Wednesday, December 21, 2016

You Have More Power Than You Think-- Guest Post By Alice Marshall


A friend of mine in Fairfax County, Virginia recounted how this past election the Chair of the Fairfax Democrats had run her own canvassing operation because she was not satisfied with the one being run by the joint campaign. Every year Fairfax Democrats set up a joint campaign so that volunteers support every Democrat up for office rather than requiring each campaign to recruit their own volunteers. Fairfax Democrats win their elections, so clearly, this works.

However, this year it seems that the Chair, who is an enthusiastic supporter of Hillary Clinton, was not pleased with the joint campaign's operation. Since I no longer live in Fairfax I don't know whether then Chair's concerns were warranted or not, but Hillary Clinton roared out of Fairfax County with 63% of the vote, greatly contributing to her victory in Virginia.

Because Fairfax Democrats look to themselves for victory, there was no forlorn call to Hillary Clinton's national campaign begging for resources to expand canvassing and GOTV operations. Fairfax Democrats took it upon themselves to do what needed to be done. Imagine if Democrats in critical counties across the Great Lakes had done the same.

If we depend upon national leadership we are lost. We need to take charge of our communities. If local activists decide that there will be canvassing, and that it will be done in such a manner as to best deliver the vote, then it will happen. Even if the state or national party drops the ball, as long as local activist take charge of campaigns in their communities they can win.

Precinct operations is a lost art in much of our country. The big money is in advertising, polling, messaging, digital communications, and consulting. Field operations is not so well paid. Precinct operations on a continuing basis is an afterthought. It would be in the best interests of the Democratic party to do training in precinct operations in all 435 congressional districts. Or Democracy for America could offer such training, or Our Revolution, or Brand New Congress. Realistically, I don't see any of that happening.

This is why I wrote my book, The Precinct Captain's Guide To Political Victory, so that anyone, no matter their lack of experience, could acquire the skills necessary to deliver their precinct and not depend upon their state or national party.

I was Chair of the Precinct Operations Committee for Fairfax Democrats from 2000 – 2001. Before that I served on Democratic Committees in Arlington County and the city of Richmond in Virginia. I have tried every method described in my book and can guarantee the effectiveness there of.

In every speech Bernie Sanders tells us that we cannot have the change we need unless millions and millions of us get active. So what does that actually entail? It could mean movement politics, or electoral politics. While I think we need both, I will confine myself to electoral politics because that is where my experience lies.

Reviving the Democratic Party will require not only millions of new volunteers at the grassroots level; it will require them to acquire the skills and discipline of winning. I hope that Keith Ellison will win his race for Chair of the DNC. But even if he does, that, by itself, will NOT transform the Democratic Party.

If we take our politics into our own hands, WE determine what is going to happen, and we do not have to worry about a dysfunctional DCCC or DSCC. Since clearly they will continue to be dysfunctional, it behooves us to take matters into our own hands, but that can only happen if we master the skills necessary to win. Precinct operations are a lost art in much of our country, thus the necessity for my book.

Anyone who buys my book and puts even a fraction of its suggestions into practice will increase the vote for their preferred party by not less than 50 votes. It does not have to be my book, I am not the only one to know about these methods. However, unless millions of party activists acquire these skills by some means, there is no possibility of taking back our country.

The precinct captain's guide to political victory on Amazon Kindle or... at the DownWithTyranny Book Shop.

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At 6:07 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm sorry to break it to you, but reviving the democratic party would mean they would have to pivot 180 degrees and support the 99.99% again after a 40 year hiatus.

Evidently your voters haven't awoken from 1976, but democrats have been shit.

The "party" is beyond saving. Their leadershit that their leadershit keeps re-electing proves this.

At 6:58 AM, Anonymous ap215 said...

I'm with you DWT it's going to take alot more than just Ellison to revive The Democratic Party back the way it used to be we have to be active 24/7 non stop i know there's been alot of tension & doubters here & their points are well taken it's hard, frustrating work but it can be done & whether the Establishment likes it or not i'm not going away & i'm gonna keep on fighting.

Quote - "You May See Me Struggle But You Will Never See Me Quit"

At 7:38 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

All it takes is inspiring candidates. Hillary wondered why she wasn't leading Trump by 20+ points during the election? That she couldn't answer this is why she lost. Boring does not win elections in the US.

At 11:59 AM, Blogger Alice said...

I share the widespread disenchantment with the Democratic party, in fact since moving to DC (where the Republicans are not a factor) I have volunteered for the DC Statehood/Green Party. Much of my book is devoted to the problems of campaigning for an resource poor emergent party. I am of two minds. Even now, the running as a Democratic nominee gives a candidate credibility and the possibility of press coverage. It makes sense to take over the Democratic party. Or possibly not. It may make sense to get active in a tiny emergent party that shares your values and build it into a contender. In either case, my book will give you the tools you need for victory.

At 6:27 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

bottom line: continuing to call for reform within the Democrap party as the solution is clinically insane.


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