Former Secretary of Labor Tom Perez was elected DNC Chair today in a close election, and in his first move as Chair, he created the new position of DNC Deputy Chair for his opponent Keith Ellison. The show of unity came at the end of what had been a consistently respectful contest, and it gives the Democratic Party a newly unified front. The rise of Perez and Ellison also just happens to serve as a giant middle finger to Donald Trump and the specific racist policies he’s been promoting.
Trump has made a point of trying to demonize Hispanic immigrants in America. Yet the new DNC Chair Tom Perez is the Hispanic son of immigrants. Trump has also consistently tried to demonize Muslims. Yet the new DNC Deputy Chair Keith Ellison is a Muslim. That wasn’t planned by the Democrats; these were simply the two most prominent candidates to enter the DNC race. And yet the symbolic message couldn’t be more clear: screw you Trump, this is America.
The DNC slate of officers also currently includes three women: Vice Chair Maria Elena Durazo, a Hispanic-American; and Vice Chair Grace Meng, an Asian-American, and Secretary Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, an African-American. There are also three white guys serving as DNC Vice Chairs. These people were elected not due to their gender or ethnicity or demographics, but because they were the right candidates based on merit. The Democratic Party seeks not to discriminate, and therefore it organically ends up with a diverse leadership roster that looks a lot like America.
That’s a concept Donald Trump doesn’t understand. The only African-American in Trump’s cabinet is Ben Carson, a brain surgeon whose professional background would have suggested he could have been a fit for Surgeon General. But instead Trump put Carson in charge of Housing and Urban Development, despite him having no skills or experience in that area, because Trump sees a black guy and automatically thinks he should be in charge of the projects. Unfortunately, this is typically how the 21st century Republican Party views diversity.
In contrast, the Democratic Party is now run by a pair of former civil rights attorneys, Tom Perez and Keith Ellison, who each just happen to be from a demographic that Donald Trump has gone out of his way to demonize. At this point the fundamental difference between the two parties could not be more clear. Only one of them seeks to represent all of America.