What always manages to astonish me about various “politically aware” people is their failure to recognize that there’s an election every year in many parts of this country. They seem to believe that only the presidential election years matter, or if they’re stretching a bit, the even year House races. Yet it’s the “off year” elections that have more impact on people’s daily lives which are ignored. This year, many states are having their local elections. We’re going to be selecting mayors, and town and county officials, along with (in some states) judges. Various propositions will be on ballots, which will impact your local and state taxes as well as its direction. All the things which you tend to take for granted: Street lights on; road plowed; water and sewer systems work; police and fire departments are there; and what the schools are like will all be determined by who gets elected.
Tag Archives: political activism
A couple of news stories on the political front attracted my attention a while back. The first was that Ashley Judd decided not to challenge Mitch McConnell in 2014, leaving the presumptive challenger as Allison Lundergran Grimes. This has predictably set off wails from various of the Left. The second story was from South Carolina, where Elizabeth Colbert Busch is running against Mark Sanford. This is causing some excitement because she’s Steven Colbert’s older sister, and Mark Sanford went from being known as a conservative favorite as Governor to being known for “hiking the Appalachian Trail” in Argentina. There’s some “practical lessons” in both of these candidacies, that various “lefter than left” people won’t learn.
There was an article over on the Daily Beast about the decline of the netroots. David Freedlander interviewed the usual people in putting this together, and it’s interesting reading.
Now, however, the Netroots, which were once thought to do to the political left what evangelical Christianity was supposed to do to the professional right, are 10 years old. In that time they vaulted Howard Dean to within a scream of the presidency, helped Democrats take both houses of Congress and several statehouses across the country, and gave the party what many in the movement believed to be some much-needed spine.
But with another critical election two weeks away, politicians, political operatives, and even the bloggers themselves say the Netroots are a whisper of what they were only four years ago, a dial-up modem in a high-speed world, and that the brigade of laptop-wielding revolutionaries who stormed the convention castle four years ago have all but disappeared as a force within the Democratic Party.
The people interviewed gave their take on “what went wrong,” which they attribute to a diverse set of causes. What made it interesting to me was how they – and the reporter – missed the obvious conclusion.
Last year, I wrote a series on “Politics 101,” in which I talked about what various of the “frustrati” needed to do to become a base of the Democratic Party. Not just claim they were, but to actually become one. In one of the earlier posts, I had lesson #5: You have to do it yourself.
You want the party to listen to your concerns? Then get involved with your local party. Don’t expect someone else to do it for you.
I’d like to say I came up with that just because I’m smart, but the reality is that it’s exactly what happened in the Republican Party.