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An Independent’s Lament

An Independent’s Lament

Sierra County Democratic Party Meeting an Eye-opener

Bernie Supporter Felt Bullied, Ignored

‘I believe the vast majority of citizens are ready for an Independent’

GUEST OP-ED

Like Lemmings to the sea…

So, here I am a member of the Democratic Party. I didn’t choose it. It was forced upon me because my state doesn’t have an “open primary.” So I registered as a Democrat to vote for Bernie. I know there must be a lot of us out there.

And probably, like me, you would like to try and “do” something about the current situation. Well, in March, I decided to attend a meeting of “my” local county-level Democratic Party.

It was so ugly I had to binge-watch old Jimmy Stewart movies just to feel clean again.

There I was among a bunch of self-proclaimed life-long Democrats, watching them bully the more progressive members into silence, shout down a Hispanic man for wanting bilingual meeting announcements, and using derision and intimidation on anyone new who wanted to speak (that would be me). That meeting was also for the election of the local party’s leadership, but that was so botched and bungled, that there just isn’t enough room to tell it all here.

So, in April, I went back to my second-ever meeting of the local Democratic Party.

A few of us brave “progressive” souls tried to get the “right side of the room” to adhere to the rules of the Democratic Party, and Robert’s Rules of Order, which the party rules require. When we asked where were the County rules, no one seemed to know.

The party’s arrogance

They did do quite a bit of talking about using Robert’s Rules, because they knew they were on the spot, but they used the rules of order selectively, when it suited their purpose, and just ignored them the rest of the time, like when someone from the left side of the room wanted to speak.

They repeatedly said things that showed a privileged attitude, because of their “long years of service to the Party.” Well, an arrogant and privileged mind is not a Democratic one. Their arrogance is in charge, not the Democratic Party rules. And apparently, the state Democratic party leadership doesn’t seem to mind.

Because by this time, some state party officials had been called in to be present, but not for the progressives and the “follow the rules” group, but for the entrenched “right side of the room” who are such loyal Democrats.

In fact, throughout the month between these two meeting, several complaints were filed with the state about the chaotic proceedings, the racist remarks, the bungled elections, etc. The state party made excuses. In every instance they said we should stop harassing them. Hmmmm.

And so I’ve realized, the Democratic Party wants people like the “right side of the room” blindly loyal lemmings who question nothing and vote a straight party ticket. Not Bernie supporters who think and vote like Independents, and across party lines.

I think that fundamentally we need to accept that Democracy is not normal behavior for humans, nor any other animal on the planet. Territorial-ism is the norm. Democracy must be learned. That’s what we’re really up against. Will people learn?

I don’t think so. The “right side of the room” has been coached too long to just root for the team. They don’t want any critical assessment. They just want to believe their own ideas, as does everyone.

Struggling with dissent

I’m an Independent thinker, not a lemming. It would never work out.

I also realize how under-represented I am, that neither political party represents my views.  And I would venture a guess that this is true of a large percentage of the population. I even begin to think that it might be the majority, since many of us who call ourselves Independents tend to vote the lesser of two evils since we don’t want to split the vote or abstain.

Well, I say, if France can vote in an Independent president, then, so can we.

Isn’t our ability to communicate with so many so quickly making the need for political parties obsolete?

I believe the Democrats only represent the fringes of the bell curve of society, and that the vast majority of citizens are ready for an Independent. It’s only a matter of time.

So, later this month, my third and final meeting with the local Democratic Party, will be held on the sidewalk.

Yes, that’s right, my first time ever to protest anything.

There probably will only be two or three of us out there (it’s a small town), but there we will be, with our homemade signs that say things like, “Dictator’s Party meets here. Bullies welcome!” and “Rules?! We don’t need no stinkin’ rules,” and “Government of, by and for the Party, Shall Perish from the Earth (with any luck).”

Ella Sanders Kot lives in Truth or Consequences, N.M.

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  • Mitzi Riggs
    May 16, 2017, 11:30 pm

    I attended the SC Democratic Party meeting for the first time, the same first time as this person posting the commentary. I, as a member of The Resistance and Indivisible, wanted to get involved with party meetings. I was absolutely outraged at (1) the contention brought up in the room by a squabble over including Hispanic language usage [which might cause exclusion of some potentially-qualified members], and then (2) a self-professed "first timer" presenting a confrontational attitude to the group, in a first-time visit!

    As a first-time observer, it would not occur to me to attempt to take over the whole room, and inject into the narrative all that’s WRONG with the meeting on the first night of attendance. Secondly, I saw the same in-your-face opinionated comments from this "progressive Independent" that I saw the night of the Democratic Convention, to announce the party’s choice for candidate last summer. I was outraged then, as well, to view such childish dissension from Bernie supporters – if they didn’t win the nomination, then they didn’t win!

    I consider myself a progressive liberal, and I am a Democrat. I have learned since the 2016 election that features of the extreme-right and extreme-left, alike, are very similar. Both feel that if they can’t force their ideas onto the rest of us, then they’ll cause all the [pouting] problems that they can, in their offensive bullying.

    Not only was there a member of the New Mexico State Democratic Party in attendance that night (and I would think he of all people would have spoken up, if there was something to speak about), but also I’ve seen some alt-left persons who have lost the ability to exercise common manners, especially in a public setting. In today’s political atmosphere, we need all the camaraderie we can muster.

    It seems to me that if Independents want a change in the “Primary Rules” of New Mexico, then I suggest they steer all their confrontational energy and rudeness toward officials who could change that system within the State. I myself am glad they don’t identify as a Democrat.

    REPLY
    • E. Sanders Kot@Mitzi Riggs
      May 18, 2017, 4:28 pm

      You’ve made my point perfectly, Mitzi. Although, I’m certain that you don’t realize it. Cheers, E.

      REPLY
The following two tabs change content below.
Albuquerque’s definitive alternative newspaper publishing an inquisitive, modern approach to the news and entertainment stories that matter most to New Mexicans. ABQ Free Press’ fresh voice speaks to insightful and involved professionals who care deeply about our community.

Latest posts by ABQ Free Press (see all)