This will be relatively brief before I write a longer post fleshing out themes for ‘going forward’ in the ‘activist world’ on the South Shore.
We already have political organizations and structures in place on the South Shore i.e. local Democratic Town Committees, the regional South Shore Democratic Caucus, as well as the Plymouth County Democratic League.
When we allow -’guns for hire’, what I call traveling campaign consultants – paid by the campaign of whatever candidate for whatever office they happen to be ‘gunning for’, to come into to this region and in effect , break the political structures already in place, dismiss them, or ignore them, we are only hurting our ourselves, the activists who live here, and the candidates we are volunteering for.
We need to trust ourselves:trust in our knowledge of our own communities, of our region, of what works, of what doesn’t.
We need to listen to the people whose votes we are trying to get: our neighbors. What they respond positively to, we should adopt as an outreach measure, what they don’t like, and tell us repeatedly that they don’t like, we need to drop. After the election is over and the results are recorded, we have to still live here – the ‘political gun for hire’ gets to head off to the next election somewhere over the horizon.
I am speaking for myself only with the next statement: I am getting very tired of the ‘one size fits all’ theme that seems to be developing in the political world.
After this most recent election, I am more convinced than ever that the best way we can advance our ultimate objective: electing Democrats who will most help protect the interests of the vast majority of Americans, is by learning our individual communities inside out and backwards and by using the political structures and organizations that are already in place; we can never allow the SSDC to be ‘split’ into 2 different regions ever again, which is what happened in this election.
This was a statewide office we were voting for~ a US Senator ,- what reason did some political ‘gun for hire’ think it made more sense to organize by Congressional district and ignore the political organizations that are already well-established?
Easy for them, harder for us activists is what happened. It probably looked prettier on a statewide map in the nether regions of campaign headquarters. It ends up being messier: coming into a region and starting from scratch when it was completely unnecessary. It caused alienation and resistance.
Especially since our region ‘below Boston’ had just been redistricted and many of us are not quite comfortable with the new district lines yet- we were being directed and micromanaged and at the same time ‘told’ what a great ‘grassroots’ effort this all was?
It was annoying to say the least.
And I know I can speak for more than a few activists who felt the same way as I did to feel comfortable using that word in this essay:annoying. Others can pick stronger adjectives for the de-briefing we will have, I am in no doubt of that.
I honestly cannot conceive of a reason to dismantle the organization that has served us well despite the new Congressional lines.
Going forward, with elections for Governor, Lt Gov., as well as the race for the permanent term of the US Senate seat coming up in ’14 – let’s recommit to the organizations that have served us well: the local Town Committees, the SSDC, and the PCDL, and tell these ‘political gun for hires’ that there is no need to -reinvent the campaign wheel, or to create something out of whole cloth.
Expect more remunerations of the June 25th Special Election in upcoming blogposts.