Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Thanks and Looking Forward

Obviously, the disastrous election results have left us all shocked and experiencing a whole range of emotions. Our Democratic Party of Barron County will be looking for answers and paths forward along with Democratic and progressive groups at all levels across the country... But before we do that, we need to give a huge "Thank You!" to all the volunteers and activists who stepped up in a big way across Barron County. Whatever caused the wave we just experienced, it wasn't a lack of energy or effort here in Barron County.

  • You wrote dozens of Letters the Editor.
  • You marched in parades all across the county.
  • You talked to 4,200 voters on the phone.
  • You knocked on 6,700 doors and talked to 2,100 voters on their doorstep.
  • You planted posts for 4 dozen hand-painted signs and pushed the wires of 800 yard signs into front lawns.
  • You opened your wallet in a big way.
  • Most importantly, you personally buoyed our great candidates, especially Mary and Joe, with your respect and affection.

If we could we would show our appreciation with smiles, hugs, and, at the least, rueful shrugs to acknowledge that we all worked hard, did our best, and have something in reserve for the next time. We can’t, of course, but our strong feelings for our Democratic Party friends are there, nonetheless.

Now, about our shared misery with the results. It is one thing to lose an election. It is another to sense that we must lose our ideas about good government in a democracy; the dangers of climate change; the need for good schools for every child; the values of good paying jobs, equal opportunity and workplace fairness, for everyone, without favoritism for a particular social class, gender or race.

We will not wait for the next election. We need to work with other organizations to promote progressive ideas about climate change, access to health care and political corruption. We need to promote reasonable folks for municipal councils, school board and County Board. We need to ally with people on the margins who might be targeted by newly empowered bigots.

We need to take some time to pick our issues: we can't do it all.  After we better understand the events of this election, we will suggest organizing around a small number of themes.  Then,  lets work together to do those things well, and, most importantly, not repeat our mistakes.  In all of that work we will keep our hope that the people of Barron County will demonstrate common sense and trust in good government.