Budowsky: A Democratic midterm convention for democracy

Budowsky: A Democratic midterm convention for democracy
© Greg Nash

The Democratic Party should return, around June 2022, to the idea of a Democratic midterm national convention to launch an all-out battle to defend democracy, mobilize a voter registration project similar to the Freedom Summer in 1964, highlight important Democratic candidates for the midterm elections, dramatize the success of President BidenJoe BidenTexas announces election audit in four counties after Trump demand Pennsylvania AG sues to block GOP subpoenas in election probe House passes sweeping defense policy bill MORE and Democrats in defeating the COVID-19 plague and reviving the American economy, and organize the largest single three-day fundraiser, including small and large donors, in political history.

In the near future I will write a column about the plan of former President TrumpDonald TrumpTexas announces election audit in four counties after Trump demand Schumer sets Monday showdown on debt ceiling-government funding bill Pennsylvania AG sues to block GOP subpoenas in election probe MORE, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellHouse passes standalone bill to provide B for Israel's Iron Dome Pelosi vows to avert government shutdown McConnell calls Trump a 'fading brand' in Woodward-Costa book MORE (R-Ky.) and Republican leaders in key states to steal the midterm elections in 2022 and the presidential election in 2024 through massive voter suppression, corrupting state election procedures, corrupting the counting of votes, corrupting the certification of elections at the state and national level, and engaging in hyper-partisan and super-aggressive gerrymandering.

There are legislative remedies, which I will discuss again in that future column. For today there is one dramatic and powerful action Democrats can take that cannot be filibustered by McConnell or lied about by Trump.


There have been Democratic midterm conventions in the past. In 2005 the legendary CBS anchor Walter Cronkite, widely called the most trusted man in America, after he had retired as anchor, proposed Democrats host a midterm convention before the 2006 midterm elections.

Democrats are up against the Trump-McConnell plan to steal the 2022 and 2024 elections, which is far more dangerous than certain Democrats understand. I mean you, Sen. Kyrsten SinemaKyrsten SinemaPanic begins to creep into Democratic talks on Biden agenda Enhanced infrastructure plan is the best way to go Democrats surprised, caught off guard by 'framework' deal MORE (Ariz.). Democrats need a powerful and compelling spirit of urgency and mission and a powerful and compelling plan of mobilization and action.

A Democratic midterm convention in June 2022 would create a spectacular moment of mobilization and excitement, a powerful message machine for independent and swing voters, and unparalleled fundraising opportunities.

The saturation national attention given to this midterm convention would provide a tremendous forum for individual Democratic candidates to reach a national and local audience. This would increase their public support from voters and their appeal to donors small and large.

The mobilizing power of a national convention would give a sensational boost to what must become the largest voter registration project in history, similar to the Freedom Summer during the civil rights years, building on the historic grassroots success of the 2020 campaign, and overpowering the massive anti-democratic voting and election corruptions pushed in state after state by Republican after Republican.


The wave of excitement generated by a Democratic midterm convention, waging the battle for American democracy, would provide a surge of enthusiasm and fighting spirit for every American appalled and alarmed by the prospect of renewing the Trump years in Congress and the White House.

A Democratic national midterm convention could and should mobilize entertainment, artistic, literary and moral leaders and stars for a massive concert and telethon, broadcast throughout major media and social media, provoking a tidal wave of campaign donations from small donors and wealthy donors, standing up together for the cause of democracy in America.

This midterm convention and telethon of mobilization could be simultaneously replicated by any and all Democratic candidates at every level, organizing their own fundraising events and local voter registration drives.

There is a great battle underway for American democracy, with unprecedented and aggressive mass tactics by Republicans to corrupt and fix the 2022 and 2024 elections. This has become so asinine, ridiculous and dangerous that the loser of the last presidential campaign promises he will be restored to the presidency in August (by a coup?), and bogus Soviet-style voter recounts of the 2020 election are proceeding in Arizona and potentially other states.

Beware: With a closely divided Senate and House, even minor success of these anti-democratic practices could bring Trump Republicans back to power.

A Democratic midterm convention for democracy would lift and empower people across America, to fight and win the epic battle for American democracy.

Budowsky was an aide to former Sen. Lloyd Bentsen (D-Texas) and former Rep. Bill Alexander (D-Ark.), who was chief deputy majority whip of the House of Representatives.