Rahm Emanuel’s Advice to Democrats leading to 2020 Elections – The Axe Files

I am a regular listener to the “Axe Files” (David Axelrod’s podcast). It is always excellent. David interviews newsmakers, politicians, government officials, journalists, and anyone in the news from his perch at the University of Chicago and CNN.

A couple of weeks ago, David interviewed his longtime friend and retiring Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, among the most insightful political operatives in our generation. This podcast is worth listening to. I hope that Nancy Pelosi and the Democratic leadership in Congress heard it or will listen to it. Everyone should!

Emanuel urges Democrats to let Mueller’s investigation take care of the Trump Russia collusion issue and not to jump into a pre-impeachment mode of activism against this arguably corrupt President. Instead, Emanuel urges that the Democrats immediately articulate an agenda that addresses the real needs of America’s middle class – education, wages, health care, mounting college debt, and the environment among others.

Emanuel  notes that the most successful democratic candidates for President since Jimmy Carter are those who are young, charismatic, from outside of Washington, and who can articulate the core of America’s exceptionalism. To beat Trump in 2020, he says, will require an anti-Trump figure who articulates clearly and passionately the values that make the Democratic party the most representative advocate of the American people’s best interests. It is a mistake, he says, to split the party into left and right factions. The party has to move forward together and any significant in-fighting will be a gift to the Trump forces. The Democrats, he says, should be seeking to take advantage of the fissures in the Republican party by addressing the issues that matter most to both Republicans and Democrats.

He urges that the time is now to begin to articulate the Democratic message, to talk about the important issues that Americans care most about. He says that nothing has been said since the election by the Democratic leadership on these issues, and this is a huge mistake.

He urges that the appropriate committees do their jobs and investigate what Trump has done relevant to environment, to immigrants and asylum seekers, to children of immigrants, to corrupt government practices, to the coarsening of discourse in our nation, attacks on the free press and health care, the justice department and intelligence services, and to the tax structure that gave a  gift to the ultra-rich who didn’t need it and did little to address the real needs of America’s middle class. He urged that we shine a light on how Trump has put political cronies into key positions throughout the federal government, diminished those agencies upon which Americans have depended, and essentially eliminated the distinction between the private and public sectors.

I urge you to subscribe to David Axelrod’s Podcast (“The Axe Files”) and listen regularly. It’s one of the best out there.


About the Author
John L. Rosove is Senior Rabbi Emeritus of Temple Israel of Hollywood in Los Angeles. He is a national co-Chair of the Rabbinic and Cantorial Cabinet of J Street and immediate past National Chairman of the Association of Reform Zionists of America (ARZA). He serves as a member of the newly created Union for Reform Judaism's Israel and Reform Zionism Committee (IRZC). John was the 2002 Recipient of the World Union for Progressive Judaism International Humanitarian Award and has received special commendation from the State of Israel Bonds. In 2013 he was honored by J Street at its Fifth Anniversary Celebration in Los Angeles. John is the author of two books - “Why Judaism Matters – Letters of a Liberal Rabbi to his Children and the Millennial Generation with an Afterword by Daniel and David Rosove” (Nashville: Jewish Lights Publishing, a division of Turner Publishing Company, 2017) and "Why Israel [and its Future] Matters - Letters of a Liberal Rabbi to his Children and the Millennial Generation with an Afterword by Daniel and David Rosove" (New Jersey: Ben Yehuda Press, 2019). Both are available at John translated and edited the Hebrew biography of his Great Granduncle – "Avraham Shapira – Veteran of the Haganah and Hebrew Guard" by Getzel Kressel (publ. by the Municipality of Petach Tikvah, 1955). The translation was privately published (2021). John is married to Barbara. They are the parents of two sons - Daniel (married to Marina) and David. He has two grandchildren.
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