The Slog of Sustained Opposition

The recent special election votes in Virginia, New Jersey and even more recently, Oklahoma, gave Democrats and anti-Trump Republicans a sorely-needed infusion of hope. A lot can happen in a year, of course, but there are several promising omens for 2018 in the magnitude of the wins and the repudiation of divisive and ugly campaign tactics.

That said, I think the most important lesson–the most significant “takeaway”–has largely been overlooked, probably because it simply reinforces what has been conventional political wisdom for eons.

Elections are all about TURNOUT.

Democrats in Virginia won races for their House of Delegates despite running in massively gerrymandered districts, reminding us that the “art” of gerrymandering relies on previous voting patterns. When large numbers of citizens who haven’t previously voted cast their ballots, so-called “safe” districts are a lot less safe.

In a recent column for the Guardian, Rebecca Sollnit makes an important point. Reviewing the election that gave us Donald Trump, she suggests that his narrow victory was likely attributable to–and vindicated– the GOP’s intense and persistent emphasis on vote suppression tactics.

You can’t count the votes that weren’t cast, and you can make a case that the election was sabotaged without taking them into account. But when you add up the different means of disenfranchisement – voter ID laws and illegitimate enforcement of them, the Crosscheck program, voter roll purges, reduction of polling places, gutting the Voting Rights Act – you see that millions of poor, student and nonwhite voters were denied one of their basic rights as citizens, along with more than six million disenfranchised because of felony convictions.

That is a huge chunk of the electorate, and had half of them voted, it would have given us a wildly different outcome – in fact, it probably would’ve dictated significantly different campaigns and candidates.

Good government groups have brought lawsuits challenging most of these suppression mechanisms, and I am cautiously optimistic that at least some of those suits will succeed. But as helpful as that would be, the 2018 remedy lies elsewhere: in civic activism that vastly increases turnout, including in, but not limited to, the populations that have been the target of these suppression efforts.

Unlike countries like Australia, where there is mandatory voting, in the United States we rely on voluntary exercise of the franchise–and even where intentional efforts to suppress the vote are absent, we haven’t made voting easy or convenient. As a result, those of us who are focused upon ousting the corrupt and illegitimate cabal that is the Trump Administration face a daunting–but not insurmountable–challenge. We must register and turn out hundreds of thousands of previously absent voters.

Large turnouts have almost always favored Democrats. That’s doubly true in the Age of Trump. The big question–what we used to call the 64 Thousand Dollar Question–is whether we can sustain the remarkable increase in political and civic participation triggered by the results of the 2016 Presidential election.

Does the resistance have stamina enough for the long slog? Are volunteers prepared for the tedium of house-to-house registration and GOTV efforts? Will enough of us resist the normalization of the daily eruptions of thuggery and ignorant belligerence, and keep our eyes on the prize–the restoration of competent and ethical government?

A year can seem like an eternity, but a dogged and sustained effort that dislodges and replaces Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell and gives us a sane cohort of lawmakers actually interested in the public good would be a wonderful reward for persistence–and the beginning of the end of an incompetent, shameful and destructive administration.

29 thoughts on “The Slog of Sustained Opposition

  1. Last paragraph calling for “a sane cohort of lawmakers actually interested in the public good” may be asking too much of current political parties. The support of or opposition to the current tax bill demonstrates little concern for the public good.

  2. Again, I learn something new and important from reading this blog, and that is the connection between gerrymandering and voter turnout. Thanks, Sheila. I needed that today.

  3. “Does the resistance have stamina enough for the long slog? Are volunteers prepared for the tedium of house-to-house registration and GOTV efforts? Will enough of us resist the normalization of the daily eruptions of thuggery and ignorant belligerence, and keep our eyes on the prize–the restoration of competent and ethical government?”

    This paragraph says it all and the questions mostly answer themselves. GDammit! I am 80 years old, totally deaf and disabled…I have been slogging along since 2000 while living in Florida and watching the presidency handed to George W. on his family owned silver platter. I am limited to my home responding to petitions and surveys and joining organization who can fight for me. What volunteers? I saw none in the 7 years I lived in Florida; it has been 5-6 years since I saw the one and only one group of Democratic volunteers in my east side neighborhood and Mary Moriarty- Adams was the ONLY City-County Councilor who walked these street and asked what we needed in our neighborhood. Now; I am only guessing but…it is my belief that it is only in these staunch Republican areas in Marion County (and possibly the entire state of Indiana) where they don’t bother going door-to-door as election results are a foregone conclusion due to gerrymandering and money. Either from the volunteers or the candidates; my mailbox fills up with their flyers and/or letters with forms to mark with and “X” as to how much money I am including in my response. This is their only campaigning till last minute TV ads.

    Mary Moriarty-Adams actually wrote down information I gave her about the rats in the drainage ditch running through the neighborhood, the Dept. of Public Health report sent to me that there were “safe levels of e-coli in the water in that ditch”. Mary also came to the one and only neighborhood watch meeting on the street with Steve Talley and they did get a speed zone sign posted which is still ignored, that was 3 1/2 years ago. Dana Black actually came to my home to talk of problems and I can’t even vote for her but she listened. Both Democrats, both dedicated to serving all of us. Mary is gone now and I have seen and heard nothing from her replacement since I voted for him.

    Does it really matter if we turn out at the polls by the millions upon millions when only the Republican overloaded states decide presidential elections through the Electoral College? Where was that “large turnout of primarily Democrats” on election day in 2016? My home was surrounded by Trump yard signs; the situation I encountered at my polling place with my ballot ejected twice in one machine but accepted in a second machine, make me still doubt very much that my ballot was counted.

    I sent an E-mail to my State Representative Dan Forestal, yesterday regarding the letter I received from Indiana Public Retirement System regarding the privatization/outsourcing of the entire state of Indiana’s retired public employees which includes teachers, judges, police officer, firefighters, excise, gaming and conservation officers, prosecutors and legislators. There was no forewarning or public announcement that this was a consideration/ The vast majority of Indiana public employee retirees are Republicans; obviously the Indiana Legislators have not yet learned from experience that privatization/outsourcing has NOT worked out well in this state. They must be voted out but how many Democratic nominee wannabes are willing to go to the streets to campaign?

  4. You are 101 percent right, Sheila. Elections, as I have repeatedly blogged, are about arithmetic. At bottom they are about turnout. However noble the cause, however bad and crooked the opposition (and our current opposition makes the Teapot Dome scandal look like an ethical blip), it comes down to the neutral and quantitative exercise of counting numbers.
    It is not the party that has the better platform that wins; it’s the party that has turnout. Therefore, it follows that our party (whatever the issues on the soapboxes) would be better off to spend more time and energy and resources on front porches and registration drives than philosophizing about the already known proclivities of Republicans to give away the store to the rich and corporate class, the .01 percent who with their greed and influence are destroying the system that made them .01 percenters.
    There are many more Democrats than Republicans in this country, and voter suppression will in the long run itself be suppressed unless we lose our democracy during the interim. I have both prosecuted and defended criminals during my career, and I observe that those who did time did not lose their citizenship; only their freedom. They are, it seems to me, citizens for all purposes upon their release after “paying their debt to society,” and there is no good reason to deny them their rights to vote as citizens thereafter. Indeed an argument could be made that convicts should be able to vote while still in prison since only their freedom and not their other rights as citizens should be involved. Typically such repressive statutory language in this connection forbids “holding any office for trust or profit,” but voting is not office-holding. Since when have state legislatures and criminal courts acted constitutionally in denying a citizen his or her right to participate in choosing their governors? I think we need to take a new constitutional look at the grounds for disenfranchisement by pious legislatures of some six million voters because of their felony convictions.
    Finally and parenthetically, recent Democratic successes at the polls show us the power of turnout, but I worry that with such success we will lose our interest in the scourge of minority rule via gerrymandering. That would be a mistake. I think we must resist all voter suppression efforts of Republicans who cannot win without them, including a continuing focus on gerrymandering.

  5. You forgot to insist that we get money out of elections. Why? Because millions of Americans are disenfranchised by their own apathy. They believe it no longer matters who’s in office – they’re going to get screwed either way by the two-party power oligopoly. Ban political $ donations, fund elections with public $, and we’ll attract a completely different kind of politician – ones who will have to actually appeal to the people who will put them in office – voters not donors. All that other stuff is not unimportant but it is also not nearly as consequential as money. Dirty filthy money.

  6. To All,

    Nothing can change until we can listen to William’s wisdom. At the deepest level, our problem is psychological. That’s on the assumption that RACISM is both a PSYCHOLOGICAL and A ROOT problem. I’m sure many would not agree with me. Free country, right?

    Like William, I believe the Democratic Party, in many ways, is more of a problem than the Republican Party. They’re not a LEGITIMATE opposition party. Until we admit that, and attempt to correct the situation, there is no hope for OUR future.

    In that regard, I’m in the process of constructing a new website which I started putting together today: http://www.psychologicalinterpreters.us. [Total cost $1.99].

    I can’t afford to squander my meager, financial that is, resources.

    Happy Holidays to All!

    Marv

  7. Happy Holidays to you, too, Marv, but I do not agree that the Democratic Party is more of a problem than the Republican Party, even as you have used the limiting phrase “in many ways.” If our party is more of a problem in any important way than the one that is giving us Trumps, Moores, DeVoses, Pruitts et al., then it’s over. If we the people do not seek or have no avenue within which to express our collective will against those who are destroying our democracy, then I’m out of here to Canada, New Zealand, or some other venue where politicians are sane and working for the common weal within the framework of democratic institutions. The kind of America these people are forming from the debris of our democracy will not deserve my presence, my resources, or any other support. When democracy is gone and I’m a mere ATM for the superrich, then I’m gone. See you later. The Democratic Party, like all parties, is and will be in need of change as conditions change, but I for one am not going to throw out the baby with the bath water. Our party is our last best hope for preservation of our democracy, which I treasure above all else.

    Meanwhile, let’s enjoy our upcoming holidays in these days of chronic Trump, DeVos, Hannity and Moore fatigue, even though we in our liberal stockade occasionally disagree. with one another.

  8. Gerald,

    “Happy Holidays to you, too, Marv, but I do not agree that the Democratic Party is more of a problem than the Republican Party, even as you have used the limiting phrase “in many ways.”

    It’s a matter of how you look at things. I agree with you, if we’re talking about the problems on the surface. But, as you know, my concern is with the sub-surface problems. And they wouldn’t even be a factor, if the progressive media, pro-democracy NGO’s, or the Democratic Party had ever mounted the CIVIC COURAGE to stand-up to the RACIST OLIGARCHY or more specifically, CHARLES KOCH. I’m not saying it would have been easy to do it. But they’ve taken the easy way out and put us all at risk.

    Thus, I’ll stick to my position. From where I’m coming from the Democratic Party is a bigger problem than the Republican Party.

    How would you like to go a football game where one team was playing TACKLE and the other team only playing TOUCH? Knowing you, I don’t think you would like it.

  9. As someone who will maintain his stand of resistance against Fascism until I no longer draw breath, there is no fatigue in me in this matter. Yes there are days I am down especially when I see all the news media articles from RT, GLOBAL NEWS, BLUEDOT DAILY.COM, etc., etc., it is all click through BS! But our country has raised a lot of children over the past 60 years that do not have the mental resources to discern and discriminate, hell we have folks that couldnt’ find their STATE on a map!.. And Capitalism got us here – the dictatorship of Capitalism I should say. It was my favorite Republican President that called that one – in 1958…! We are supposed to be a Democratic Society with a Capitalistic economic system – now we are a Capitalistic ‘democracy’ – a dictatorship of capitalism… I have stood in resistance to this crap since 1967, and I damn sure am not quitting now!

  10. BEYOND THE BALLOT AND BACK AGAIN
    So, it is enlightening that voter turnout is the silver bullet that starts the demise of crooked politics and bribed self-interest among our government proxies.

    So, we turn out the vote, and democrats win a majority in both houses of Congress.

    Here’s my prediction: those newly-elected senators and representatives, full of good intentions, will soon (no later than the second trimester of their first year) be bought by big money. And they will soon learn that good intentions are useless when every well-intentioned bill they propose, in order to garner enough congressional votes to become law, must bring on board a number of “seasoned” veterans already bought and paid for, in reality an absolute impossibility.

    How about loading up a silver bullet that overrides corrupted congressional voting and rids our government of small-print loophole-provisions in political contribution statutes that enable big money and multinational corporations to use their wealth to buy government compliance with the capital class’s business plan?

    The way forward here, folks, is BEYOND THE BALLOT, for the ballots needed to put a proper plan into action against big money influence will never be cast by the outlaw congresspeople who benefit from their self-enriching collusion with big money…unless they are FORCED to do so by a powerful movement on par with the 1960’s.

    We need to FORCE into existence an Initiative and Referendum process for US government. Doing so will take a street movement—outside the ballot—surpassing Martin Luther King’s Civil Rights Movement of the 1950’s and 1960’s.

    In a true democracy, there should exist no CATCH-22 anywhere in the statutes or Constitution that in its effect dis-empowers the people and renders them void of recourse.

    I say, NOT HAVING A FEDERAL INITIATIVE AND REFERENDUM PROCESS IS INHERENTLY UNCONSTITUTIONAL.

    POSSESSION OF VOTER INITIATIVE PROCESSES IS AS MUCH A HUMAN RIGHT AS OWNING A GUN OR FACING YOUR ACCUSER.

  11. Regarding the long slog: The Republicans have been at it since 1980. There’s no reason why Democrats can’t slog their way back to saving the country for the rest of our time on Earth.

    As far as Marv’s cynical take on the Democratic Party goes, try making a list of all the things that have harmed our people, our infrastructure, our world standing and our economy for both parties. To save you some time: It’s not even close. The Republicans have pandered to the richest few percent since the day Lincoln was shot. FDR’s model for our nation’s progress, while not perfect, is infinitely more proactive – even today – than any Republican model. That’s ANY Republican model.

    So, the slog continues apace. Keep the energy flowing in the right direction, people, and we’ll be able to stuff gerrymandering up the chutes of the Republicans…the place from which it sprang.

  12. Vernon,

    “As far as Marv’s cynical take on the Democratic Party goes……..”

    cyn’i-cal (-i kel) adj. l. denying the sincerity of peoples motives and actions 2. sarcastic, sneering, etc.—cyn’i-cal-ly.

    You surprised me with such a CHEAP SHOT. However, after reading your book, I’m not surprised.

    Other promoting your book on this blog. What is in your background to think you can get away with slandering me? I’ve been on this blog for over 2 1/2 years. Are you a fool?

  13. Very interesting, Marv and Larry. I know that when mixing the new with the old you still have the old (and perhaps bought) to sit at the table with the new and hash out policy positions and I, too, am tempted to overrule such processes with initiatives and street mobs. However, reform can be had short of such possible violence. Witness those young people dedicated to the common good who came in with the administration of FDR in 1933. They were idealistic; they were not bought nor could they be bought. They mixed with old Democratic holdovers (especially from the South) and through internal compromise within the party gave us the New Deal and forty years of prosperity like we had never seen before or since with Social Security, the Fair Labor Standards Act, Glass-Steagall, federalized insurance on bank accounts (ending bank runs), the Wagner Act etc. etc. etc.
    I am not yet ready for street rule, tempting as it is with daily frustrations. I instead am for winning elections in overwhelming fashion with idealistic candidates and going back to the future in political terms, a future where we govern for the common good and not exclusively for the financial or any other sector, all with a view toward setting the stage for all to prosper in an
    inclusive society.

  14. I didn’t slander you, Marv. Are you wanting to compare bone fides? Is that it? No, I’m not a fool. And by telling the world that the Democratic Party is more of a problem than the Republican Party, you defined cynical, by denying the sincerity and actions of said Democrats in view of the opposition that is ripping democracy to shreds.

    I’m glad you read my book. I just call ’em as a I see ’em. But, don’t worry, Marv. I won’t read any more of your opinions, nor comment on them. Clearly, you are a sensitive person.

  15. It is unfortunate perhaps but nevertheless true that we have a two party system. I personally don’t see that changing even though both parties are fractious these days. What is common among the Republican coalition of oligarchs, big and small business trickle downers, Evangelists, armanists, racists, Libertarians, Russian hackers, misogynists, political entertainers, and isolationists is they are authoritarians, read extremists, who believe themselves entitled to the power to impose their will on we, the people. I can’t think of a bigger threat to freedom and we have seen the evidence lately.

    So Marv and William, I too have to part political company with you. The Democratic Party is a long way from perfect, nobody should be surprised about that, but their dysfunctions don’t threaten the very core of America.

    To me it’s a clear choice between progress and regression to restore what we thought we already had fixed and dragging us backwards in our own history as well as more out of step with the rest of the world. That’s a no brainer to me.

    Sheila is right about the slog but it pales in comparison to the pain of revolution and to me our backs are to the wall. More of what we have is intolerable.

  16. AgingLGirl; I remember the horrible voting machines in Florida. You could tell when your vote didn’t punch the paper plug all the way out but nothing you could do about it. Much of the purged voting was blamed on those dangling pieces of “chad”. Paper Ballots all the way!

  17. First you need some viable opposition and a plan. The opposition has to be more than a cut out or a ballot filler. This where a plan is important. One important part of the plan is highlighting the issues. You need publicity. Now a days elections are largely ignored by the press until maybe the day before and day of the election. Unless you can afford to buy media time or space, you have to find other ways to reach the voters.

    Today with the internet a candidate can obtain a Web Site, etc. However, boots on the ground are vital. You need to inspire people to be those boots on the ground. A simple message is needed on the issues, no need for a manifesto. What do you stand for, needs to be answered. Avoid any attacks on your opponent.

    Susan Brooks is my Federal Rep. I would love to see someone in the Democratic Party pursue voting her out. A viable opponent to Brooks would need to begin now to announce a candidacy and plan out a strategy.

  18. Gerald,

    “Very interesting, Marv and Larry. I know that when mixing the new with the old you still have the old (and perhaps bought) to sit at the table with the new and hash out policy positions and I, too, am tempted to overrule such processes with initiatives and street mobs. However, reform can be had short of such POSSIBLE VIOLENCE.”

    Am I reading you wrong? Where have I promoted POSSIBLE VIOLENCE?

    What I have been doing is promoting more than JUST the Democratic Party since 1991 after two FAILED attempts were made by the State Bar of Texas to disbar me after I was the major strategist in the victory for one man, one vote in Dallas. See http://www.TheAlarmReport.info. The last time they attempted, I forced the State Bar of Texas to appear in a Dallas courtroom to admit they had no case. The Judge’s comment, at the time, after their testimony was, “I’m getting off this case. Because of Mr. Kramer’s reputation, I would be prejudiced against the State Bar of Texas.” My final answer was “go to hell.” [I also was the major strategist in breaking the color barrier in college football in the Deep South in 1960. See http://www.StrategicPower.org]

    Maybe what you’re reading into me comes from my strong sports heritage and military background which I have mentioned various times on this blog. I probably sound more physical to you because of that. However, you can’t just be an intellectual in this game, if you want to win. It’s too physically dangerous. YOU HAVE TO BE ABLE TO PROTECT YOURSELF.

    MLK wasn’t violent. I was the host for his two major attorneys when the movement came to St. Augustine in 1964, just before the Civil Rights legislation was passed. As a matter of fact, I decided last night to contact an old friend in Dallas who is the Director of the Institute for Non-Violence.

    However, I am for STANDING-UP. We have to find a way to do it without violence. The times are much different now. The KKK is no longer on the fringe.

    If you want to be an outstanding practicing attorney like you have been, then I doubt you can accept what I have been saying. If you took my positions, you would have been fighting your STATE BAR ASSOCIATION and JUDGES most of the time and you wouldn’t have made a penny. Your clients wouldn’t have touched you”with a ten foot pole.”

    As I mentioned to you before, you’re a much better attorney than I am. [However, I was 1st in my class at the University of Florida Law School my first year. Because of my grades, I was one of only two applicants accepted to Yale Law School as a transfer student. I didn’t go there. I eventually transferred to the Tulane School of Law in my third year, in an experiment, where I would be the first to obtain a Degree in Civil Law from Tulane in only one year. I’m not stupid.

    As I told you once before, I see myself as an engineer, architect, or designer. I have to admit again that I made a big career mistake. We all make mistakes.

  19. There may not be a vote in 2018. Trump’s poll numbers are slipping so precipitously and Robert Mueller’s nose is so far under the family tent that Trump’s only chance for survival is to stage a terrorism event on a scale that – as he will maintain and Ryan and McConnell will support – necessitates postponing the election. A unilateral attack against North Korea might serve the same purpose. Lest this be thought absurd, please recall that Cheney and Rove and Bush held extended discussions on this very topic in 2004. Trump, for whom staging extravaganzas is second nature, will turn himself into a national hero by “solving” the crisis he will create, thereby proving that “only I alone can fix it.” Is there anyone who doubts he would resort to such a tactic?

    There is no way out of this monstrosity our fellow Americans created except a quick turnaround impeachment. But in case he fails to get his act together in time to forestall the next mid-term election, I heartily endorse Sheila’s suggestion that, for the next 12 months, we focus exclusively on getting out the vote. There are more Americans who would prefer to see this country go forward than go down. Regrettably, our president is not among them.

  20. Marv and Vern: Peace! Let’s disagree without being disagreeable. I will read both of your opinions and will be happy to do so. We liberals often disagree over tactics and even policy positions, but the Republicans are the real foes, so let’s save our time and energy and vitriol for dealing with them. Arguing among ourselves over tactics and the like are fine and should continue, but we need to remember that there is much more that unites us than separates us and that it is going to take unity and strength to stand up to these people who would destroy our democracy with their free market mythology and other such chatter. I, for instance, like both of your liberal views but may disagree with you on details and tactics from time to time. I think such a confrontation among those of us with largely shared political views deserve further discussion and not divorce, so let’s stay calm and focussed on the real enemies of the people – right wing Republicans. How about it?

  21. Gerald,

    “How about it?”

    Sure. As I have always said, “you get my vote for President.” [I know you’re not running].

    I still recommend reading Vern’s book. It’s one of the best political histories covering [surface] events since 1970. Unfortunately, there are no books covering the continuing sub-surface political history which began in 1935.

    Would we like to forget about submarine warfare as it was conducted by the Germans in World War II? I don’t think so.

  22. Thanks for your commentary, Gerald. When I scan Facebook, I often find people still bickering about Bernie v. Hillary and how things were so screwed up that Trump was allowed to win. Except for the fact that Hillary “won” the popular vote by almost 3 million votes, and another 3 million votes were channeled to Jill Stein (imagine that) and other lesser candidates, the gross mistakes by the DNC would have been incidental if the electoral college would not have existed.

    So, it’s not really about which “party” is more harmful or doing more good, it’s about getting the right people to represent us in our democratic republic. Since 1981, the Republican Party has continued to slide toward right-wing extremism to the point where the demon of fascism is clawing at the door of democracy. THIS is the biggest problem, and we the people must prevent a recurrence of Germany, circa 1933. THAT must be our focus.

    I work with Progressive Democrats of America. In my limited capacity, I try to write to change the framing of political debates so that the Republican memes are defeated by better words and better logic. Words DO matter, and we must keep finding the best words for our new candidates so they can garner votes even in gerrymandered districts. We must work to defeat Republicans everywhere and at all levels.

    The theme these days MUST be that those of us who are on this blog, and who think, MUST also work directly to locate, train and promote the necessary candidates. If you’re young enough, connected enough and self-supporting enough, run for office yourself. Find out what it’s like in the pit of politics so you can toughen yourself and prepare yourself to actually govern rather than pander to donors. Having read much in-depth history of the evolution of our politics over the decades, it is when we lack that kind of citizen energy, that we forget how to govern. The current population of our Congress is a perfect example.

    Get to work. See you at the polls.

  23. While I certainly favor doing everything possible to get out the vote, does that mean we have to wait until 2020 to get rid of Trump before he and the large number of Republicans now in office whose silence appears to give their consent to his constant efforts to demolish our democracy, succeed in helping him become the despot he is trying to be? So many of them, beginning with Vice President Pence, smile inanely and nod in agreement after each of his daily lies, swearing to their veracity. If he had to swear on the Bible before every statement he makes, the Holy book’s cover would soon be worn to tatters. I cannot see what or who his supporters are loyal TO….it can’t be to our country’s citizens or our rule of law.

    What more would it take than Donald Trump has already done to convict him of treason? My concern about impeaching him is the possibility that he might, with the help of his attorneys, somehow wiggle out from under the attempt to do that and manage to remain the president.

    Whenever and however it happens that Donald Trump is totally removed from office, he and his Republican supporters will be leaving us with a train wreck of his stupidly dangerous and retaliatory- against – Hillary- Clinton- and- the- Democratic- Party executive orders that may take us years to undo.

    How I would love to see some light at the end of this tunnel!

    Carole Neufer

  24. Turning out the vote will only precipitate change if there are candidates willing to put themselves out there during the primaries. Thirty-seven uncontested seats (in both parties but mainly Republican dominated) out of 150 offices in the Indiana state legislature means that there has to be at least 37 people with the stamina, thick skin and financial resources to run for open seats at the local, state and federal level, not just in the general elections but the primaries. In today’s conditions, campaigning is a full time job. Qualified people who may have the desire to enter the slog may not have the financial where-with-all to leave regular employment for extended periods.
    Yes, we can work to turn out the vote. The results of an uncontested race will not change even if we succeed in getting more people to the polls.
    Redistricting reform is critical. We need to make it happen. Then turning out the vote may actually mean something.

  25. Those in red states (which are sometimes red because of gerrymandering and other forms of voter suppression) who are good Democrats should run, get our message out, and not worry about losing. People in their districts need to hear from Democrats not just in downtown Indianapolis but also in Carmel. So you lose? So what? Abraham Lincoln ran for office 11 times and won only 3, but he persevered and was twice elected to the presidency. We need not worry about losing; we need to worry about getting our message out to voters who haven’t heard anything but Republican propaganda for lo, these many years. We must crawl before we walk, and at every level, from township boards to the state house and beyond. P.S. Some are predicting a Democratic “wave” in 2018, so that might be a good time to run. We are now winning in red/gerrymandered states, so maybe we can outdo Lincoln and win in Indiana. After all, we are winning in deep red Oklahoma, the only state in the union where every one of its counties (77) voted against Obama. That’s quite a switch and an exciting one, so I encourage Democrats to run in deep red states like Indiana. As Oklahoma proves, you might win, and even if you don’t, you have broken ground for a run next time. Yes!

  26. Gerald,

    “Marv and Vern: Peace!”

    I’ve done some checking on Vern’s background. There isn’t room on this blog for both Vern and I. He’s a better fit. I’m about fighting the massive racism and anti-Semitism that’s undermining our society. I’ve been doing that my whole adult life.

    Vern is about partisan politics and has a very strong background in that area. No doubt both are important, but my area is much more controversial and creates retaliation which those involved in partisan politics like Vern and his journalistic friends have never been willing to face. I don’t blame them. There’s no money in it. How can you provide for your family if you go down my trail? You can’t.

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