A victory by Nina Turner on Tuesday will be transformative for progressives, a triumph of democracy, and exactly what the Democratic Party needs.

By Alan Minsky, PDA

Last August, on the day of the special election primary between Nina Turner and Shontel Brown, Common Dreams published my article Nina Turner: A Champion of the People Redeeming Our Frayed Democracy. The piece focused on two things: 1. why Nina Turner would be a brilliant addition to the US Congress, both as a Representative for the people of Northeast Ohio and for the national progressive movement; and 2. the unique dynamics of Ohio’s 11th District.  I encourage people to read (or re-read) that article. It remains just as relevant nine months later.

In this article I will focus on three things: why a win by Nina Turner will lift the national progressive movement like no other result in 2022; why it will represent a virtually-unprecedented triumph of honest democracy over the influence of Big Money; and why, contrary to what the Democratic Party establishment will tell you, a Nina Turner victory can reverse the Party’s fortune and set it on a pathway to unprecedented success this year and beyond.  I will close out the article with some observations on Cleveland, the city I am visiting this week, and my sense of Nina’s unwavering commitment to the people here.

Sen. Nina Turner, Bernie2020 campaign co-chair, speaks at a rally to stop the impending closure of Hahnemann University Hospital in Center City, Philadelphia

A victory by Nina on Tuesday will have an outsized impact on the fate of progressive candidates across the entire midterm election cycle.  The primary season begins in earnest on Tuesday and given Nina’s national celebrity status, a dramatic comeback win by her, will instantly alter the national political narrative. The showdown between progressives and moderates for control of the Democratic Party will take center stage for the next four months.  

This will be a tremendous boon to great progressive candidates across the country such as Summer Lee, Jamie McLoud-Skinner, Doyle Canning, Vincent Fort, Jessica Cisneros, Jasmine Crockett, Nida Allam, and Erica Smith – and these eight are just some of the viable progressive champions with primaries this month, there are many more to come.  Nothing will improve their chances like a victory by Nina on Tuesday because the vast majority of Democratic Party voters support progressive policies, but most progressive candidates struggle to reach the electorate in comparison to their better funded pro-corporate, “moderate” opponents.  A victory by Nina will alert the entire country that something special is happening in the Democratic Party: the rise of the progressives. This will bring local progressive candidates to the attention of their voters; and confidence will grow inside these campaigns.

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