The Caucus Race

You might find it odd that I choose literature's most famous Caucus reference, one written to mock and not to praise, to encourage all and sundry Washington State Democrats to attend their local precinct Caucuses this coming Sunday. But I do. Because we shouldn't kid ourselves that participating in the political process is some kind of tidy exercise in which the best ideas always come out on top.

Politics can be every bit as noisy and frustrating and indeterminate as Lewis Carroll portrayed them. Everyone is running as hard as they can to win something, and when the race is over, one wonders what one has actually won. So everyone is given a prize of some sort and we start all over again.

A friend of mine complains to me on a regular basis that politics are all rigged, that voting is useless, that politicians are all this, that or the other unsavory thing. I've told him that if he feels so strongly about it, he should go to a meeting. He should add his voice to the cacophony. He tells me that it would be useless, because no one would listen to him. And listening to him make more excuses, I realize that what he means by "listening to him," actually means, "doing things his way." Because he has solutions all tied up in a neat little ribbon, and if they aren't accepted as such, it would be useless for him to participate at all.

And yet, it is just this noisy, frustrating, all too often indeterminate method which actually ensures that our voices are heard. Few people often get their way - just look at President Obama. Still, if you don't go, you will never be heard at all. Because

The Joint Is Run By The People Who Show Up


The 2012 Caucuses and Conventions are your way of becoming a delegate to the 2012 Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, choosing a nominee for President, shaping our Party platform, and getting involved with the Party for 2012. Moreover (written for my own precinct in Washington's 46th Legislative District):

  1. Your precinct caucus is an opportunity for you to meet neighbors who share your own concerns.
  2. Even if you have little intention of going to Charlotte, the delegates selected here will go on to the Legislative Caucus on April 28. It is here that people ask questions of and make changes to the platform that will be supported by the 46th District Democrats.
  3. The more people who show up at our caucuses, the better chance we have of filling all of our delegate slots – which has an enormous impact on what kind of say our district has in the state and national conversation.

So come and run the Caucus Race with us this Sunday. And everyone gets a prize. The prize is that you know you came, your name was entered on the lists of those who run the joint, and if your voice wasn't heeded this time, it was heard.

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