Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Props to Pandagon's observations on how Dems treat their young. I don't think that aspiring liberals necessarily expect walk-in closets and fitness centers, but some curbing of the begrudging attitude that established Dems often have when encountering fresh-faced world-changers would definitely be worth its weight in gold. I remember asking Donald Dunn about getting involved at a community event once and you woulda thought I was asking to borrow rent money or something. All I got was some half-hearted drivel about the difference between the Young Democrats and the Young Professional Democrats and a increasingly rapid pace (we were walking together at the time). Maybe their going for the "I'm too cool" strategy, like they're the velvet ropers at some new club.

Allow me to attempt a correlation here. The reason why folks like Howard Dean and Rocky Anderson are so popular among younger voters is because they embody inclusion, unpretentiousness, and open contempt for power-drunk conservatism. And guess what, you can actually go up to Rocky in the grocery store and shoot the breeze - no glances at the wristwatch, no canned talking points, no "this org does that, talk to them" - just a real guy talking about his real ideas and his real convictions. Believe me, I've done it and it was like 11 at night and he was buying detergent (he uses Tide with Bleach). I've attempted the same thing with Ralph Becker and I'll just say that it wasn't the same type of experience (I even dropped some names, but to no avail).

Establishment Dems, both National and State, would have us believe that Dean and Rocky are to be placed on the backshelf as political abberrations and not out on display. Do that and you'll be playing Republican Lite forever. When Frank Pignanelli says that the Democrats only option is to kowtow to Mormon sensibilities, he's saying that we should ignore the undercurrents of young and disenfranchised who make up like 40% of the population and are growing, growing, growing. Do you know how many people I know that cast their first vote ever cast it for Rocky? Do you know how many people live in apartment buildings and Sugarhouse bungalows and don't vote because they are so far removed from political goings-on that emulate the wispy Pignanelli strategies? People are angry here. They are sick of not being able to buy a bottle of wine on Sundays, they are sick of being told that they are not moral people, they are sick of "message" bills, they are sick of sales tax on food, they are sick of resources going to Eagle Mountain over Salt Lake City, they are sick of it all. Tap into this anger, man, and you've got a formidable political force. You'll knock the shit out of whackos like Chris Buttars and Gayle Ruzicka and faint-hearts like Dave Buhler and Pignanelli. We'll have something that resembles a two-party system here. We'll get real bills passed in the Lege and not waste our time on another unconstitutional abortion bill or porn czar. But if people like Pignanelli have their way, we will continue to evolve into the Party of Crazy-lite.