Overcoming Despair

despairWhen I discuss whether Democrats can transform the Party into an activist organization, I often hear cynicism. The cynics say the Establishment is too powerful.

But Bernie’s campaign refutes that proposition. His ability to raise money and get a progressive majority on the platform drafting committee is evidence of our potential.

One correspondent asked, “How do you think outsiders can take over the Establishment? What’s the process you could foresee to do so?”

I replied:

1) Formulate a reform platform…
2) During regularly scheduled elections, registered rank-and-file Democrats elect candidates to the local Central Committee who support that platform.
3) During regularly scheduled Assembly-district caucuses registered rank-and-file Democrats elect Democrats who support that platform.
4) Those Central Committees and Assembly-district committees elect representatives to the State Party who support that platform.
5) The State Party elects representatives to the Democratic National Committee who support that platform.

Though the California Democratic Party is a bit more complex than that brief outline, its basic bottom-up structure is in place. And I believe the Party in other states is similar.

Thus far no one has presented an argument for why Bernie and his people, in alliance with other Democrats, cannot restructure the Party into an activist organization that serves local needs and fights for its platform year-round.

That scenario certainly seems more realistic than the notion of building a new national organization or developing the Green Party into the coalition that we need, as another correspondent recommends.

So I remain hopeful that Bernie will focus like a laser beam on reforming the Democratic Party.

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