[Editor’s note: This story is not an endorsement by VentureBeat of any candidate. The views expressed here are those of the author. ]

Secretary Clinton’s rebuke of Uber, AirB&B, and the sharing economy in her recent economic address is the 2016 campaign’s first George H.W. Bush 1992 grocery scanner moment – where a visibly disconnected politician uncomfortably assesses a not-so-modern technology with bemusement. What’s more troubling to progressives is that while Bush, Sr. seemed disconnected with the future, Secretary Clinton seems to declare war on it. Can anyone imagine President Bill Clinton railing against Amazon.com or eBay in the 1990s? How can a leader fight the future?

It’s a troubling moment for the Democratic Party when our potential standard bearer dismisses the future of work, American innovation, and the lifestyle of the WE generation – all in one speech. Democrats have always been the party of the future, but Secretary Clinton’s economic speech on Monday was much more interested in where we’ve been than where we’re going.

Whether it’s Gen Xers, millennials, or my mom in Memphis, “metroDemocrats” will, and rightfully should, challenge any candidate who wants to take our party – and our nation – backwards.

Luckily, we have leaders who get it. Leaders who understand that moving forward doesn’t have to mean a wholesale rejection of the past; who understand that a traditional, W2-based economy can survive, and even thrive, in an era of innovation and risk-taking.

Leaders like Governor Martin O’Malley, who are willing to stand up and say that “an economy is not money – an economy is people,” and who made sure that innovation was allowed to thrive in Maryland while ensuring that workers were protected and supported. A leader who could pair an increase in the minimum wage with fair regulations to ensure that companies grow while workers enjoyed the highest per capita income in the country. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, rarely a voice for progressives, rated Maryland the number one state for innovation and entrepreneurship three years in row.

We know the sharing economy is a foundation for a new kind of progress – progress that gives workers the freedom to choose their own hours, locations, and clients. Progress that allows new Americans, young people, and entrepreneurs decide the terms of their employment.

This is the kind of American problem solving that has taken hold across the globe, showing our national brand to the world as more than just militarism and consumerism. The last three Uber trips from my house were women driving women to work and school. More globally, Uber’s United Nations Women partnership plans to employ 1,000,000 women from around the globe in the next 5 years.

An economy isn’t money, it’s people.

Cities like San Francisco, Austin, Boston, Des Moines, Manchester, and Baltimore show where the global future wants to be. That’s what the data tells us: that America is home to growing and attractive cities because of their BIG D Democratic values of density, innovation, connectivity, and interdependence. Millennials don’t retreat to three-car garages. They want to get together and solve problems: local, social, and mobile. Martin O’Malley is a guru of these values – delivering open, data driven platforms that allow everyone to have a fair fight about the future. And to get to where they want to go, as efficiently as possible.

Washington is different. Since 1994, the year the booming Amazon.com was founded, Washington staffers and professionals have been perversely promoted and paid more for not getting things done. These incentives for under achievement are the hallmark of the last three decades of American politics. Martin O’Malley is different. As the innovator of American politics, he fights to create an entrepreneurial common platform that allows us all to get going somewhere together, share data, find shared solutions, and move forward. Together.

Damian O’Doherty is the CEO of Generation Forward, a group of energized, young progressives committed to making America better for everyone and electing Martin O’Malley President in 2016.

VentureBeat's mission is to be a digital town square for technical decision-makers to gain knowledge about transformative enterprise technology and transact. Learn more about membership.

Author
Topics