What can I do to help reelect the President?
Today's assignment: Dig Deep - Donate a Day
Who are the liberal elite? Maybe the Kennedy's come to mind, or Hollywood types. Maybe you picture Ivy League academics, or the New York Jewish intelligentsia. What about "latte liberals"? Educated urban professionals, or maybe grad students?
I think the stereotype could be simplified to get at a fundamental, positive truth about the Democratic Party. We're a highly diverse group of course; that's one of our hallmarks. But more than that, it is our commitment to each other across lines of diversity within the Party that sets us apart.
In the Republican Party, although you don't see much racial or cultural diversity, there is surely economic and educational diversity. But in their adherence to a "bootstraps" individualism as principle, they haven't set themselves up to reach out within their
Party, from the privileged to those members with less access. Their orientation towards helping is around concepts of charity and individual generosity, not systemic supports.
Within our Party, we have a rich tradition of taking responsibility for each other: Democrats with access reach out to, and help, those without. Democrats with cars and flex-time and gas money get themselves into neighborhoods with none of those advantages, get people registered, and on election day help get them to the polls.
Republicans more and more use the Church to organize politically, and probably have always done fine getting their elderly and disabled family members out to vote on election day. But for over half a century, Democrats have had thriving teams of volunteers pick up and drive to the polls whole neighborhoods of voters who don't have transportation.
It's what we do. And we broke all our own records in 2008. This time around, I fear that the chords of disenchantment struck in some liberal corners could have a detrimental impact on the overall Democratic turnout machine. While the "I guess I'll probably vote for Obama again but I'm not going to work for him this time," state of mind probably shouldn't be criticized where it exists as an authentic, individual viewpoint, it ignores the communal nature that is a significant strength of our party. When people with even a modicum of privilege in our party decide not to go all-in for an election, they do exercise their right to form a private opinion about the current state of the Party. But I think they should at least do so with the conscious recognition that they are effectively making a choice for others as well.
That would be an unfair or exaggerated judgement if leveled at any individual Democrat; I say it to the Party. As a group, we get our fellows registered, informed, and to the polls on time.
It's what we do.
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