Sunday, March 17, 2019

Take The 2020 Presidential Primary Pledge

Up until now I have been treating all of the 2020 presidential primary hype as an irritating annoyance. I've been muting the words "Beto," "Bernie," and "Kamala" among others for months on Twitter. It's the only way to make the site usable because lots of people have lots of bad opinions on the topic. I have come around to thinking that all the presidential primary hype is not merely annoying, it's actually extremely harmful.

One thing that killed the Democrats in the Obama era was the party faithful's focus on winning the White House while neglecting Congress and state-level offices. This meant that the Obama administration got precious little done, and that once blue states like Wisconsin, New Jersey, and Michigan suffered through the leadership of the worst kind of conservative governorships. Just think about the impact that Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has had on the discourse, and she's merely one representative in Congress. Imagine the legislative agenda if there were a hundred more people like her in Congress from the the kinds of safe Democratic districts that she won. Getting a more social democratic system will only happen if things change in that way, the most lefty president will founder with an unsympathetic Congress.

This is a long way of saying that at this stage I do not give a single shit about the Democratic presidential primary. There are a lot of candidates I like, and some I am lukewarm about. Whoever they nominate I will be voting and getting out the vote for because to do otherwise would be insanity. Since I live in Jersey and we vote last, there really isn't any reason for me to even pay attention to all of this until well after the early primaries are over and my choices have been limited. What I want to do is to make sure more candidates like Ocasio-Cortez, Andrew Gillum, and Stacey Abrams get nominated by the party in the lower tier races. I want to make sure that we are fighting voter suppression on every level so we do not have more stolen elections. The groundwork for that fight needs to be laid RIGHT NOW. The Democrats may nominate your preferred candidate, but what does it matter if voters are kept from voting for them next November?

Let's stop wasting our time and resources. As the old saying goes, don't fire until you see the whites of their eyes. There is a time and a season for presidential politics, but that's a ways off still. In that spirit, here is a pledge I have concocted for liberal, progressive, and Left voters that I will take and I hope others take too.

I pledge:

  • To give campaign contributions to progressive Democrats in tight primaries in lower-tier races
  • To call my representatives (especially my Democratic ones) and pressure them to push progressive policies
  • To not blog, Tweet or post on Facebook about the 2020 primary until the Iowa caucus, and maybe not even then
  • To not get into pointless arguments on social media with partisans of other primary candidates
  • To not give any campaign contributions in the presidential primary, but so save them for the general election
  • To go to protests against the current administration instead of primary rallies and to generally prioritize political action against the current regime over pushing my favored candidate
  • To contribute and work for campaigns intended to combat voter suppression
  • To vote and campaign for the Democratic nominee in the general election and to bury any leftover grudges from the primary process

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