September 22, 2003

What Texas Democrats Should Do Next

a small contribution to a larger body of work

Redistricting ploys are business as usual in Texas and despite the brave efforts of a few, this latest flavor is guaranteed to pass, with or without a quorum. The combined efforts of the governorís pocketbook and Tom Delay's vast reaching cronies ensures the Democrats failure this round. This is realistic, not fatalistic. Yes there's been dirty pool and what might appear to the outsider, be something akin to playground behavior but it's the way "bidness" is conducted in the State of Texas.

What needs to occur at a legislative level is a return to the highly acclaimed days of Austin bi-partisanship and use of congressional sessions to do real work for the state. Governor Goodhair's rabid desire to establish himself as a hard-line hardass is destined to eventually erode the support he currently has in Austin. Should we though, continue to be blessed with his presence, it would be refreshing to know we could at least count on him to be effective, not just well groomed. Abusing our tax dollars to fund an unnecessary redistricting exercise (and multiple sessions) that serve no purpose other than GOP positioning should have the majority of Texans up in arms.

Why doesn't it?

What Texas Democrats should do next is get mad and get busy.

There's been too much apathy within the Democratic Party recently. From a national level all the way down to the local level. Whether it's a backlash of defeatism from the loss of the White House in 2000, a fear of being tied to the Clinton era scandals or a simply loss of nerve, I don't know. We need to get it back. We live in a state that has the worst clean air record, the highest insurance rates in the nation, a city with the highest crime rate, and hands out the death penalty like chicklets in a border town. If any of this bothers you, the Texas voter, don't think a vote for the GOP's going to clean up the air and water in Houston, lower crime in Dallas or cap car and homeowner rates.

The Democratic Party as an entity is just as guilty as the ignorant or lazy voter.
- They need to return to the true grassroots approach to winning the hearts and minds of the people.
- They need to show the African-Americans and Hispanics *exactly* what the redistricting will do to their vote.
- They should buy adds on every station in the state, send out mailings, visit door to door...just get the word out and register every non-voter possible.
- The party should be willing to accept and coordinate volunteers when they call for donations. Not every voter can donate money but everyone's got some free time.

This state is chock full of under-represented farmers, ranchers, single parents, laborers, blue collar workers, and service industry personnel that have no one in Austin looking out for what's best for them. Is anyone championing them? Do they know? Do they vote? Are they educated voters? Do they know their vote counts? Who's telling them? The glossy flyers they receive with their junk mail 1-week before the polls open? The majority of that's produced by "Lobbyists for More Lucrative Legislation" and "Texans for More Business Influence and Kickbacks" not the opposing view to well funded bills.

Each and every one of us needs to find his or her voice. Whether it's a blog that reaches three people a week, a conversation of facts rather than a debate of rhetoric at the water cooler, a controversial bumper sticker or a pocket full of voter registration cards, we all have something we can do daily. If no one is being elected or in the case of this last election, all bills are passing, it's everyone's fault. What would an election look like if *every* registered voter turned out? What if every person eligible to vote, did? Does anyone really believe for a minute, that the GOP represents the majority?

The peasants need to wake up and rise up.

Posted by kerry at September 22, 2003 03:27 AM | TrackBack
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