Political parties are so often the “bad guy”, but last night my appreciation for people who come together to support candidates with shared values was renewed. I stepped aside from being the Chair of the Franklin County Democrats after four years, handing the gavel off to my dear friend, Ed Ballantyne.
Parties are about so much more than hand-wringing and gridlock. They provide the opportunity for a few small voices to come together and be amplified to change the world. In a democracy, we can accomplish so little alone. Together we are mighty.
Parties are the places where activists and advocates become candidates. When the time is right, and an opportunity to serve is undeniable- parties provide the people power to knock on doors, make phone calls, throw events and all of the other functions that a campaign needs to turn a passionate citizen into a leader. This is especially true of Vermont House and Senate races, where an Independent candidate would have to build so much from scratch, that it is nearly impossible to mount successful campaigns.
I’m a Democrat, and I’m proud of it. No party is perfect, but this party cares about working people, supporting families and protecting those who are most vulnerable. We advocate for the needs of others and help smaller voices be heard over those that are more powerful in our political process. Democrats care about the planet, support Main Street businesses over Wall Street and protect civil rights and freedoms for everyone.
Even though I won’t be chairing a County Committee, I’ll continue to work to help get Democrats elected in Vermont and to help our candidates be better legislators and leaders. Before you think about resorting to bashing political parties, just remember that democracy is a team sport- none of us can do it alone.