Arizona Eagletarian

Arizona Eagletarian

Monday, December 30, 2013

Arizona Democrats are on the right (correct) track

This blog post started out as a brief Facebook status update. I kinda got carried away and figured it belonged here instead.

The Arizona Democratic Party and the Maricopa County Democratic Party, in my not so humble opinion, are moving in the correct direction, and not necessarily because of anything I've done.

It can be troubling when seemingly sincere and committed people who have been involved or at least associated with Arizona Democrats for years complain about things that somebody else is not doing how the complainer thinks they should be done. In particular, when they bemoan the fact that Arizona is still a red state.

The following are quotes from a book I'm reading. I'll tell you which book later. But these quotes give a little bit of insight and a good amount of encouragement.
"Our youth are impatient with the preliminaries that are essential for purposeful action. Effective organization is thwarted by the desire for instant and dramatic change, or as I have phrased it elsewhere, the demand for revelation rather than revolution... to build an effective organization takes time. It is tedious, but that's the way the game is played... [...]
"The revolution was effected before the war commenced," John Adams wrote. "The revolution was in the hearts and minds of the people... This radical change in the principles, opinions, sentiments and affections of the people was the real American Revolution." [...]
"In the midst of the gassing and violence by the Chicago Police and National Guard during the 1968 Democratic Convention, many students asked me, 'Do you still think we should try to work within the system?'
"It hurt me to see the American army with drawn bayonets advancing on American boys and girls. But the answer I gave the young radicals seemed to me the only realistic one: "Do one of three things. One, go find a wailing wall and feel sorry for yourselves. Two, go psycho and start bombing -- but this will only swing people to the right. Three, learn a lesson. Go home, organize, build power and at the next convention you be the delegates. (emphasis in original)
Maybe the right thing for me to do with those naysayers is to name names. They probably deserve some shaming. Maybe I'm not taking a bold enough stand about them, but I'm not going to name them right now. This time. 

Some of them have been bitching with increasing vigor the last few weeks. But rather than limiting to just feeling sorry for themselves, these n'er do wells have been blaming some non-existent savior for failing to come to the rescue, snap their fingers and make Arizona Democrats into a powerful machine. But it does NOT work that way. 

Change happens, but it takes time. Organizational changes that are responsible for making good things happen regarding public policy and lawmaking started more than a year ago.

However, Arizona Democrats in 2013 demonstrated in very real ways that they (WE) are, in fact, organizing for powerful impact. Getting #StopHB2305 qualified for the 2014 general election ballot in just about two months' time was no small accomplishment.

Next, when you cut through all of the noise generated by disgruntled Tea-publicans in the Arizona Legislature and their angry followers, you have to give recognition to united Democratic caucuses in both chambers. They made some good things happen with the Medicaid restoration and a state government budget that is far more favorable than GOP legislative leadership wanted.

Enabling Democratic state lawmakers to effectively exercise leverage doesn't happen in this state without organized Democratic activists supporting them.

So, we're heading into 2014. The legislative session starts two weeks from today. 2014 is going to be an even bigger year for Democrats in Arizona than 2013. 

For anyone needing a pep talk, however, this is a good time to take Mr. Alinsky's advice and "learn a lesson. Go home, organize and build power."

Take heart also because the mere mention of the name Saul Alinsky is enough to make some Republicans freak out. That's a good indication they know we're onto something. 

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