Interviews with more than four dozen Democratic officials, activists and voters across Iowa found a party divided between those who felt that ousting the president and returning to a pre-Trump ethos in Washington was sufficient — and not worth the risk of seeking bigger change — and those who wanted to use the current political moment to fight for a fundamental reshaping of the nation’s economic, political and health care systems.
“We’d love to be thinking about creating change and progress, but honestly, right now we all just want this beloved republic to survive Trump,” said Marjie Foster, the Democratic chairwoman in Decatur County, an area south of Des Moines on the Missouri border.
Others say Democrats are also culpable for building a political system dependent on big-money interests — and now must tear it down.
“It’s foolish to pretend that the problems in this country are the result of one aberrant presidency,” said Zach Simonson, the Democratic chairman in Wapello County in southeast Iowa. “Trump was the inevitable result of an economic system where both parties put the needs of wealthy donors ahead of working people. ”