Happy 2/22/22, y'all!
In eight and a half years on Twitter, until yesterday morning I had never posted anything that has generated this many Likes, Retweets, and Follows. I honestly didn't expect the reception that this one received. It's not kerjillions, but it's still a bit of an ego boost. I did expect that people would misinterpret my statement, simple as it is, because of the way people plug messages into their own frames of reference whether they fit or not.
The Tweet was conceived as a pre-emptive response to something I've observed in elections past. A whole week into this year's midterm early voting primary season, I haven't yet seen any selfies on Facebook of friends smiling as if they've accomplished something, sporting their I VOTED stickers, rehashing that horrid cliché about "doing my civic duty." However, when I have seen these selfies, they're from smart, earnest Progressives who cling to the absurd notion that the Democratic Party is an avenue for their ideological aspirations rather than a dead end.
Yes, participating in small-d democratic activities in general is, in my view, a civic duty—i.e., one's duty as a citizen. Voting in a primary election, however, is only a duty to one's political party, not to one's nation, state, or community. It's debatable whether voting in the big-d Democratic Party's primary elections is a democratic activity, given that DNC attorneys have successfully argued in court that their party is not bound by law to respect the will of its voters.
So far, at least, I haven't seen any replies defending the Partisan Duopoly, and for that I'm grateful.
This entry is adapted (unrolled, if you will, and edited slightly) from a thread that I tweeted out yesterday. The tweets might not appear in their correct order, because sometimes my Twitter-fu is not so sharp.
Hypothesis: If the Democrat Party didn't show up for an election, the majority of Texas Democrats would vote either Republican or not at all rather than vote Green. It is based on observations, not on anything quantifiable.
This (Delilah's tweet, embedded above) got me in a hypothetical frame of mind: Suppose the Democratic Party of Texas, having nominated a string of "dude, really?" candidates for governor since the 1990s, sees the futility & decides not to waste time & money.
So, in this hypothetical situation, with the Dems sitting it out, the race comes down to Gregg Abbott (or possibly Allen West), a Green, a Libertarian, and a scattering of independents or write-ins. How would the vote go among self-identified Democrats?
The Green nominee could be Delilah, or it could be a Green with a proven track record in politics and statewide name recognition. Let's go with the latter for now. My bet is that more Texas Democrats would vote for the Republican nominee—the devil they know—than for the Green.
Some Dems would vote Libertarian, some would write in their dream candidate, and quite a few (probably the majority) wouldn't vote in that race at all. This is my conclusion based on (1) living here a long time & (2) my own race for Harris County Judge in 2014. In 2014, more Harris County residents undervoted the County Judge race than voted for me. This was due mostly to one-punch, straight-ticket voting, which is now a thing of the past. (I hope it stays in the past.)
Granted, Ed Emmett was a moderate conservative and quite popular among Houston-area Democrats, while Abbott is not. However, for all the talk about how Greens and Democrats are (supposedly) ideologically similar, Dems will dig in their heels & not vote Green even when their favorite Dem office-holders behave and legislate like the Republicans they claim to despise. The Green Party represents a bigger threat to them than the GOP. To me, this is both deeply troubling and...amazingly exciting.
Ooooh, the power!
An Additional Thought That Wasn't Part of the Twitter Thread
It's important to note that voting patterns at the state level differ from the federal level: That whole phenomenon, just as there are differences between voting for Congressional seats and voting for president. It's not uncommon for voters to pick, say, a Democrat to represent them in the US House (especially an incumbent Democrat) but pick the Republican presidential candidate, or vice versa.
My own pattern is that I'm willing to vote for Democrats for State Legislature and county government, but not for POTUS, Congress, or state executive offices. For the latter group, if there's a Green, I'll vote Green; otherwise, Libertarian (if the Libertarian is not demonstrably an asshole) or abstain. I may not always agree with Borris Miles or Shawn Thierry, but I'll vote for them—not that they need my help, being in absurdly State Senate and State House districts, respectively.
This video was supposed to be posted a few days ago; however, due to the recent visits of Tropical Storms Uri and Viola, the dbc household has been without Internet service for the last three days. We were very fortunate not to have lost electrical service, as many of our friends and comrades did. The reduced-water-pressure phenomenon did occur here, owing to neighbors letting their faucets run at a drip to prevent freezing in the plumbing. (It's a Texas thing.)
I'm gonna go out on a limb and say that Delilah (whose last name we're keeping out of this for now) may be the force around which the Green Party of Texas rallies and gains momentum for 2022. A relative newcomer to GPTX, she has brought fresh energy and a few folks willing to work on the campaign. These folks have come together mostly thanks to the Green Maps Project, and they have begun participating in GPTX business meetings.
Delilah is also new to the role of a candidate. As I hoped to capture in this interview, she brings the big-picture vision of the direction that our state and federal policies must take in order to help the people survive and even thrive. She brings a willingness to do what is necessary to raise the funds to make it all happen, and the infectious enthusiasm that will bring in volunteers.
The Greens can hope that the vision, the people, and the dollars will combine to work the necessary magic to poll 2% in 2022 and thus maintain ballot access for another ten years.
From the Vision Come the People
Below is a completely unedited recording of our Zoom interview conducted last Thursday afternoon, 11 February (44 minutes long, give or take). Sorry if it's a little rough around the edges.
Blogging Sporadically since 2014
Here you will find political campaign-related entries, as well as some about my literature, Houston underground arts, peace & justice, urban cycling, soccer, alt-religion, and other topics.