Over much of this primary season, if there’s one constant I’ve seen from various self-identified young people (under 30), it’s that the Democratic Party needs to reach out to them, to do what they want before they’ll consider voting for Democrats. There usually follows a laundry list of demands, along with saying that the party should select candidates who would “excite the base,” or more properly, excite them. They even have reasons why the party isn’t doing that, things like “corporate control,” “the Establishment,” and of course the ever popular “Blue Dogs.” The reality why the party isn’t reaching out them is what they don’t realize or want to admit: They have it backwards.
Over the course of my life, I’ve belonged to many organizations, and held offices in a number of them. When I was 15, I was elected to the board of directors for my church (no, I didn’t seek it), and at 16 I was a delegate to the state convention. I’ve been on committees, boards, and even President of hobby clubs, professional organizations, and social groups. I’ve been “just a member” of many of them, and happy to do just that. But the one thing they all had in common was that you had to be a member to have any say in what the organization did, and who they elected. It’s a simple concept, and one that apparently is lost on a number of people these days.
Today was primary day in New York, and over lunch, I went and voted. Yes, as the title said, I voted for Hillary. That I voted in a primary is not unusual, I vote in all of them. There’s another one in September for state offices, and yes, I wish they’d change that. I regard voting as a duty, one that goes with my rights as a citizen. As I’ve said in a previous post, it’s not often I’m “excited” about any candidate. Mostly, I take a look through what their platforms are, review their records and qualifications, and pick the one I think will probably do a better job than the other one. Sometimes, it’s really “flip a coin,” in that both are good and you can’t lose either way. This year though, I couldn’t wait for the primary day to arrive so I could vote. Not because I was excited, but for a reason that hasn’t happened to me before.
There was a story in Wednesday’s NY Post about potential issues at polling places. Mainly, that independents are suddenly realizing that New York has a closed primary, and they’re not going to be able to vote in the upcoming primary. That means that only those registered as Democrats or Republicans are going to get to vote in their party’s primary.
A couple of months ago there was an article on another site arguing that one of the reasons some Democrats were against Bernie Sanders was that they were “afraid to sell the case for higher taxes.” More particularly, meaning that they aren’t willing to make the case for the tax increases necessary to pay for all the programs he was proposing. Leaving aside the rather nebulous nature of his healthcare plan, and the unlikelihood of his college plan being accepted, my response was “Do you really expect me to tell people in my area that their tax bill will double?” That would be a tough sell in any event, even if I was really enthusiastic about the programs.