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I’m starting to hear that self-defeating refrain, “I will not under any circumstances vote for X.” It’s your civic duty to vote. No candidate is going to perfectly match your special interests, but one candidate will surely be at least slightly better than the other. If you don’t carry out your duty, democracy will fail.

I’m hearing people complain that our candidates are too left-wing. David Brooks wrote, "The progressive narrative... is dominating because no moderate wants to bear the brunt of progressive fury by opposing it." What? Moderate candidates are too weak to stand up to progressives? If moderates can't do that, how can we expect them to stand up to Russia, China, Iran? Mitch McConnell? Trump?

I think the progressive narrative is dominating because it is a forward-looking narrative. If the moderates’ only platform is that we go back to “civility,” we’re in trouble. The Democratic Party has a responsibility to do more than defeat Trump (though we certainly must do that). We must do more than go back to pre-Trump policies on climate, heath care, economic opportunity. Yes, we need to stay with the Paris Climate Accord, preserve access to health insurance and reverse the Trump tax cuts. But that’s not enough. We need to save the planet, stop bankrupting people with medical problems even when they have insurance, and restructure the tax code to assure everyone pays their fair share. We need to rebuild our crumbling infrastructure and create innovative infrastructure for the future. We need to educate a workforce that can do that.

What’s the moderate plan to reach those goals? I’m listening. So far, all I hear is “bipartisanship” and “civility.” I’m all for that, but not at the expense of giving more ground on the issues that are necessary for species survival and preservation of our Constitution.

If a moderate prevails in this primary process, you bet I’ll vote for him or her because the alternative of not doing my civic duty is unthinkable. I hope all other Democrats will do the same.

ANN HEITLAND

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