Thursday, January 04, 2007

Ways Democrats Can Continue Gains in 2008

The Republican Party is out of ideas but it is still a potent force. One election will not undo the damage that six years of Bush and a Republican Congress have done together. The Democrats need to build on their numbers. We still need a two-party system but the Republican survivors of the last election who still hold their seats in Congress are as right-wing as they come and out of touch with most Americans. Democrats are going to have to keep winning to get our country back on a sensible course.

Mike Bock of Alone on the Limb has some thoughts about how local Democrats can move their party forward:
I was recently appointed to chair the “Grass Roots Committee” for The Montgomery County Democratic Party. Montgomery County has 540 precincts, over 300,000 voters and over 35,000 registered Democrats -- so there are a lot of “grass roots” to consider. I set the goal for myself to write a blog about what goals this “Grass Roots Committee” should seek to accomplish, and what plan of action the committee should recommend to the Executive Committee. I decided that I would write the blog as a letter to the chair of The Montgomery County Democratic Party -- and send this letter to the chair as a means to start a conversation with him and the rest of the Executive Committee about ideas for possible implementation.

Mike goes on to make concrete suggestions for his local county but I like the idea of just picking up a pen and getting things going. John Edwards has recently said something similar and he's right—we can't just wait for the 'politicians' to do something two years from now.

What I liked about Mike's post is that it got a worthwhile discussion going in the comments section. Here's part of what S.W. Anderson had to say (you'll have to click on the comments):
I'm going to toss in a thought about how to summon leadership and inspire others, not just committed Democrats, to join in. And, maybe having joined in, meeting and working with Democrats on something worthwhile, some uncommitted folks might become committed Democrats.

Meanwhile, good people in the community get some help, and Democrats get some publicity as being genuinely, personally willing to help others – not just bleeding hearts who want to drain the treasury to "buy" votes from the poor and unsophisticated. Which is how right wingers like to portray Democrats.

Later, here's what Terrell added to the discussion:
Yes, Mike, I agree grass roots organization is the key to political success, as the other guys have proven over the years. I also like SWs idea of engaging the party directly in sponsorship of community action. I find that very often I see my Democratic friends involved in environmental action like our local Coosa River Basin Initiative, our effort in the 1980s to save the National Forests, etc. It would be great to have the party officially involved and even leading some of those efforts.

There are many things Americans can do instead of waiting for the politicians. I'll try to keep my eyes open for these kind of things and if others hear of different efforts, drop a note or leave a link. There's plenty of work to be done.

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