dewey

While many Democrats won on November 6th, the candidate I was working for did not. People in my community ask me how I feel about that. Am I sad? Of course, but I am also not in the deep, depressive coma, state I thought I might be in. Strangely, I am still optimistic about the future of my county and even the country in general. No, I am not intoxicated. I just see much movement forward.


I, and many others, worked so very hard these past 2 years, and the loss still hurts. While I am happy we now have a majority in Congress.  I am deeply disappointed that my gal, Jessica Morse, did not win. I suppose I can remind myself that I live in a county that has a majority of Republicans but it is deeper than that. I have seen that the Democrats worst fears have been realized by the 45 administration and now I know that ‘some’ of my neighbors continue to fully support him. That’s quite stinging. But I remind myself Washington lost the Battle of Long Island and Kip’s Bay, before he won the Battle of Harlem Heights.  Out of 17 battles he lost 7. Democracy is a tough sport and needs constant participation. I can see from observing the rest of the world that we are not alone in having authoritarian governments rising, people are angry. And they have a right to be. Sadly, many are angry at the wrong people.

So what do we do? It’s tempting to throw our hands up in disgust and frustration, I am tempted myself; my garden is full of weeds, parts of my home need repairs, I have 3 grandchildren to play with, my craft room could keep me occupied for years and many other projects could use attention from me right now. I am searching my soul for the answer, the right direction for myself right now. Do I continue to be involved in politics and the Democratic Party? My heart tells me- HELL YES!

It’s easy to be angry at some our fellow Democrats, accuse them of not doing enough. I am still fuming about the actions and words of a small faction of local Democrats. But I also know that so many others worked so diligently and hard- some clocked in more hours as a volunteer than they did as a paid employee and may be asking themselves, “For what?!”. I am still infuriated at the naysayers and Eeyore’s in our own party. “This is a red county, we will never win.” OR “Democrats don’t have a strong enough message.” There are plethora of things I heard said or saw on social media and the news; and continue to see. Funny, though, often the negative comments came from people who do very little work for the party. "The doubters said, "Man can not fly," The doers said, "Maybe, but we'll try," And finally soared In the morning glow While non-believers Watched from below." Bruce Lee


I am going to have to accept there will always be those who would rather complain than do the work. Only One Percent of Americans Are Really Politically Active. Consider how much was achieved during the Civil Rights Era with a minimal amount of activism- we achieved great things for Civil Rights. I think the mistake we have made as Democrats is that we assumed those gains were set in stone. Clearly, they are not. It is obvious that the work of democracy and equal rights is a perpetual effort.

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The activism in 2016 was beautiful and so many contributed in some way, even if it was simply to be brave enough to put a sign in their yard next to their Republican neighbor. Thousands of people left their comfort zone and participated in meetings and events, I know it was hard.

I do have to share that one of the hardest things for me right now is ruminating about the enemies that were made in the process of taking back the House and winning a majority. Not Republican enemies- NO, fellow Democrats! People that I actually believed were my friends, that I shared meals with in my home, people who I trusted. This is what is the hardest to overcome; that other Democrats would sabotage the work and efforts of people in their own party, in their own community, is incredibly difficult to endure. I am not sure if I can really get over that. Right now, I cannot even speak to them, I cannot pretend to be polite, and I cannot look the other way. I simply cannot. Trust is a valuable gift I give someone. Once trust is violated it is exceedingly difficult to repair. Like the hairline fracture of a tea cup, the harm will always be visible to me. The stakes were incredibly high in this past campaign and a handful of people in my community chose the low road. These folks chose to back stab, insult, ridicule, mock, badger, thwart and undermine the work of the volunteers who came to help. I will never forgive being publicly mocked and told to STFU and crawl under a rock by a fellow team mate.

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So I am taking take some time off, allowing myself to reflect, and giving myself some space to rest up. While there were some sad losses on November 6, there was considerable gain. The Democratic Congress is going to need to hear from us, we need to remain active and push like hell for health care, equal rights, environmental protections, student loan protections, infrastructure, better schools and better jobs. Those problems are still with us. Proposition 6 was defeated so we know that, here in California, we still have power.

I am still going to be around, just slowing down my pace and working on other projects. If you are looking for me, I am building my grandson a ‘teen cave’ overlooking the mountains of my home county. I will have my cell phone with me, though, ready to start back up any time.

cabin

Deborah Baron

Deborah Baron

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