In 2004’s Presidential race I heard the cry “anyone but Bush! Anyone but Bush!!!”. Unfortunately it was Bush.
After the election all those who were involved (well, ok most) disappeared back into their lives. As a new person to the political process I found myself working harder and with more passion after the election. Sure we lost the big one, but we had many small victories along the way. These victories I considered to be the foundation of what was to come.
Having Bush in for a second term had me more focused and ready to combat what lay ahead. But as I stood there with my sleeves rolled up ready to get back to work, I noticed the emptiness of it all. Where did all of those passionate volunteers go? What they believed during the election was now more important than ever. Where were the flag bearers? Where were those who had worked so hard and worked so passionately? Surely they didn’t feel that all of that work was for nothing or did they?
I realized as time went by that maybe most of those who came out to volunteer and help had the mentality of anyone but Bush. Maybe they were so against the opposition that they didn’t realize or see the victories in the election of 2004.
So now we stand on the edge of another important election year – 2006. What will be the rally cry this coming year? We all know that our country hasn’t been doing that well (underestimation). But what will be the focus?
I’d like to suggest what the rally cry should be – “Don’t be against Republicans, be FOR Democrats/DFLers!” Let’s focus on our candidates, and our ideas. Let’s choose candidates because we feel passionate about who they are and what they stand for. Let’s not choose candidates because they are the safe choice – the ones we feel can beat the opposition. Let’s take a chance on candidates. Lets listen to our hearts not our minds. If we focus on why people should vote for our Democratic/DFLer candidates and not why they should vote against the opposition then maybe we will build a community of people willing to be involved throughout the year – a strong and reliable base.
Let us be for Democrats and DFLers!
Together we can build a stong and positive party.