I have been a registered Democrat for 30 years.
I have volunteered on campaigns.
I have donated money to politicians.
I have always pulled the lever, punched the card, filled in the circle for the (D).
In 2008, I celebrated the election of Barack Obama (D)
and the historic (D) majorities in the House and Senate.
And for the past two years, I have watched the President and the Congress
become politically neutered by an intransigent (R) minority.
The price I have paid - and that this country will pay - for this failure to lead
is simply too high.
So, after 30 years of disappointment, I did something yesterday that felt
extremely gratifying. I changed my party registration. No longer a "registered Democrat",
I am now a member of the Green Party in California.
This would be a far more powerful action were we living in a parliamentary system.
But with the two-party dominance of our politics, third parties only function as
a protest vote...unless or until they emerge as viable vehicles for candidates.
And it's worth remembering that both the Democratic and Republican parties were
once "third parties".
The significance of my change of political identity may be small, but it is meaningful.
There is one less "Democrat" on the voter rolls today. That won't be much noticed.
But what if 10,000 or 100,000 or 1,000,000 "Democrats" suddenly disappeared?
That might catch someone's eye. And that might begin to worry candidates who
are depending on "the base". And maybe - just maybe - that could effect change
in policies long before the next election.
In any event, it does feel good and right to have left the party which always claims to
represent my best interests - but which has failed so often to act in my best interests.
And in the best interests of my country.
Goodbye (D). Hello (G). I hope you'll join me in changing your party affiliation from (D)
to (I) or (G) or (W)hatever you choose, including (N)one of the above. We can always
change parties again to vote in whatever primaries we choose. But for now, my hope
is that alarms will start to sound in Democratic Party HQ. They don't listen to anything else.