Why participation in local party politics is crucial to the Resistance.
Being involved in local politics and your local Democratic Party can be personally rewarding as well as politically effective. As E.J. Dionne Jr. points out “power in a democratic nation comes from winning elections…a two-party system…requires picking sides.” Partisanship and polarization are a real problem right now but that does not mean you have to eschew participation with your party. What I believe it means is that we have to be more engaged because part of our engagement can focus on breaking the polarization cycle.
Being involved enough to participate in primaries (which is as easy as registering as a democrat) means that you have a chance to put a candidate on the ticket in a general election that will have broad appeal and may be better at bridging divides than creating them. Volunteering with your local party office might mean helping disseminate information to voters, in which case you’ll have an opportunity to close the gap by gently reassuring voters of the party’s commitment to the issues that they care about. If you’re a voting member of the county party, you will have a direct say in the platform that they support.
The ways in which direct involvement in the party process will help us win elections are numerous and varied. You are sure to find yourself some volunteer opportunities that fit your time, lifestyle, and personality. If you don’t have the time or inclination to get hands-on in the efforts, monetary donations are an important factor as well so a donation(s) would be a helpful gesture.
The localized activist groups like those created through the Indivisible Guide are doing some awesome work and have had a huge impact on civilian participation and attention. They have been instrumental in drawing attention to issues and galvanizing people toward action and participation. But we also need the structure and organization of a strong central party to start winning elections. No amount of activism will make much of a dent if we continue to lose elections both large and small. You can protest something till your voice runs out and you’re dead on your feet but if we don’t have the numbers in the legislatures and executive branches, none of it will matter much. As this article in The Nation mentions “organizations need to figure out how to persuade enough of the politically passive citizenry…to vote, and to vote democratic.”
Please help support strong candidates and get involved in voter education and turn-out efforts. I attended my first central committee meeting of the Democratic Party in my county last night and became a voting member by applying to be a PCP (Precinct Committee Person). I encourage similar actions for anybody like me who has never been involved on that grassroots party level before and a deeper commitment for those already there. Let’s Resist by Persisting!
A note I wrote on the eve of the election.
Just kidding! Since there is no such thing (or so my husband tells me), I guess I just have what’s known as “common sense” and the “ability to think and reason”. I’m not going to write directly about any current news stories in this post. There are so many, and so many people writing about them, I’m not sure I have anything unique to say at the moment. But I did want to post something. This is a FB post I wrote on November 7th, right before election day. I thought I’d share it here for a trip down memory lane. Back when there was still a possibility of saving this country. But, I think I was pretty prophetic in my predictions of what a Trump presidency would bring. Like I said though, it was really just common sense and I certainly was not the only one thinking it.
So, one more day till election day. I wrote one last long plea for people to do the right thing. I wrote it more for myself perhaps than for any other reason though. I just want my last thoughts about this election to be out there in the ether, on record for as long as fb or the internet are a thing. So feel free to read or not, but I’ve said my peace (my DH has pointed out that I used the wrong spelling here and that it should be “piece” but I’ve decided to keep it the way it is because I like it better. So, suck it Trebek! Haha, love you babe!).
I’m going to start with why I voted for Hillary, based on her own merits. Since so often people like to say, tell me who you’re voting for and why without talking about the other candidate, I figured I’d start with that. Hillary Clinton isn’t a figure I ever particularly cared for or even really had any opinion about. It’s not that I didn’t like her, I guess I just felt sort of neutral about her. There may have even been some distrust because even the best of us can be lured into believing, however loosely, that she’s somehow crooked. If you only pay attention to sound bites, headlines, or news crawlers and don’t dig any further, it’s easy to fall into that trap. But an interesting thing has happened to me over the course of this nasty election season. Ironically, perhaps, I’ve actually come to like and respect her more as time has gone on. I started paying closer attention, digging just a tiny bit further than those headlines lead us to believe. Sometimes, it literally only takes reading past a headline into the actual article to have a different view of the story. This deeper inquisitiveness itself changed my opinions of her. Then I started to learn a bit more about her history, the positions she’s held and work she’s done and that also further increased my positive view of her. She’s always fought for women and children, minorities, people with disabilities, and hasn’t wavered in those causes. She’s highly educated, has worked as a lawyer for the Children’s Defense Fund, and has held several public offices. She’s generally regarded as competent, dedicated, and is viewed in a positive light by many people on both sides of the aisle whom she’s worked with (of course there are exceptions). She’s highly qualified for this position based on quantifiable criteria. Continue reading “Am I Psychic or Do I Just Have “Common Sense”?”