I’ve been a registered Democrat for most of my adult life. Despite stupidly voting for Ralph Nader in 2000, after voting for John McCain in the VA GOP primary, I have been pretty rigid about supporting Democrats ever since.
I cried when Barack Obama was elected in 2008. It was a great year, and it was right after my beloved Phillies won the World Series. I believed that better days were coming. I believed that America had turned a corner, and the Democratic Party had finally got their shit together.
Then came 2016, Russian interference, and Donald Trump.
Welcome to 2018.
In Louisiana’s 3rd Congressional District, not a single strong Democrat had announced their candidacy before I was approached by Rob Anderson, a progressive independent, who asked me to join his campaign. Although I am a registered Democrat, the only other viable candidate in the race at the time for Democrats was a Lake Charles doctor, Phillip Conner, who opposes women’s reproductive rights.
Rob Anderson wants to decriminalize marijuana, protect Obamacare, and end privatized prisons that are holding immigrant children. I don’t see any Democrats in this race on-board with all of these issues.
I have voted for Democratic Party candidates faithfully since 2002. I voted for Bernie Sanders in the Louisiana primaries, and Hillary Clinton gladly in the general election, but their recent lack of effort is really pissing me the fuck off. I don’t play for participation trophies, or sloppy seconds. I play to win and back the candidate who represents my social and economic values the most. Democrats don’t seem to want to do that in my congressional district, so be it.
The DNC apparently would prefer to lose in red districts with establishment candidates, rather than promote progressives who might better connect with local voters on economic issues. The DCCC assumes that the majority of voters in Louisiana’s 3rd District would probably rather burn a cross in front of a local black Catholic church instead of vote for even a moderate Democrat – but that is no excuse write the district off, or even toss in a buffer candidate for the sake of the appearances to their local donors of giving a damn.
That’s why I, and others, are working for a very progressive independent candidate this year – even at the risk of censure from the Louisiana Democratic Party.
This isn’t out of spite, this is out of exasperation. Ya’ll got my number, I’ll be waiting.