I was looking through the data the other day. Would you be surprised to learn that Democrats in Massachusetts have knocked on over 2.5 million doors since 2010? That’s just the knocks that have been recorded in VoteBuilder. It doesn’t include lots more recorded in other systems or in individual spreadsheets kept by campaigns. Take a bow, MassDems. Your #DemDoors success is remarkable.
It made me proud but it also caused me to stop and think. Why have we done this? Is it too obvious to say we did it to win elections? And win we have. That doesn’t adequately describe why, however. So I stopped to think about my own motivation, why have I done it? Sure, it’s my job and it’s something I believe is important deep in my soul about the way we run campaigns — grassroots and issues based. It is the essence of the Deval Patrick Doctrine: grow a backbone, stand up for what you believe in and talk to people one-on-one, face-to-face about our shared values.
Yeah, it’s all of that.
But winning elections – even winning them in the right way – isn’t enough. Proving some theory about HOW to win is very rewarding but 2.5 million doors… All those wonderful canvassers… It’s more than that.
Governor Deval Patrick’s voice echoes in my thoughts. “It’s not about the HOW; it’s about the WHY.” We want to win for sure, but the “we” isn’t the party or the candidates. The “we” is the people of Massachusetts. By engaging directly with fellow citizens on issues that matter, we all win.
You know, I can’t believe my personal reaction to the legislature’s response to the Governor’s revenue proposal. My close friends can’t believe it either. I’m not usually that guy. I don’t really see myself as coming from the issues side of the effort. I’m a community organizer. I like campaigning more than governing. Although I’m forever grateful that talented people work in government, I never have.
I’m just worried that if we don’t stand up for what we believe, we will lose.
…we, as a Commonwealth.
I’m worried that 30,000 3 and 4 year old kids won’t get the benefit we know comes from early education and that our students in public universities and colleges will continue to be buried in debt because we don’t stand up and adequately fund their campuses. I’m worried that kids trapped in poverty through no fault of their own will be denied the best route out and up – a better public education. These kids – our future – deserve these wins and it’s up to us to deliver them.
I’m worried that we’ll never address the unforgivable, short-sighted legacy of a slew of Big Dig lies about the costs of construction and the costs exacted on the rest of our Commonwealth’s infrastructure in the deliberate neglect of our subways, roads, rails and bridges to cover those lies. I blame the Republican governors and their “smart guys” like Charlie Baker for the lies back then, but it’s OUR responsibility to act differently NOW! The businesses that depend on that infrastructure and the employees that need it to get to their jobs, deserve these wins and it’s up to us to deliver them.
For me, the worries about these important losses overshadow the political worries of the party or the individual politicians who serve these people while flying our banner. I know that Democrats who stand up for what they believe in will be successful at the polls – - and I’m willing to dedicate myself night and day to make sure of it.
Am I worried that they will lose?
Not today. The other losses are more on my mind.
John Walsh, Democrat