Democrats Can Learn From the Star Wars Resistance
In the latest entry of the Star Wars saga, “The Last Jedi,” the wise master Yoda makes a guest appearance in which he tells Luke, “The greatest teacher, failure is.”
If Yoda were here in Arizona, he might have said the same thing to the Democratic Party. To put it bluntly, we’ve had several years of failure in terms of electing our candidates and getting our causes a fair shake.
We’ve learned a great deal from the experience, more than we would have had if we were with the other party, which relies on millions of dollars of dirty money, the influence of a handful of powerful people and the reliability of an aging conservative populace to vote.
We know we have to make the most of the resources we have: people. We may not be the party of the wealthiest or the most powerful people, but we are powerful in our numbers, our drive and our belief that we can achieve great things when we work together, not against each other.
When Democrats vote, Democrats win, but the fact is that they don’t often vote in high enough numbers to elect our candidates. In Yavapai County, we need both Democrats and left-leaning Independents to vote in great numbers in order to have a chance of winning. My hope is that enough Independents will get involved through Indivisible and other groups to help tip the scales in future elections. (And some Republicans will realize our candidates will actually support their causes, such as education funding.)
The Blockchain Effect
In the other part of my life, which involves writing and editing, I’ve been focused on learning about burgeoning technologies, including blockchain applications, which people tend to view as being only cryptocurrency or online money, like bitcoin. The reason blockchain has become of great interest, however, is because it can do far more than just track and protect the veracity of transactions with encryption—it is also a distributed network that relies on the power of unbreakable blocks or sequences of code that are downloaded onto millions of computers around the world. In other words, it’s the power of people that makes it secure and impossible to corrupt.
People are the key to the future of the U.S. government, and the security of our way of life, and we depend on our PCs, our volunteers, our candidates, our party officials and our belief in the system to ultimately right the wrongs that have been committed in order to enrich and benefit corporations and the few.
Ironically, the Star Wars movies remind me of the past year of dealing with the aftermath of the presidential election, but of also winning a few key seats in Arizona. The party showed its ability to rise above the millions of dollars pumped into Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s campaign nationally by working to educate the public on his corrupt and racist actions. In addition, Democrat Paul Penzone won the Maricopa County Recorder race after the disastrous primary vote in which people stood in line for hours to vote. Still, the majority of important seats went to Republicans, such as Senator John McCain and Congresswoman Martha McSally.
But in 2017, the Resistance began in earnest with all of the state’s county offices swamped with new volunteers and interest in being involved in elections, education referendums and other grassroots efforts to gain ground on issues. Now we see, just like those in the Star Wars resistance, that we CAN win battles, and have succeeded in getting Democrats elected in Virginia and in a special election for an Alabama Senate seat.
This year also portends many great things for the Arizona Democratic Party, with new leadership being elected at the end of January, new efforts being made to train candidates and volunteers and real primary contests in races across the state for the first time in years. I expect that more Democrats will be elected in 2018 than we’ve seen in a very long time, and I hope that Yavapai County will play a role in that change.
Out with the Mean in 2018
The Yavapai County Democratic Party launched a fundraising campaign last month, “Out with the Mean in 2018,” and we’ve had a good initial response, but I won’t rest until the majority of County Democrats donate at least $20 to the party so that we can achieve the goals we’ve set for helping candidates. If you haven’t checked out the ActBlue donation page yet, take note of the thank you gifts according to donation levels. We have the items in our office, so after you make a donation, give us a call and let us know when you plan to pick them up so that we can have them ready.
Thank you for your participation in meetings, fundraisers, in helping with events and in supporting us financially and through your time. We had a great year in 2017 and I expect nothing less than an even better year in 2018.