Party Leadership and Voter Turnout

To people complaining about the leadership of the Democrats:

This is what we have gotten for staying out of the process ourselves for so long. So many people have had a “hands off” approach to politics. For so many of us, politics has been something for other people to do. Other people set up tables in front of supermarkets and registered people to vote. Other people go door to door in their neighborhoods talking to people about voting and about who they support and why. Other people show up at political party meetings.

Well, that’s what politics IS! Politics and democracy are about showing up and voting. What do you think the Democratic Party would be like if the people who voted Green had instead actually bothered to show up and vote for local Democratic Party leadership? That translates into state party leadership, which translates into national party leadership. How many people reading this even KNOW what a Democratic Club is, and how to join the one where they live?

Do you know why so many people don’t vote? Because people aren’t getting them registered, and then getting them to the polls on election day! That’s the old fashioned way — walking your neighborhood and talking to people and then getting every single one of them to the polls on election day! Voter turnout has dropped because the day-to-day work of getting people registered and getting them to the polls has dropped.

Think about this — A couple of decades ago the Christian Right started showing up at Republican Party clubs and meetings and events, and look what the Republican Party is now. And THEY are getting people to the polls. It takes some work, and some “foot soldiers.” And it brings results. We’re living under the results of THEIR organizing efforts, and not liking it too much.

And think about this — about half the eligible people don’t vote, while polls show that more than half of those people see things our way. Well that means there are a lot of people who could be voting our way. If we got off our asses and started going out and talking to people and registering them to vote and then getting them to the polls on election day we could increase the Democratic vote count quite a bit — at a time when an increase only 2 or 3% would swing the entire congress and Presidency to our side!

Politics takes a bit of work, and if YOU aren’t out there DOING that work, then shut up. (Not you, of course, I mean people in general.)

This is one thing that is so great about the Dean campaign! They are reaching out to thousands and thousands of regular people and getting them involved. 75,000 people showed up at Meetups last night and wrote letters to voters in New Hampshire. I was at one of those Meetups, and it was an exhilarating experience seeing so many people doing something like that for the first time in their lives, as well as knowing the effect those letters are going to have! And the Dean people are starting to talk about getting people walking their neighborhoods and all of the things I wrote about above. REGULAR people! If this keeps up it is going to make a huge difference to America because people like US are going to get involved, and get other people to vote, and choose the party leadership and maybe even run for office. Wow!

It is our own non-involvement that is responsible for the kind of leadership we’re all complaining about.

This came from something I left as a comment over at Hullabaloo.