Monday, December 15, 2008

The Great Democratic Party Non-response

One of my gripes is the complete inability of ordinary citizens like myself to engage with the Democratic Party on a national level, apart from sending them money. I have sent many letters and emails to Congressmen, Senators, and organizations in and around the Democratic party over the years. I even joined one of them, New Democratic Network, because it seemed to promise just such a dialogue. Membership was quite expensive, and I did get to speak from time to time to its leader. But as for participation, nada. Typical, if more extreme than most, was the non-response of Sen. Schumer’s office. In 2004, a number of the residents in my apartment building pledged to donate $10,000 to a deserving Democrat. I repeatedly tried to contact the senator or someone on his staff, even dangling the $10,000 as bait, hoping that they could send someone to one of our meetings to give us their ideas about who to support. We never got any response whatsoever.
Recently, however, I logged onto Obama’s website, and was most pleasantly surprised by the significant efforts being made there to solicit public input. While I haven’t yet joined any of the groups on the site, I am hoping that this is an exception to the great Democratic Party Non-response.

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