The Nature of the Beast
Pennsylvania Democrats have chosen a candidate to Represent that state’s 18th Congressional District: former federal prosecutor Connor Lamb. The selection of Lamb is significant to People’s House Project because it marks our first defeat. We had endorsed Mike Crossey, one of Lamb’s rivals.
Crossey is a good man and would have been an excellent representative of his district. His loss illustrates something important about how People’s House works: while most organizations like ours target the candidates most likely to win, we choose based on their backgrounds and ability to carry the flag of the middle- and working-classes. We identify and nurture candidates early, before trends are established, to increase the chances that non-establishment dark horses will capture the public’s imagination.
It’s a high risk/high reward strategy and it means we’re going to lose sometimes. Politics, as they say, ain’t beanbag, and the result is binary. Yes, we won; no, we lost.
It’s important to recognize, however, that even in defeat there can be gain. By elevating candidates from the working- and middle-class, we’re helping amplify the issues that concern our often-forgotten neighbors. By adding their voices to the conversation, we’re nudging the party in the direction it needs to go to reclaim its natural, multi-racial base.
In the short term, we’re about helping the Democratic Party retake the House of Representatives. But we’re also helping excellent Democratic candidates re-define the party in places coastal Progressives have mostly forgotten. We’re helping new leaders raise their voices both within the party and to the larger population.
It takes courage to run for office. It takes integrity to stick by what you believe. Mike Crossey lost, but he pushed the ball forward. That is worthy of our gratitude.