The good news: Muscogee County went blue for Carter, Nunn and Bishop. Incumbent state reps Hugley (unopposed), Buckner (against a Republican challenger), and Smyre (unopposed) all won Muscogee, and no Democratic incumbents lost in the General Assembly.
The bad news: Only Bishop is going to federal office. None of the Democratic slate won statewide office. Roslund lost against McKoon for the state Senate. Wasn’t even close.
The post-mortem meeting for the Democrats in Columbus-Muscogee is on Saturday morning. Words will be traded. Fireworks may go off.
But I appreciate this month that I spent volunteering on the campaign with so many forward thinking, proactive people.
- Patricia Lassiter, who spent months out of this year working campaigns, making and answering calls, taking crap from some fools and desperate activists, knocking on doors across Columbus to get the vote out – first for Mayor Tomlinson in May and second for the statewide Democratic slate of candidates. I personally admire Patricia’s personality, work ethic, ability to organize and progressive politics.
- Mary-Kate Clement, who graduated from Marquette and flew from Chicago to Georgia to join Patricia in helping the county’s coordinated campaign. I stayed late in the office with Patricia and Mary-Kate on several nights when they had to get things wrapped up and called in. I am so sorry that she had to see her own home state go to a Republican governor (and Wisconsin, where she previously interned for Mary Burke, going back to Walker for another term). Her mother, who came by our office several times, is cool. Hope they do well in the future.
- David Smith, spirited and knowledgeable 17-year-old who made phone calls and knocked on doors for the campaign. He is a party activist in the making.
- William Viruet, native New Yorker who GOTV’s on a very down-to-earth level and does a mean massage.
- All of the people – of all ages, even slightly underage – who gave their time and energy to this campaign – Berlinda, Tom, both Bills from the UU Fellowship of Columbus, Charlotte, LaVon, Marlyne, Alice, Eddie (Mr. “Souls to the Polls”), James, and several others. You all did the great work for a Blue Muscogee.
But now I am furious, and the colleagues who I met over this month know how furious I am with what just happened.
The Democrats lost across this country. Low turnout happened in several states, and yet it was not for a lack of African-American voters. Older voters, as usual, turned out more for the vote than younger voters.
And yet, progressive legislations won on the ballot at the SAME DAMN TIME. Across the country!
- Minimum wage increases passed by voters in Arkansas, Nebraska, Illinois (advisory), Alaska and South Dakota
- Marijuana possession decriminalized by voters in Oregon, Alaska and Washington, D.C., while Florida gained 57% in favor but not the 60% necessary for passage. 6 Michigan municipalities’ voters passed similar measures.
- California voters passing the reduction of dozens of nonviolent property and drug crimes from felonies to misdemeanors, resulting in potential thousands leaving California’s prisons.
- A severe anti-choice “personhood” amendment being defeated in Colorado and North Dakota.
- A fracking ban being passed in Denton, Texas and Athens, Ohio.
- Dallas voters retain SOGI-inclusive NDO for city workers
- Washington voters backed a criminal background check on all guns.
And I’m not the only one who noticed this. The Nation noticed this contradiction of voters supporting progressive legislation and voting for regressive candidates in the same election, so did Ring of Fire Radio. And I wonder “WTF just happened?”
And I’ve learned so much from reading articles about how populism won at the local and state levels, even as the GOP expanded their reach in many state legislatures.
A few words to the Democrats and to progressives all over Georgia, especially the state leadership in Georgia.
- Stop being cowards on our principles. Stop apologizing.
- Support our president and Obamacare.
- If party leaders are cowards, throw them out. They are bums.
- Shut up about money. No seriously, DNC/DSCC/DCCC/DGA/DLCC, stop sending me emails asking for contributions to the party’s war chest every damn day. I’m sick of being begged by career party activists for money when they don’t pull their weight.
- Embrace your constituencies like your life depended on it.
- Campaign on economic justice like your life depended on it.
- Meet more often, like the party is your second, more secular church.
- Don’t be afraid to remove those who don’t adhere to progressive principles.
- If you can’t throw out the bums, do everything to make their political lives difficult.
- Primary those who won’t carry their weight or have gotten too soft in their seats.
- Campaign on issues. Not party, not personality, not demographics. ISSUES. Hear the issues, speak the issues, vote on the issues, poll the issues, build alliances around the issues, raise money on issues, publicize the issues, saturate local media with issues, recruit and test your candidates on the issues.
- Do NOT disrespect progressive activists who are doing the work if you’re not doing it yourself. Or else you will get ripped a new butthole, in public, by me.
I have more to say, but all in all, let’s up off of our asses and campaign as progressives, not the “NON-REPUBLICANS”.
As MLK said, “Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter“. The voters cared about issues. We didn’t. We need to care about issues, to push them by whatever means necessary, and to embrace those who care about them, like our President. We need to care about the compassion of our government, and we must say it every time we get. Or else, there is nothing progressive about us.