Sunday, November 21, 2010

extended letter to my precinct

Precinct: among other things I am precinct chair for the local Dem party. One of the things I do on that chair is yak at the members of a mailing list. This is the letter I just sent them plus an extra yak on this and that political matter that I did not want to directly impose on all of them cause probably 75% of them don't care what I think, or they maybe care but not enough to actually read through it all, they'd rather get to it later I mean never, I put it here so they don't have to run the hazard of feeling guilty for not reading it which would be irrational & unnecessary but you know, happens. Here is the entire opus:


This will be an example of the aphorism by Liebling that freedom of the press belongs to those who own one. The modern version of a press is the mailing list.

A few observations on process:
1. email is becoming obsolete as a messaging medium, I dare say most of us on this mailing list are not so much using the new methods, facebook even sort of feels a little yesterdayish, i mean, i use it but its different than it seemed to be like 6 months ago and not necessarily in a better direction
2. all the stuff that got accomplished in relation to the last election was great and the volunteers were great and did a lot of stuff, some way more than i thought wise (like 12 hours of on call driving one person, like 2x 3 hour poll greet shifts another) i must mournfully point out that what we don't have in this precinct is a like real organization. if i don't do what i do we all know that like none of that other stuff would happen. this is my big failure here: inability to draw forth long term motivation to be active from yall. if our, say, communal sewage infrastructure was dependent on our active maintenance by our own personal selves, and we waited to see if someone else would take care of it for us, you know?
(Or would you prefer the R vision, which is individual septic systems and if you can't afford one well too bad?)
Nobody does this stuff for us. If we don't do it it doesn't get done. Other people get more to running our lives for us.
We need either a reliable long term #2 here or we need someone to get like jealous of my nonexistent influence in the community or to look at my bumbling ineffectualness and impatiently tell themselves "even I could do better than that" and to try to bump me off my glorious throne of great power at the next official precinct meeting in Feb maybe. Wouldn't be hard to do. Some blue dogs perhaps. Or maybe even the Rs have enough $ and workers that they can send operatives to register D and take over the party structures from within as perhaps they've already done in SC. Or maybe they already have here in NC too, hard to tell sometimes, aint it?
Well, so, who wants me to come over to your house for face-to-face about what to do?

because, um, face it: our (D) refusal to be motivated this time all across country has given Rs the redistricting in 2/3 of the states including here. they will decide the weapons & battlegrounds for the next 10 years.

Tuesday 11/30/10 6PM I will go to Panera North Hills & buy a cup of something. No one comes I will leave at 7. Someone comes we will talk. Subjects of discussion:
1. what's wrong with our approach to politics (e.g. why detailed explanations so rarely trumps repetitive sloganizing), 2. what we personally can do. bcause personally is all there is to work with.


Idle musings, random imos, always subject to scientific falsification

People in general like competence better than incompetence. We will on average accept various kinds of jerkitude if there is competence. We also prefer swagger over anything else in the emotional-social hierarchies we humans like to build you know with their utterly ubiquitous us-them dynamic. But they'll take a real jerk if that jerk succeeds. Swagger. Bush would have been wildly beloved at the end if he had turned out to be competent but he wasn't. Nation liked the swagger, would have taken more but the incompetence trumped the feelgood jingoism. Obama was elected because McCain was being flaky. Nation chose image of relative competence, no, because Os competence was not known at the time, calmness. We would have taken a R by 1% if there had been a sane one available but there didn't seem to be.

O has been technically competent, or almost so, sort of, its complicated, but there is zero swagger. Nation is confused and puzzled. Wants swagger, isn't getting it, and there is this sort of qualified competence, with qualified results, in the face of determined and intelligent political insurgency, that has really kind of turned off a lot of the independents because its been so messy and equivocal. If there was some kind of solid success they could feel good about? But its all partial, potential, less worse than it could have been. And no swagger. Rs come back offering essentially nothing but swagger, lot of people went for it.

And the money that had abandoned the Rs in 08 because of incompetence, at this point completely unchecked, poured on the Rs in 10 because from its point of view the Ds are always the enemy even at times like these when the D fix, such as it is, was made by the money guys the O people hired to fix the problem. Result: partial fix of some aspects, basic form of our situation preserved, why should the money give the Ds any respect when they in some ways own them same as they own the Rs?

What I see when I look at my opponents is a lot of big money looking to legalize unfair advantage of various kinds so as to make more money. The money riles up rile-upable people (like I'm not very rileable these days but I used to be, growing up surrounded by rileable people because basically everyone is, right?) with various things that various of them care about, separate out the interest groups each with its own special rile.

Meanwhile we prog-soc-green-pink-eth-etc that make the Dem coalition (that's why we have such a hard time getting stuff done) like to actually address issues of immediate and fundamental concern and can't believe that anyone would swallow that continuous stream of fairy tale stardust that has become the entire line of the Reps. That and give all the money to big business. We tend in our usage toward the dry and pedantic, who was the last D you can remember who knew how to strut & preen? Ann Richards? Clinton some. Amazingly, we have a president who is not the least bit strutty. Almost an anti-strutter (almost - therefore not good at it). First nerd president. Super cool but you gotta remember that not counting the kids that voted for him that he let go of immediately after the election (like Jan 09) the most likely to vote is 1/3 independent & the only reason they will go for anyone is because they are succeeding. Otherwise, because half of the independents really are careful freethinkers while the other half is consumed with other aspects of life than politics, a significant slice of voters will vote for the swagger because it touches that crowd effect adulation thing. You know, where the crowd is getting its rhythm synchronized and the emotions are starting to build. People get that watching TV, right? American Idol. Whatever.

We don't get that many charismatic people in politics. Most of them are ordinary, perhaps more than a few are jerks. Every interest group hopes that a charismatic leader will emerge. They only do rarely, historically most of them are jerks or fools, usually they do damage, occasionally they do good. O is weak tea (not teaparty) charismatic. Charismatic compared with Kerry, Gore, McCain. Everything's relative aint it?

World events and political parties, all that, my bottom line is if we (i) want to do something pretty much we (i) have to do it our (my) selves. Faced i constantly am with things not getting done, they can go on not getting done or i can go try to do something about something. i find i get gigantic satisfaction from doing what i want to do, so i do it as often as i can. i work with the Dems because i like the lies they tell better than the Rep lies and i don't want to get all artistic in my politics and put energy into the greens or the libs (neither is an Institution yet so they don't get caps lol) for some kind of noble vision. People on the bottom, reconciliation, tolerance, planning, Dem. Money, acrimony, intolerance, neglect of structure, Rep.

too many words. gonna go do something.

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