So I wrote a piece last week in my efforts to explore the issues within the Democratic Party and how to fix them, which got quite the response. Many of the comments the piece generated reflected deep, long standing rifts within the party. They’re the same issues I’ve seen among the operative class; rivalries between field and finance people, arguments over whose contribution is more important. Looking at it from the outside though, I finally see how destructive this bickering really is. As a field guy, I’ve definitely had my moments where I cursed donors for not getting their hands dirty, but I realize that I was wrong now, so let me be the first to offer an apology.
The truth is that if we want to be successful, we need to recognize that we need one another’s efforts, and that all of our contributions are equally important if we want to start winning elections again. Without donors and finance people, we wouldn’t have the money needed for field and communications to communicate and get voters to the polls. Without comms or field to drive the message and direct the volunteers, we’d just have a big pile of money and no one to implement the programs needed to win elections. While it’s easy for field people and volunteers to see how the sweat from their brows translates to votes, we rarely think of all of the work donors have to do in order to make the money that they so generously donate to make our efforts successful. Think of political work as a car, the donors are the gasoline that makes it run, the operatives are the pistons that drive it, and communications people are the dashboard and headlights that let us see how we’re doing and where we’re going. Without all of these pieces working together, the car goes nowhere.
While we’ve all been busy bickering in the backseat about who’s contribution is more valuable, those who’d rather tell us all what to do than recognize another’s contribution have taken the wheel, and unless we start working together again, they’re gonna drive us all off a cliff.