In the wake of the election that brought us Trump as president, Sussex County’s Democratic Party has seen attendees at local and countywide meetings filling all the available chairs, unusual to say the least in this counties GOP-dominated culture. Its FB page has jumped from 400 to more than 600 “likes” in a scant three months. It is experiencing an influx of new people who are either part of the 18,000 registered Democrats who previously felt intimidated to declare in public or part of the unaffiliated who now see activism in the Democratic Party as a viable way to fight back. The SCDC is far from alone.
“Shocked by the outcome of the election and fearful for the future of the country, people of all ages, some of them Democrats, some independents, some Greens, found the time and location of a local [Democratic] party meeting and showed up.”
So note Ryan Grim and Amanda Terkel in “The Movement Resisting Donald Trump Has a Name: The (Local) Democratic Party,” a Huffington Post article posted online on Tuesday.
While the anti-Trump agenda has caused hundred of thousands, if not millions, of people to become active in opposition in various ways, many have decided that with the stakes this high, engagement in their local Democratic organizations is the way to go.
This is a two pronged strategy, both prongs of which are centered on local, rather than national, agendas.
Prong 1) Lobby existing legislators, in both state and national government, to support progressive agendas, to be both vocal and politically opposed to the “new order” and to let them know that, regardless of their party affiliation, they will be held accountable for supporting the current “new normal,”
Prong 2) Becoming more active in their local Democratic parties. Especially for the formerly disaffected, “they do what they do” is less and less seen as an option.
The Democratic Party is being energized nationally and locally by an influx of progressives who no longer want to be asleep at the wheel.
In particular, the party is now seeing an influx of “millennials” who traditionally as a group have been blasé about politics.
In the words of Mark Fraley, chairman of the Monroe County Democratic Party in Indiana., as told to the Huffington Post: “What’s very different is that it’s made the party younger. Young people never really wanted to have as much of a meaningful part in the Democratic Party infrastructure. Now that doesn’t seem true anymore.”