As far as I'm concerned, the single best development to emerge in this crazy election season is that so many citizens seem to be inspired to get involved more deeply or often for the first time. The excitement around the upcoming Presidential election has also exposed some of the arcane, hidden rules of party politics and that has fired up many for better or for worse.
In a piece about delegate math I argued that rather than complaining about party rules you don't like, it is better to get involved in the party so that you can have a say in creating rules you do want. I'm heartened when I read about bloggers taking action online and off to help create the kind of political parties of which they want to be members.
Rachel Treichler has a blog called "building the green party." Rachel may get a good deal of help this season from Democrats disappointed by the revelation that their party prefers the wisdom of insiders to the crazed mob rule of frenzied voters. Democratic presidential candidate Mike Gravel (whom I don't believe has yet dropped out) has decided to help build the Green party by endorsing one of the party's candidates, Jesse Johnson. Another advantage the Green party offers to frustrated Democrats is that one of the candidates for the party's nomination is a black woman, Cynthia McKinney. No being forced to choose with the Greens!
Although no longer involved in party politics but a trendsetter nonetheless in participating online and off is our own Elisa Camahort Page who previously represented her State Assembly District to the California Democratic Party and was the blogger for the Santa Clara Democratic Party. This year she's a tad busy with a little thing called BlogHer. Nevertheless she finds time now and then to add her voice to the process.
Speaking of BlogHer's own, I was thrilled to see CE Jenn Satterwhite twitter on the evening of the Texas two-step primacaucus that she was chosen as a delegate for Obama from her district!
Blogger FFF from Multiply Life by the Power of Three, also from Texas, is thrilled to be a Clinton delegate. In reading her blog, I particularly loved this post where she spoke with an Obama supporter and explained why she had to respectfully decline his request for support and he thanked FFF for her part in doing her civic duty even if she couldn't support his candidate. This is what democracy is about, people.
In California you have to be on the ballot to be elected a party delegate. Blogger Jasmyne Cannick read a news report pointing out that people rarely run for the position and effectively the same folks are elected over and over. So Jasmyne decided to throw her hat in the ring. In announcing her bid she says:
Now I have no ambitions to serve in public office beyond this capacity. I decided to go for the delegate seat because their role is particularly important in electing fair-minded Democrats to office and that’s something that I am very interested in. Besides, I am always up for a challenge and I think that anyone who has the ambition to seek public office should go for it.
If I was in the 47th Assembly district I would so vote for Jasmyne.
Perhaps because the race is essentially over on the Republican side, I couldn't find any Republican women blogging their party participation on behalf of their candidate (please add any links you know of in the comments). I did find two bloggers who used their blogs and their vote to shape party politics in somewhat different ways, however.
Dee at Conservatism With Heart notes that Ron Paul supporters continue to push for his platform issues to be added to state platforms. She is encouraging her blog readers and radio show listeners to mobilize to counter this so as to prevent distraction from the focus on core Republican issues.
We were able to defeat his efforts here in my county by mobilizing enough people to counter them but it was because we had a heads up. They wanted to add their "10 Resolutions" to the Missouri Republican Party Platform. I have searched in vain for what those 10 resolutions are but I can guarantee you at least one is bound to be anti-war.
For those of you who live in any of the above states I urge you contact your county's Republican committee and see how you can help defeat Ron Paul in your county too!!
This certainly is not happy news to Paul supporters, and certainly I strongly disagree with her views, but I applaud Dee for making an effort to effect a party platform she wants to see.
Jana Allard at Jana's Jive Talkin' blogs that she crossed party lines and voted for a Democrat for the first time.
The Republican party did not have their act together when it came time to vote so I decided to vote for Hillary. (And she did win in California) Since only one person can be the chosen delegate for a party, I'd rather the Democrats have Hillary on their ticket. I seriously doubt the Republicans stand a chance, but their chances are greater against Hillary than Obama.
Again, this is something Democrats won't like to hear but frankly if our party cannot withstand this kind of activity in the primaries and field candidates that can survive it, how will the Democratic nominee hold up in the general election? Perhaps seeing activism such as Jana's will inspire some independents or less committed Democrats to become more involved in the Democratic party as a counter.
I must confess that I burned out on party politics at a fairly young age. I admire deeply those who have the strength and will to get involved and stay involved, especially if they can somehow keep the power from going to their head. My participation will be limited to blogging and spouting my opinions. But I love and support those of you who are fighting the good fight, especially if you've been inspired by what you've seen good, bad or ugly this year. Please share your story and I promise to cheer you on loudly as your biggest fan.
More from entertainment