All Politics is Local

In the maelstrom of national news it is often too easy to forget that there is more going on than whatever Congress, the President, the Supreme Court, and all the Presidential candidates are doing or saying. Progressives fall into this trap all too often just the same as anyone else. Whether we are easily duped into arguing about the latest scandal in politics or even into defending someone like Bernie from yet another round of establishment attacks, we are too preoccupied with those battles to get engaged in the more immediate – and arguably, more important – conversations affecting state and local elections. Citizens across the board need to remember that there is more to politics than just the national fights, and that is especially the case for progressives.

The year is 2019, not 2020, so while we can be forgiven in our advocacy for our respective preferred candidates for President, the primary focus of our political activism should be the plethora of local and state-level progressive candidates. These candidates today could give rise to the Congressional and Presidential contenders we see over the next twenty years, but they have to be given a chance to make a difference where people see it first: at home. Let’s take Bernie for instance. He would not even be anywhere near the leader of a working class revolution that he is today were it not for him taking local and state politics seriously in the early stages of (and throughout) his political career. Without “Mayor Sanders” there would have never been a “Congressman Sanders” or a “Senator Sanders” after that, and there certainly wouldn’t have been the possibility of a “President Sanders” being elected next year.

Like Bernie in the 1980s, there are countless working class champions across this country running for Mayor, City Council, School Board, State Legislators, and so on. Just as Bernie did in Burlington, these people are yearning to get to work standing with working people and giving a voice to voiceless citizens like the homeless and those attempting to escape the trap of recidivism. Bernie is a Presidential contender today because he built a long-standing and reliable track record of going to bat for the average man, woman, and child. It is our duty to help the next generation and beyond of this revolution get their foot in the door to help transform our entire system.

To accomplish the change we need in the long-term we have to be active now in more than just our petty arguments on social media about whatever the for-profit media wants us to obsess over today. Yes, the issues are worth taking a stand over, and it is a worthy use of SOME of your time to point out why a candidate like Bernie ought to be president, but we will all be failing the revolution we claim to represent if we ignore the real need for financial and other volunteer support for the amazing group of revolutionary contenders seeking to represent us in local and state government.

If you want to advance the cause and help transform this country with enhanced democracy and policies which make a difference – for everyone and not just the few -, then you need to find out which progressives are running for office near you. Contact their campaigns. Donate your time and money to their efforts, and help get them elected. Our time has come, but we have to make it happen. The Presidential Race will be waiting for our full attention after this year’s elections are through.

 

Onward.

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Daniel H. Crawford III

Daniel Crawford is the proud father of Austin (born in 2006) and Madison (born in 2008), uncle to seven nieces and nephews, brother to three younger siblings, and the surviving son of his late-mother – Starla Kay Hunter -, whom passed away at the age of 49 in 2012 after a lengthy battle with cancer. He obtained a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science and Government with Minor Degrees in History and Public Administration in 2013 from Ashford University. A long-time activist, Daniel first got involved in politics when he was 18 in 2003 by frequently contributing to a progressive blog called Democrats.com under the pseudonym “dem4christ04”. In 2005, he created his own blog through Xanga at http://democratforchrist2020.xanga.com/ and still contributes to such from time to time. In 2004, Daniel began volunteering with his local Democratic Party in Licking County, Ohio and soon thereafter helped to build the Licking County Democratic Club; in which he later served as the Club’s Second Vice President in 2016. From 2006-2008, Daniel was a vocal advocate for the impeachment of George W. Bush and Richard B. Cheney for their numerous offenses, giving numerous, lengthy speeches at his local City Council meetings in promoting a resolution to pressure his members of Congress to hold the administration accountable. In 2014, Daniel again saw the need to advocate for impeachment, but this time for President Obama, for his overreaching use of executive powers, as well as a perceived continuation of many abuses under George W. Bush, warning that the continued circumvention of Congress – regardless of the intent - was a usurpation of legislative powers and a dangerous precedent for the separation of powers. In 2011, Daniel formed a local chapter of “Occupy” called the “99% of Newark and East Central Ohio”. The group’s members came together for numerous reasons, but soon concentrated on the issue of money in politics as the foundational issue which needed to be addressed first. From 2014 through 2016, the group’s small membership managed to make history in Newark by successfully placing a citizen’s initiative on the ballot to create an educational event – called “Democracy Day” - centered around the money in politics issue with special emphasis on the Citizens United ruling. The initiative – which narrowly failed, sadly – would have created this event and would have demanded that our members of Congress support a Constitutional Amendment to overturn Citizens United. In 2017, despite the failure of that initiative, the group – which became a subgroup of the Licking County Progressives, an organization formed in the wake of the 2016 Election – hosted our first “Democracy Day” event, seeing that we needed to do more to educate the public on the matter. Also in 2016, Daniel was appointed to the Board of the Freedom School of Licking County – a nonprofit which promotes education for the purpose of empowering average Americans in society and the workplace -, and was elected to a term as its Chairman that summer. Daniel has also authored a number of books – created and published through an Amazon service called “CreateSpace” -: a manifesto entitled “The Pillars of Unitism” and a novel entitled “The Politician: Crisis” (the latter is the first part of a planned trilogy). His undying devotion to the cause of empowering the people via a strengthened democracy is what drives him each and every day. While his children inspire the bulk of his determination to build a better world, he learned to be indiscriminately compassionate from his mother, as she sought – through to her dying day – to see every mouth fed, every back clothed, and everybody housed…so long as she could help it. Why – it must be asked – is this compassionate vision for the world so controversial in the first place? In Daniel’s mind, challenging the status quo of rugged individualism and inspiring the rejuvenation of a collective spirit is his life’s work.