Only one article, actually an interview with Marshall Ganz, has helped me really understand the 2016 election results.
Many of the causes have actionable solutions, but would any of them be acted upon. Let’s deal with one in this piece.
One difference Ganz points out between the left and the right is the prevalence of groups on the right which are active all year long not only in their recreational, religious or business area of focus, but also politically, and the dearth of such groups on the left. The right has evangelicals, think tanks, ALEC, Chambers of Commerce, PACs for multiple issues, etc.
The left’s equivalent has been the civil rights movement and labor unions. Conservatives have unleashed every effort to destroy unions and the civil rights movement has waned.
When the article was published the only groups seen with the potential to fill the void, were Indivisible, a group modeled after the Tea Party’s successful protests, as a reaction to Trump’s election and which quickly grew to have a group in every district in the United States, and Bernie Sanders Our Revolution.
Very quickly after the Women’s March, many other groups gained prominence, Flippable, Swing Left, Sister District, Run For Something, Let America Vote. But would they make a difference?
First, everyone must thank Indivisible for holding the line against the several attempts to repeal Obamacare.
The former lack of these groups on the left is only part of Ganz’ revelation, the other is that neither the RNC on the right or the DNC on the left is really responsible for winning elections. They have a campaign and election function, but neither the RNC or DNC really enacts policy or has an issue focus or groups which can sway an election, especially not on the right.
Footstomp: Stop expecting the DNC to do everything. It can’t and more importantly, it won’t. If there is a candidate to support, issue or strategy that you believe should be enacted, you must find others who are doing it and join with them or start the campaign, advocacy or organization yourself.
What led to the successes in Virginia 2017
— the general backlash against the Trump administration, but such backlash has to have concrete outlets
1. More people, especially women, decided to run for office at every level and even contest solidly republican districts
2. Civic related groups, enacting strategies the DNC wouldn’t touch, were successful at organizing volunteers and securing funding to implement their strategies
3. African Americans, especially women, despite gerrymandering and voter suppression in some instances and perceived apathy in others, voted in large numbers
4. Energy for candidates, issues and or organizations at every level boosted turnout and votes for the state-wide candidates (Gov, Lt Gov, Atty Gen)
Some just wanted to send a message to the Trump administration, but that by itself, is unsustainable and may not have made enough difference without these other trends
Takeaway: It never made sense to look for the DNC to do everything. Voting is the beginning of your involvement, not the end. Pick a candidate to support, advocate for an issue, join a civic group, hold elected officials accountable, and/or run for office.