Tuesday, April 18, 2006

It’s Worth Fighting For

Kenneth Quinnell has some thoughts on what it will take for Democrats to win in Florida.

Florida is not a Red State. Yes, we have a whole lot of Republicans in office. But many of those Republicans have had to be dishonest about their real agenda to get into office. They have to claim to be moderates or “compassionate conservatives” to get into office. The people in Florida are clearly much more liberal than the politicians.

The problem isn’t the political leanings of the population but more to do with the fractured structure of the Democratic party. Robin Miller notes

I’d say the Democratic Party in FL is severely broken. I tried — really I did — to volunteer a little, but it was a mess. A lawyer was put “in charge” and treated me like I was his servant, at his beck and call. I have a full-time job and he doesn’t, so it was an impossible situation. Davis? The only contact I’ve ever had from him was an email invite to a “meet the candidate” thing, minimum donation $250. That’s a lot for a workingman. Guess I’m not rich enough to support Mr. Davis. $100, maybe. $50, for sure. But $250… we’ll leave that for the know-it-all lawyer. Bottom line: There’s about 0 room in the Florida Democratic Party for those of us who work for a living.

I can’t speak for the rest of the state, but here in South Florida, other than the stories about the latest nutsery from Katherine Harris and her Senate campaign, you wouldn’t know there was an election coming up in November. The Democratic candidates for governor, if they’ve campaigned here, have done it on a stealth level.

Maybe this should be our top priority this year, making sure that this message gets out to the people that need to hear it. Davis/Smith don’t have to outraise their Republican counterparts, but they do have to be competitive and, as of yet, they aren’t.

These are all fixable problems. And they are all problems that we can fix. Organization is one of the keys to electoral success and, for whatever reason, Democrats and progressives have been very unorganized for the last decade or so. Let’s change that, regardless of who resists and regardless of who thinks we can’t do it.

I’m participating in a meeting with Kenneth and some local rabble-rousers this weekend. If you’re in the area, let us know; we’d welcome the energy and enthusiasm. It will be worth it.