I’m going to let you in on a little secret: People who already hold positions hate elections. It’s human nature, once we get into an office, to regard it as “ours.” We figure we earned it, we deserve it, and nobody else could ever do it as well as we do. Elections are messy and lead to a peck of trouble for the status quo.
That’s why we have them. Because Democracy is how we work. It’s how we get back on track when we lose our way. It’s how we get rid of people who are doing a lousy job. It’s how people get involved.
And it’s something the Democratic leadership hasn’t been doing in St. Clair County.
I was concerned because the county party seemed stuck. It hadn’t elected a Democrat to office in more than a decade and had recruited only a handful of candidates for office. Like those of every other Democratic body in the state, SCDEC members were supposed to be up for open elections on June 5. But there were no candidates – not even existing members who sought to keep serving. The same thing happened in 2014 and 2010. No elections. The committee just sailed through three election cycles without the disruptive, invigorating force of Democracy. Most were honestly unaware that they couldn’t just keep electing themselves.
Members of the committee were shocked when I brought this to their attention recently, and some branded me a troublemaker. But they did the right thing. The committee voted unanimously to proceed with elections in August.
So now we have a big job ahead – finding Democrats who are willing to do a little work to make the party stronger, to contest more offices, and to penetrate areas like Moody, Odenville, Springville, Ashville and Ragland, where we have little presence.
That spells opportunity for Democrats who’ve been sitting back, frustrated, and feeling like there was nothing they could do. We have openings for 48 members, in all. That’s more than four times the number of active members we have now. For anybody willing to help, odds are the door is open.
Now then. There are some who say I’m airing the party’s dirty laundry in public, and that talking about this challenge will portray the party as weak. But problems don’t get fixed until we face up to them – say out loud we’ve failed to get Democrats elected, and take steps to change that.
Fact is, we are weak. We don’t fool anybody by trying to pretend otherwise. Our track record is there for all to see.
That doesn’t mean we haven’t tried. It means we haven’t succeeded. Some have worked faithfully (and without thanks) for years, but there are too few of us. Maybe we haven’t done the right things. We need help – people, ideas and energy. I’m willing to face up to the reality, and if that makes me the skunk at the picnic, folks can just hold their noses.
So let’s fix this. I’m asking Democrats throughout the county to step up and qualify for the Executive Committee. And while we’re at it, let’s not forget I’m trying to knock off an entrenched Republican in Senate District 11, which includes most of the county.
We need you. I need you. I can’t win, and we can’t build a strong party, without people like you. Please give me a call at 205-378-9290 and let’s talk about it. Or send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Whatever works best for you.
Now let’s do this!