Predictably, rhetoric ran ahead of reality.
Sixty days in and we’re not sure where the Party that we give our votes to is heading. Save for the pictures mounted immediately after April’s election of the new Chair, the State Party’s website remains an information desert… grammatical challenges intact.
It’s not that we’re over- expecting but coming with Mr. Clyburn’s underscoring of characteristics :
(she) “represents the battle-tested, steady leadership the South Carolina Democratic Party needs as the national party turns to us to kick-off the nomination process”
we were looking for a jump start past the former communiques that under-delivered.
Not to have gotten a Chair’s Message to date seems as derelict as the refusal to offer debriefs on the successive election losses we suffered…with the upper echelon normalizing the culture of losing by not insisting that we, low tiered voters, get the courtesy of some explanation.
For context, the Chair’s message defines the purpose of the Party. It is a full- throated charge to invigorate county Parties and be the predicate for how each of them will distill the State Party’s message, then tailor it for its specific electorate. It is vital to the Party’s existence.
So far, no message but an interview with news organ, The State ,seems to have been proxied for that purpose. Musings and contemplations can never be substituted for messaging.
Quite frankly, we were duly wary of the Congressman’s lumping of the Chairperson’s skills with the national Party’s needs for SCDP to jump start the presidential nomination process.
We’re not buying in to this campaign of ‘Firsts’ that has become the Congressman’s latest pet project.
For us, its just another page in the playbook of soundbites and slogans that has kept us marking time on this sliver of political real estate, while the indomitable Congressman’s political fortunes remain unbudgeable in District 6, as he follows the ingrained contours of the operation…is our opinion.
Sixty days post election and still in a holding pattern is not our administrative best.
What the Chairperson is trying to do we’re not sure. What she’s trying not to do is turn the state blue in 2024, per her newspaper interview.
And if it sounds like we weren’t expecting that to be her task it is because we weren’t!
Why, you ask?
Well the demographic distribution in numbers, raw and analyzed, tell the story…that South Carolina has a general population of 26.45% Blacks, that Blacks are the largest voting bloc for the Dem Party in the State, giving it 78% of their votes, that 7% Blacks vote Republican and 15% Blacks are uncommitted.
For those of us suffering the revolving trauma of voting in vain, we’re thinking about the Party’s existence, particularly circa 2005, when the Party was run by a set of donors who had access to bigger donors and followed that sacred operational blue print that put just enough human and financial resources into every campaign to establish the Party as a contending entity- only because we live in a democracy which would make a one Party State contradictory.
It would take a massive financial injection into a revolutionary campaign to change minds and secure votes from the part of the electorate that has an ideological preference for the dogma of the GOP.
And that ain’t appenin’, as the endless campaign to register more in the 46 counties yields nothing more than proclaimed effort without measurable gains. So, we know turning the State blue in 2024 is an electoral mission impossible.
We’re not suggesting that the Chair’s statement was some reverse engineering of her intentions – but it sure feels like it.
It would have been so much easier for her to say what she’ll be doing, rather than what she won’t be…the mission impossible.. citing the end instead of the beginning.
And it’s imperative for the Administration to know that lots of us are informed voters, who understand that the big destination of any level of victory sits well beyond the slogan and trigger labels used to invoke voter emotion.
Her vowing to fight Gerrymandering cannot be addressed without fighting Redistricting – that other voter disenfranchisement that the Pro Publica exposé shows the Congressman as being very favorable to, embarrassing the NAACP ‘s fight over what was thought be a Republican voter grab.
We’re unapologetically impatient, at this point.
We’ve long been opponents of candidates being endorsed by marquis politicians because it unfairly tips the scales and we, the ordinary members of the Party, are stuck with endorsees whose glowing recommendations never translate to productivity that trickles down to us.
The template emails for participation and contributions keep coming non stop…a frightening signal that we’re off to the same race with no new strategy.
Requesting that the State Party does a review of the trends of its 46 counties? County symposiums to encourage members at every level to contribute to the County’s plan to woo new voters? Operations Teams assigned to all parts of the County’s operational structure?
Aren’t these doable…for starters?
Don’t blame it on the assumption that people don’t care. What’s a fairer statement is that people don’t want to be part of a recurring failure. The Party remains the exclusive domain of a select few. Voters want constant conversation and engagement at the granular level to feel as though they are part of the team for which it votes to improve their political benefits.
Sixty days in and the State Party’s focus is on Biden’s ‘First Primary’ vote. That will not trickle down to us, South Carolina Democratic voters. But it will keep its Democratic Congressman in the news as a fabled kingmaker.
Don’t get us wrong, we’re die hard Biden voters. But the glitter over substance is of no benefit to the State Party and we, the voters, who validate its existence.
Our leaders are failing us and as frustrating as it is to see them begin this new Administration with the same absence of executive acumen, we’re not advocating for leaving the Party.
It’s not the Party that’s the failure, it’s the leadership. And, those of us who validate the party’s legitimacy with our votes have a right to call out its missteps unabashedly and often.
The solution to bad leadership isn’t silence and pretense.
It’s to force better leadership by letting them know we won’t be shy about calling their administrative negligence and disregard the thing that keeps us in the bracket of non competitive.