Archive - 2006
(Cross posted at Greater Democracy.)
In a few days, everyone will be writing about the winners and losers in the 2006 elections and I will feel frustrated that the real stories aren’t be told. The most obvious stories will be about who was or wasn’t elected to the U.S. Congress and some Governor’s seats. Beyond that, the discussions will be about changes in the balance of power in congress and whether one party or another exceeded or failed to meet expectations.
People will talk about whether one group or another is gaining or losing power. This is already happening over at Firedoglake, where Pachacutec looks at the potential fortuntes of the DC/K Street Elites, the Grassroots Theocrats, and the Grassroots Progressives.
Meanwhile, Michael Davies, Executive Director of the Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee tries to get people to look at State Legislative races.
With this, let me approach this from a different perspective and talk about some of the stories that aren’t being told. I think there is a problem with black and white, or perhaps red and blue thinking in American politics, and the discussions about winners and losers is misguided. To illustrate this, I am going to declare a winner in the 149th Assembly District in Connecticut. The winner is, my wife, Kim.
But, some of you might note, Kim isn’t even running this time around. True, and it is also true that when she ran in 2004, her opponent received more votes and was easily re-elected. Nonetheless, Kim won back in 2004, and with people who have been inspired by her running this year, Kim will win again.
The second winner I want to know is ‘the unknown volunteer’. If you work with campaigns, you’ve probably met her. You may even know his name. The unknown volunteer may or may not read blogs. She comes to campaign headquarters, and does whatever needs to be done. He becomes friends with the other volunteers and her life is enriched by the experience. One of the reasons the Lamont campaign and Connecticut as a whole is winning is because of the great volunteers that have been showing up at headquarters around the state. My biggest question is, how sustainable will this be? What will these people with their newly energized civic spirit do after the election? Will there be things to do, groups to be involved with?
The NAACP and People for the American Way have a great program called Arrive with 5.
They are asking participants to find five people that they will help get out to vote, by registering, going to the polls, etc. with them. Their goal is to "increase the overall African American voter turnout by 5% more than the 2002 African American turnout."
Hey. I hope that everyone will do this. Yeah, we need better African American turnout. We also need better youth turnout and so on. Please, do your part.