I totally agree with you Lauren.
I think one important factor people overlook are the hundreds of thousands of young people that are increasingly more politically engaged and inspired by the new left which is embodied by people like AOC, Bernie, Warren, etc… there is a generational shift occurring and the democratic party needs to be more welcoming.
Young people look at at Pete and can care less about him being gay (it’s something they take for granted), from a small town, or a military vet. Those are are qualities the old democratic party value. That’s not to say they aren’t important. But, if we want to win over the now 16 to 18 year old future voter we need to speak to whats important to them, ie social, environmental and economic justice. I know what you are thinking… young people don’t vote, but that can change if we acknowledge and speak to what’s important to them.
Economic justice is especially important if you are looking to win over blue collar right leaning voters. Steer clear of being painted a communist/socialist but look at the common citizens plight and income disparity.