This is a message to Oregonians who voted for the values our movement and Bernie stood for. Please share it with anyone you know living here. This is also a message to those that believe in democracy, not just in the rules of the Democratic Party, because rest assured the two things are different.
Due to a bit of chance, we Berniecrats here in lil’ ol’ Wallowa County had the opportunity to restart the Wallowa County Democrats. Mostly in support of Bernie, but also to support our movement. I became Party Chair. A longtime local activist, Democrat and strong Bernie supporter is Vice Chair. My wife, also a Berniecrat, is Treasurer/Secretary.
Amongst other honors, I and my wife had the chance last weekend to participate in the State Central Committee meeting as Delegates for Wallowa County. Mostly a procedural event, but also on the schedule were two resolutions. One that said the DPO should recommend to the DNC that Superdelegates be relegated to an advisory role. The second was to recommend opening the primaries. Both were well written.
They both failed on a vote at the Central Committee meeting, even though both resolutions passed with a majority of the delegates vote at the State Convention just a few months before. They should have passed at the Central Committee Meeting, right? But they didn’t. Why? Because the delegates your county party sent, didn’t like them. So despite the overwhelming popular support, your local leaders decided against them.
Think that getting involved in politics doesn’t matter, locally or nationally? Think again. Think your County politics don’t make a difference? Think again. Do you want to know what your Democratic county delegates think about you, our democracy, and how they voted? Here is what I heard. I won’t name persons or the counties they represented because that is not the point of this writing. I just want to convey the sentiments some of the delegates opposed to the resolution expressed.
I won’t quote, but I’ll put in quotes what I’m paraphrasing. Because I’m not trying to shame an individual, but an ideal. I’m trying to share with you the wrong minded ideas of certain delegates and the counties they represent. These are my best recollections.
I learned that the Superdelegates “earned their right” to influence elections undemocratically. Many were elected so we have already “entrusted” them to handle matters for us. And that we would be “foolish to give up that representation” within the party, though most don’t represent our movement to start with. Most of all I learned that Superdelegates are Superific!!!
I further learned that we here in Oregon are “lucky to have a party to vote for at all”. That the Democratic Party “deserves your loyalty” and that if you’re not “smart enough to figure out voting registration laws, maybe you shouldn’t vote”. That if you want to “have a say in the Democratic Party of Oregon, you have to put in your time and work your way up.” Because in politics presumably, you don’t have a voice otherwise.
Reading this you might make you feel angry toward the party leadership. I won’t speak to what might happen to these resolutions at the Rules and Resolutions committee, but here the problem wasn’t the leadership. The problem was among the delegates sent by your counties.
You don’t need to talk to the DPO (yet). You need to call your County Chair and ask them about their position. You need to let your County Committee Chair know how you feel. That the delegates they send, need to represent the clear will of the people. Then you need to get off your ass and get involved locally. Try to become a Precinct Committee Person, so you have a say in who your delegates are. You need to get involved so our movement has a voice. It’s easier than you think. Please consider it. Please do it. It’s a small commitment that makes a yuuuuge difference.
How can that be? Because we Progressives are already halfway there, literally. With a little effort locally we can be politics in Oregon. We can be politics in this country. If we just stay involved or get involved.
This is a popular movement, the only thing that can stop us….is us. Victory may not always look like what we imagined. But we are winning. They may own the fields. But they don’t tend the crops. They don’t harvest the wheat or grind the flour. And they sure as hell don’t bake the bread. The lights don’t come on and the roads don’t get paved because of them. We do most of the living and dying here, this is our country. Let’s act like it.
Bernie spent a year trying to tell you that this all changes when you stand up. I’m here to tell you it’s true. Believe it. We are being the change we want to see.
********The preceding message is in no way trying to discourage anyone who is working for and trying to build the Green Party. I understand and applaud your efforts. I look forward to working with you soon. Due to party rules I’m not allowed to comment about my support or lack thereof for Dr. Jill Stein. Stay active, our lives depend on it.