Tag Archives: democrats

Here There Be Puppets: My Experience as a Delegate to the 2016 Washington State Democratic Convention

I have voted in every election since I came of age in 1988, with one exception in 1989 because I didn’t file for my absentee ballot by the deadline and I couldn’t vote in New York State as a college student. I’d never really considered myself very into the Democratic Party per se, but I’ve voted for progressive and left-of-center candidates my whole adulthood. I can’t say I have a primary issue because in my mind they all vie for attention—reproductive rights are very important to me, but so is ending the death penalty (if I’m being honest I’m a prison abolitionist but there are no candidates calling for that), and so are trans civil and human rights, and then I’d really like to see a sea change on green energy investment. See what I did there? I hate the welfare reform passed in 1996, I hate the 1994 crime bill, and I think the Affordable Care Act fell far short of what we need for all humans in the United States to access the care we need, no matter our legal status or which identity categories apply to us. Friends have said I am “left of Chairman Mao,” and thus I recognize that I do not fully fit into any party’s platform.

13501624_1768465986772825_4679976232767497587_nThis year I decided to take the plunge and see what immersing myself into the Democratic Party would be like. I wasn’t excited because of the ruckus between the Clinton and Sanders camps, but I did support Hillary in 2008 and I did have to come around to Barack Obama, who has both delighted and significantly disappointed me (23,000 drone bombs just last year) since then. Still, I can remember needing to suck it up when Clinton conceded in 2008 and so I can sympathize with Sanders supporters now. It’s a difficult space in which to exist, especially after a primary as painful as this one has been. I’m ready to move on from the “Berners are all sexists” and the “Clinton supporters are not real progressives” reductivism of the past several months. Read More…

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An Open Letter to Nancy Pelosi and the Democratic National Committee

voting box with ballotHonestly, I have a lot of other things to get to this week, and within that, a lot of other pieces to write. But I have been so ubiquitously harassed by national-level Democrats that hey, I’ll take some time out this afternoon to respond to their litany of email.

Dear Representative Pelosi—

Perhaps there was a time in my life when receiving an email from the former Speaker of the House would have been at least a little thrilling, but the bloom is off the rose now. I don’t really even think you care about me, what with all of your messages—which are too many, honestly, it’s getting embarrassing—addressed to me as <FRIEND:VALUE!>. It feels half-hearted, Representative Pelosi. I know you are well networked in the legislative scene over on Capitol Hill. I used to see you around town from time to time when I still lived there. Okay; that’s a lie, it was Dennis Kucinich whom I saw, and mostly at the Greek restaurant on Pennsylvania SE that has sadly closed down. What I don’t understand, however, is how with all of your knowledge and connections and wealthy campaign contacts, you haven’t come across anyone who has mentioned even in passing that the Democratic National Committee’s strategy on getting donations for these midterms is abysmally bad. Here are the subject lines of just a few of the HUNDREDS of messages I’ve received these past few months:

  • painful loss
  • we. fell. short.
  • Friend we’re BEGGING
  • B O E H N E R wins
  • all hope is lost

The content in the actual email isn’t any better. Read More…

Support De Spite

democrat and republican fightingI’ve seen it at least half a dozen times on my Facebook wall–people who will write a status asking anyone who has clicked like on things like Romney, Paul Ryan, or the GOP, to just go ahead and defriend them now. Then they’ll list the reasons why a mouse click for the political right is so offensive. I don’t disagree that a vote for Republicans, generally speaking, is a vote against reproductive rights, LGBT civil rights, and the like, because yes, the GOP’s political platform reads that they’re opposed to those rights and communities. And even if Mitt Romney himself is in favor of a “rape exception” for abortion–even if there are no health practitioners in a given area to perform an abortion because overall the climate has dampened training in those procedures–his colleagues have been arguing quite forcefully that they will continue to push legislation that outlaws all abortions no matter the mitigating circumstances. So I understand that the nuances at play in our political parties are not enough reason to absolve members of a given party from the consequences they wreak on our fellow Americans.

But I’m not jumping on the defriend bandwagon. I read the primary narrative of FoxNews as divisive, pitching conservative keyword after keyword to their faithful audience, and attempt after attempt at alienating the rest of us from watching. It’s a process wherein less and less motivation falls on FoxNews to double-check their facts and sources, until disinformation is all they telecast, reality be damned. What does it mean to live in a country where a vocal minority attempts to steep an entire political party in hate and anger, and people at the other end of the spectrum point fingers and laugh derisively or shout back in frustration? When we dismiss each other as lost causes, what are we left with? Read More…

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