I’ve been hearing from a lot of people who want to do something, anything, to help change the way things are right now. I hear you and that’s why I am redoubling my efforts to encourage people to become more involved. Marching and assisting to Get Out The Vote are essential to positive change and if that is your passion, please continue in your efforts. But also know that there is more you can do, and it sounds like you want to do more.
I’ve also been hearing a lot of people frustrated with the current Democratic party and snarking about “voting harder.” But here’s the thing. Lobbing insults about voting does not actually DO anything. It does not change the current Democratic party (which is ostensibly still a better choice for people who are not socially conservative). It does not get legislation passed. It does not get leftist candidates elected. In fact the only thing it DOES do is discourage voting. Which is the absolute LAST thing we need in this country right now. Please stop. Your feelings are valid, but put that energy to productive use or you risk being just as detrimental to positive change as those you oppose.
So whether you are desperate to do more or are enraged that more hasn’t already been done, if you are well and truly serious about Doing Something more than just voicing frustration, we need you to show up. As I have said repeatedly before, the party is not a monolith. It is literally comprised of those who show up. They are the ones debating resolutions, rules and platform planks. They are the ones voting for party leaders. If you consider voting to be fundamental (which it is), voting for who leads the party you most align with is even more fundamental.
It does take more work than walking in to a polling place every couple of years or so, but not overwhelmingly more work. Just a little more work. Just show up to your Senate District meetings at least a few times a year. They aren’t long. Then become a State Delegate. Yes, just like that. It’s just as easy as that. If you are mad as hell and serious about change, this is what you do.
We need you to attend your party’s senate district meetings. They are the building blocks of the party.
But here’s the thing, you don’t have to attend every meeting or donate money to participate. In fact, in the Democratic Party in Texas, there is such low participation in “off-cycle” (midterm election) convention years, you don’t even have to attend the Senate District Convention to be named a State Delegate to the Democratic State Convention. The only condition is that you have voted in the most recent primary. Then you can just sign up to be a delegate. That’s literally it.
At the State Convention you can then work with others (caucus) to form the platform, resolutions and rules that literally make up the party. All you have to do is be in the room where it happens and it is remarkably easy to do so.
In fact, it is SO easy that some Republicans advocated for their party members to “to take control of the local Democratic Party by having their own candidates run for Democrat precinct captain positions.”
We NEED you to get involved. Especially if you want to see change.
There is no charge for the convention itself at any level. And most of the people I see complaining are not people who are economically disadvantaged, but if financial reasons prevent you from being able to travel to and attend the convention, there are scholarships and people willing to help. There are ride shares and room shares. There are people who have the money, but not the time and are willing to help fund those who can attend. There are ways to make it happen, so please do not feel like you can’t participate for financial reasons.
And yes, while I am speaking from my personal experience with the Democratic Party, this applies to the entire political spectrum.
If you are a Democrat, which is intentionally a big tent, we need your participation to effect change from the old guard that is less inclined to move away from the status quo.
If you are more leftist, your party HAS GOT to show up down ballot and build a deep and wide field of strong candidates. Do not rely on one or two superstars. Build. Your. Party. It would be amazing to see a viable third party. I know it can be done. People just need to show up.
If you are more conservative and appalled at what you are seeing in the January 6 hearings, I BEG you to get involved and veer your party away from what it has become. You HAVE to show up and take back your party. Or start a new one. But you have to stop aligning yourself with the fringe right.
In politics, because so few people speak up, when an elected official hears from a constituent they consider that one voice, depending on the location, to represent on the order of 20-200 other constituents. We know that calling and writing works. What works even more is when those constituents are involved in the party.
Be in the room where it happens.