Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Rebuilding the Democratic Party in Georgia

Some of the things I'm about to mention here you may already know or heard about.....

 For the Democrats to regain the majority and make it stick, they will have to build a strong organizational foundation everywhere, even in those places where Democrats don't have an immediate chance. Democrats may not win many red-counties/or districts this year, but I believes that they will be better off in the long run if they start shoring up the party in Republican strongholds now.

What is missing from the current debate is a clearer appreciation for how the Democrats got to where they are today, and how the current leaders might learn from the record of the past.

Democrats have given party building short shrift. Democrats who run for higher office in this state(statewide) tended to use the formal party apparatus as an instrument for raising money but looked to other vehicles for building political support. They relied on organized labor to get out the vote; on urban machines and on the strength of incumbents to win their own re-elections.

While this was a winning formula, it could not last forever. By failing to create durable organizational capacities in their party, Democrats were often forced to cobble together new political networks with each campaign season. Republicans and party chairmen, on the other hand, were driven by their perpetual minority status back in the 1980s & 90s to strengthen their organization as a means of expanding their party.

To establish a new majority, Democrats need to  aggressively build up their organizational presence in weak Democratic areas, especially in rural South & Central Georgia. Operate schools to train activists and campaign managers & developing new methods of recruiting candidates and enrolling party workers and volunteers, create teams of "field men" to travel from campaign to campaign to lend their expertise where needed, built new small-donor fund-raising networks and begin to send money where it needs to go. Something democrats have done is invest in technology and voter database management. But what's more, these practices were disseminated down to the local level.

Other examples like give local leaders the resources they need to develop a campaign-support system that would entice attractive candidates to run for office with the (D) next to their name. Also show Political neophytes, like business and religious leaders suppor0..tell them that we will support you -- if only you would take a chance on running.

By developing an organizational structure now,  Democrats will have something sturdy to rely on if, and when, they win back the governor's mansion.

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This is a Rural Blog that provides views & insights from a Conservative Georgia Democrat

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