You Don’t Change a Country During the Presidential Elections

My friend Susan posted this on Facebook the other day and said I could use it here on my blog to make a point:

On the off chance that you’ve noticed I’m not publicly mentioning my presidential preference, I am willing to discuss it privately. Keep in mind that the Texas primary is over, my vote has been cast, and I am not persuadable in the presidential race. I love my Party more than I love any candidate. The only candidate I will ever agree with 100% is going to be me, when and if I ever have an opportunity to run. I am fortunate to be well represented at the State level. I have work to do at the city, county, and federal level.

I am firmly committed to down ballot races, and am going to spend my public energy there. I appreciate the passion many of you put into the presidential race, and hope that you respect my decision to focus down ballot. If you get annoyed that I derail presidential threads by mentioning that there’s a lot more to the ballot than just the top, well…tough. I’m not giving up; there’s a pipeline to build and fill. It’s not going to happen if we don’t work for it.

Politics doesn’t begin at the President. Trickle-down politics doesn’t work any better than trickle-down economics.

You don’t have to know it all, but I do hope you’ll at least pay attention to the rest of the ballot.

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Y’all. Democracy doesn’t just happen during elections. The democratic process is in a state of perpetual motion and requires almost constant engagement. You don’t lead revolutions during presidential elections, you lead them in the local political arenas and with down-ballot candidates.  You lead them through grassroots activism, coalition building and ongoing engagement. You build momentum over time.

A couple rowdy rallies does not a revolution make.

Here’s a secret: Politics isn’t about Policies. It’s about People. It’s about Relationships. Showing up to vote every 2 or 4 years is the very least you can do to influence the process. The real influence comes in building relationships with your elected officials, and with like-minded people in your community, so that when the time comes to put the force of your party behind a candidate there is momentum already built, and a clear vision to help bring along the undecided.

I have worked with political organizers for years – and every one of them has the same problem: how do we get people to stay involved with the process after the elections?

Maybe we should put our state legislature on Netflix?