The 2016 Colorado Democratic Caucuses

Part 2

I’ve always been registered independent, but recently changed to Democrat to caucus for Bernie Sanders. Tonight was my first caucus.

Some thoughts…

It’s easy to appreciate process when things go wrong, but nothing really makes you appreciate process as when things go right. Obviously way more people showed up at the caucus than they were prepared for, but except for a few hiccups everything went smoothly.

On the other hand, I’m still frustrated by how hard it was to find information about candidates this early in the electoral cycle. We have information about folks running for the federal government, but it’s really tough to find info about some of the state races. I think I’m just going to have to sign up for everyone’s mailing list, which will make for an unfortunate level of inbox clutter. I have no idea how else to keep on top of what’s going on with primary candidates. The state and county party websites aren’t much help.

Finally, Sanders’ supporters continue to disappoint me. ~135 people showed up for my precinct, the majority supporting Sanders. As soon as the presidential poll was done most of Sanders’ supporters (about 2/3rds I think) just left. None of Clinton’s supporters did.

Just voting for Bernie Sanders isn’t enough. You need to be willing to throw your weight behind other candidates who think like him. To shift the political center of a party you’ve got to vote for more than one man. Otherwise it’s just a cult of personality.

I will admit that I voted “uncommitted” in a lot of races. Like I mentioned, I couldn’t find much information about the candidates. But I came in wanting to learn more, to be persuaded. In two cases I actually was. Both times it was Bernie Sanders supporters who swayed me. Had more Sanders supporters stayed, might one have made an argument to pull me out of the “uncommitted” column one more time?

Maybe if I didn’t feel that I knew enough I should have left the caucus too. But how better to learn the process than to participate?

If you believe in the worldview Bernie Sanders is articulating, then voting for him isn’t enough. You need to be part of the process.

I wonder if this was also Obama’s problem - the problem of any “superstar” candidate. The engagement they create is only about them. But functional organizations, parties, businesses, governments aren’t ultimately run by individuals. They’re run by process.

If you’re not willing to engage in process, then you’re either not serious or you’re a closet authoritarian. Neither is what we need right now.

Banners along Colfax Avenue celebrating the holidays. None of the people pictured in them look like the folks who actually live near Colfax.

Not Actually Representative

<rant>

So, Colfax has new holiday banners. They’re all high quality print jobs, but that’s pretty much the only nice thing I can say about them.

Nine banners. Six white people. An asian woman. A dog. And a fucking cookie.

It’s your out-of-town party-here-once-a-year demographic.

I’ve lived on or near Colfax for over a decade. I walk down the street nearly every day. There’s no way that any of these people actually live here.

Who saw this and thought, “yes, this is Colfax”? I mean, the area’s been slowly gentrifying for a while, but it’s not that bad yet.

Of course, this isn’t Colfax as it is. This is Colfax as the developers and city planners and businesses who don’t give a shit would like it. It’s as if someone brought back photos from some future Colfax, after the city has finished purging its “undesirables”.

To be clear, this isn’t an “anti-growth” thing. It’s not development that’s being promoted by these banners. It’s displacement.

This is fucking white bread Disneyland for rich people bullshit.

And it’s an implicit threat to those of us who actually live here.

</rant>