Well, I’ve done my part in the Texas Democratic Party’s primary. I served as alternate election judge on March 4, the largest primary election day in living memory. I was permanent convention chair for my precinct’s primary convention and caucus after the polls closed. I was elected as an Obama delegate to my senatorial district convention that evening and served in that capacity at the Senatorial District convention and caucus yesterday.
The passion of the electorate to rid this nation of the worst regime in history was palpable throughout these events. On election night there were approximately 300 primary voters who returned to my polling place for their precinct conventions, Three precincts held their conventions at that polling place. Just to provide perspective, in 2004 there were a total of eight voters who returned for the precinct caucuses at my three-precinct polling place. Two of the precincts had zero caucus attendees. That year the three senatorial district conventions in Tarrant County were combined and held in an auditorium seating 2856 people.
This year there wasn’t a venue large enough to accommodate all three district conventions, so three separate venues, each larger than the single auditorium needed in 2004 were scheduled. The count of delegates and alternate delegates at the conventions is not yet available, but it is estimated that 10,000 to 20,000 people attended the conventions in Tarrant County yesterday.
I arrived at my convention at the Gaylord Resort and Convention Center in Grand Prairie, Texas at 8:00 AM as instructed in company of our precinct delegation. We stood in line until 10:30 AM to get our credentials for the convention. Others were in line until about 1:30 PM. We somehow managed to conclude our convention business and elect our delegates to the State Convention by about 6:30 PM.
Although some of the attendance was undoubtedly attributable to the vigorous contest between Clinton and Obama, much of the small talk among attendees was about the damage the Bush regime has done to our nation and our system of government, and the need to do whatever it takes to alter this nation’s course in every policy area.
While Party officials trumpeted the significance of the turnout for the upcoming general election, I was worrying about what we had left undone for the past eight years, and apparently were going to leave undone even if we succeed in throwing out the Republicans this year.
We are behaving like a nation whose government is a faux democracy, a de facto dictatorship that changes dictators every four or eight years as the only means the people have of affecting government policy. When the dictator is changed there is absolutely no means of being certain what policy changes will result, if any. While this evolution in our system has been in process for decades, the pace of transformation has accelerated during the Bush regime and is now probably near complete and perhaps irreversible.
For the past eight years the electorate has slumbered while the integrity of the voting process has been destroyed and the President has committed illegal acts that have been permitted by a Congress that has been unwilling to use the powers reserved to it by the U.S. Constitution. There is no need to intone the litany of these transgressions here. Suffice it to say that the powers the executive has seized in the last eight years will remain available to the next dictator whoever that may turn out to be. Stare decisis will see to that. We, the people, have lost our control over our government.
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