anti-Semites. Populists and progressives do not appeal to some by pushing others down. We appeal to all, by lifting each other up. We do not lie. We do not engage in hate speech. We do not rip children from their parents at the border. We will never give up the hallowed ground of patriotism to extremists, he said. We will champion a patriotism that includes and inspires all of our people, he proposed.
Some brilliant and exciting Democrats will run for president. If Brown joins them, he will lift the field. If Democrats run a “Born in the USA” campaign, the USA will join them, and the Trump years will end, and the next new frontier will begin.