Reflections on the 2014 election

GWB was the best thing for organizing on our side in many years. He forced everyone to get together in opposition. As soon as he was gone, we started splintering. But he’s NOT gone, he was always just a front man. The folks behind him are still there, working as hard as ever against most of us.

We refuse to plan or operate in unison or strategically. When we have a chance to make progress, we immediately divide up start squabbling over details or are diverted to work on feel good proposals that do not alter the basic situation one iota.

The need at the moment has not changed one bit. Unify to oppose the neoliberal economic concentration scheme based on austerity and the denial of human rights for working folks, racism, xenophobia, militarization and the destruction of the planet. If you think you can walk away from this fight and somehow not be affected, you are mistaken.

The percentage of their racist base varied, but everywhere in our nation, the Right’s job was made easier by the prevailing racism that was activated by our having a black president. The exit poll interviews I heard out of Kentucky were abysmal. Here in Stevens county it is no longer even below the surface for about a quarter of the population. Obama’s refusal to act anything like what one might expect from a black president has done nothing to defuse this, and in fact, made the Right’s job easier by deactivating our voter base. Their endless supply of campaign cash easily layered on top of this to manufacture consent for economic self-destruction among a majority of the voters even in areas such as Kansas, which are in economic free fall, or in WA-05, most of which hasn’t seen economic prosperity in thirty years or more.

There was an impressive start at a new level of organization within the local party and campaigns. Instead of people walking away discouraged, we need to continue to do more of it. There are Spokane city races that are crucial coming up next year. Statewide, the Democratic party is for the first time ever embarking on a modest campaign to activate its member base to hold its elected officials accountable to its platform and not to Boeing, Microsoft, and Wall Street. I have a feeling that party leaders will be surprised by how willing and ready the rank-and-file will be to send this message. Despite their victories, there are huge rifts within the GOP and there are many people who’ve been voting Republican that are ready to hear a new message.

I can attest that many local voters who cast their ballot for McMoRo did not do so out of any great affirmative feeling for her, quite the opposite, they are at best vaguely uneasy. But they’d never heard of Joe Pakootas and vote for the devil they know. We will not reach and educate these voters by calling them, mailing them a nice postcard, or knocking on their door right before an election. We will never have the money to even try to reach them through the media. Effective organizing is not technology driven, it cannot be accomplished quickly, easily, and efficiently. It is messy and non-linear and it requires two-way communication over a period of time. It must start today if we want to see less dismal results in the future

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