Earlier in the week, I met with some Quakers. Their philosophy is to be tolerant of all, to find the good, the God in all, even the most obnoxious. I don't do that very well with right wingers. When I'm in my red section of Pennsylvania, it feels different, when I know that the odds are two to one that the people I see in stores and on the street are right wing a**holes.
If I go to Philly, it's better. I know that the people there voted Democratic by about 85% in the last presidential election. But They are different than these Portlanders. The Philly Dems are party machine Dems. They listen to what they are told to do by the local committemen. It's the old boy system. It's old, it's doddering and very unhealthy. Here in Portland, you can almost smell the freshness of the new energy.
I've come to realize that there are a lot of Democrats who I oppose almost as much as the bulk of republicans. These Dems are destructive, sabotaging, weakening the Democratic party, and that is, in a way, supporting and strengthening the right wingers.
If you're a registered Democrat, you need to take a close look at the leaders of your local Democratic organization. If they are more interested in the directions they get from the Party central-- at the state and national level-- than they are in your needs, than the local community's interests, get rid of them. Replace them with fresh blood-- people who wouldn't even think about being part of the machine, part of the old system.
Tip O'Neil said "all politics is local." He was right. Make sure, that in addition to paying attention at the national level, you are doing some work, gettng active locally. It will trickle up and make a difference.