10 Years of Service in the Texas Democratic Party

I've been inside the Galveston County Democratic Party as a precinct chair for 10 years. I was also part of Battleground Texas for 3 years. I was responsible for county party communications for 5 years and promoted progressive ideas. I chaired the county party resolutions committee at three of the county conventions. I served on the state resolutions committee during one state convention.

On the other hand, the rules of the Texas Democratic Party limit party members relative to changing the county or state party. The only Democrats I get to vote for and elect to office within the Party are for County Chair and two members to the 62 member State Democratic Executive Committee. I have no influence over selection Party candidates for elected office. All candidates are volunteer. If progressives don't volunteer to run for office, I can't vote for them.

If I'm a delegate to the state convention, I do get to vote there and one of those votes is for the state Party Chair. Unfortunately, the incumbant party power brokers have significant control to make sure their Chair candidate is elected. We have a state chair that has remained in office for too many years despite our never ending loses in general elections during his service. Delegates to the convention should recognize this and vote for change, but it hasn't happened.

At the county and state levels, I do get to vote in either the Democratic or Republican primaries. If there is a contested race in the primary and a progressive has volunteered to run, I can vote for them in the primary. However, the state and national Parties tend to get involved during primaries and try to make sure progressives lose any contested election. In 2012, a local county effort got former Congressman Nick Lampson (10 years prior service as a Democrat), a moderate, to run again for Congress. I worked on his campaign and managed phone banking efforts in north county. Galveston county is the largest block of voters in this district. The national party took control of the campaign because Nick had high name recognition. However, he still lost. Galveston county, unlike other large metropolitan counties like Harris (Houston) is still 57% white, non-hispanic.

After the primary, even if a progressive is selected during the primary, they have little chance of winning the general election in this county or the state. Anytime Democratic voter participation increases in Texas, it is met and surpassed by Republican participants.

My current PC term will end in June and I did not reenlist for the next 2 year term. Ten years of trying has not made enough of a difference for me to continue. It's a lot of effort for a minority member of a minority party to make change happen and I don't have the energy to continue. We also have new leadership that I'm not compatible with.

I'm not an optimist like you, Thom. Ignoring today's weltschmerz is harder and harder to do.

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I am going to say something some people will hate, I like the two party system. It isn't really just two, because the unaffiliated folks always determine the outcome these days. People can bitch all they want about closed primaries, but independents can choose a party for any given election and then get out.

What convinced me about a parliamentary system being just as bad as ours was watching the series called "Borgen"; it's Danish. What it demonstrates is how crazy and unethical the bargaining can get (behind closed doors) to form a majority.

I like how Thom expressed some satisfaction for the work accomplished by the Progressives....we're getting there. President Biden and Senator Sanders, a Dem and an independent are leading the way. 

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Yup, those brain-dead trolls who "think" NATO is obsolete...

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Thom I suggest you get a handle on your brain dead trolls, they’re not helpful

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After all those paragraphs illustrating that The Democratic Party "has much to answer for," ie, it's rational to critisize, doggonit, Thom, you reflexively toss in the word "gratuitous!" Call me lots of things, but don't call me "gratuitous!" And, by the way, didn't Pat Buchanan admit he got a lot of Gore votes because of the misleading format of the ballots? Anybody wants to remind me wrong about that, fine. If the chips were down now, I guess I'd hold my nose, but really? Rotten carcass Manchin or Sinema? Grrr. Just don't call me "gratuitous."

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The US 2-party system in today's age of mega tech firms dominating all communication, and huge corporations owning almost all the media and using advertising and lobbying techniques that have been developed as war strategies by psychology experts many people do not believe the 2-party system can ever be trusted again. It's simply too easy to take over the leadership in either party.

A voting strategy of NEVER voting for an incumbent may hold some scope for cleaning house and limiting the time the 'lifers' are able to stay in state or federal legislative posts. However, long-term US political stability probably need to accept the risk of moving towards a multi-party system as all the stable country systems appear to have done.

It seems highly unlikely that a progressive cohort of politicians taking over the Democratic party will attract enough voters from the voting cohort that increasingly register as independent. Both parties have a significant voter block that leans towards a common sense Center, and paired with the independents we have a possibility of a 3rd party strategy some time in the future-BUT the time in between may be rough. In the meantime rural voters as well as voters in the Deep South will probably always feel alienated by the current format of urban progressiveness.

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We can’t get the votes as long as we continue to ignore the cost and the size of the empire, Thom. Progressives like you and AOC and Bernie have been so reactionary on foreign policy even the far right is able to seize that issue as their own. NATO IS obsolete. It is so damn obsolete it has to CREATE the conditions that justify it’s existence. As in Eastern Europe. Face up to the real power structure Thom and take on the MIC the way you take on Wall Street

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