A 14-year-old boy, inspired by the abhorrent violence of the “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville, Va., in 2017, legally ran for governor of Vermont.
Ethan Sonneborn articulated a simple and straight-forward platform: providing healthcare for all, assuring rights for LBGTQ people, preserving our environment, growing the economy and improving education. His catch-line, “It is the government’s job to make the life of people easier,” resonated with many and as the voice of the future, he was taken seriously by his Democratic opponents.
The Democratic Party would do well to co-opt Ethan Sonneborn’s premise that the government should work for the people and put forth his plain talk thesis as its own.
It IS the job of the government, as set forth in the preamble to the Constitution, to insure the Tranquility and promote the general welfare (of the people) not solely by increasing monetary disbursements, but by supporting legislation and policies that increase the dignity of its citizens and makes their pursuit of happiness obtainable.
Government working for the people would fund and support public education that is substantive and engaging for ALL students and that these students were able, upon graduation, to think, write, speak and compute proficiently.
Government working for the people ensures that scientific concepts and geopolitical knowledge is taught to all. All students must be exposed to the different beliefs and cultures of the people of the United States and the world.
Government working for the people provides technology and equal access to high speed internet for every citizen in our country thus allowing an exchange of information and communication with people nationally and internationally.
Governmental support for an educated citizenry creates well trained and technologically savvy workers who are able to compete with and meet the innovational requirements of twenty-first century global society.
A government working for the people passes legislation that supports living wages for working families, which adds a measure of dignity to the struggles of daily life.
Most importantly, a government working for the people, would not deny its citizens healthcare that includes access to doctors, hospitals and clinics and would legislate for affordable and safe medicine for every citizen.
The Democratic Party has been remiss in putting forth a unifying message, seemingly leaving it up to the individual voters to interpret for themselves what voting “Democrat” means.
Young Ethan Sonneborn, a Democrat not old enough to vote, seemed to have found the needed message when he asked the question: How does your government represent you?
While he did not win his bid for Governor — this time — 4,696 (6.7 percent) of the voters agreed with Sonneborn and voted for him knowing that he would work for them.
So, Democratic candidates, don’t be afraid to tell voters what you will do when you work for the people. Be specific and dedicated to those who need your help and support. Once you have earned our vote, don’t abandon us. Democratic voters: support candidates who stand for what you need. And for the sake of a more perfect union, get out and VOTE!
Sheryl Corke and Richard Cookson