The Vision for Our Future
The Buck stops here!
I have so far enumerated the philosophy I wish to bring to the DNC, outlined a few of the ideas I have and what a DNC with a veteran from Ohio would look like, but I haven't given the specifics just yet...until now!
People first, always.
What does that mean, how is that something I can implement as a plan?
No matter how detailed, intricate, or foolproof the plan if it doesn't emphasize the contribution and needs of the people that will be affected above all else then the plan is ultimately doomed to fail. The first step is recognizing that politics isn't the military, it isn't some cookie cutter process that be applied in all locations, through all times good or bad, that it is evolving and requires people at the ground floor to be a part of it to succeed!
So my first act as DNC Chair will be to caveat all other plans, proposals and implementations from the DNC level through to the State and County levels with requiring direct input from the levels impacted. What this means is that if I am talking about consolidating our resources and streamlining our processes for recruitment, then that will have a different appearance in Idaho versus Ohio, and it will have a different execution in Polaski county or Fairfield county. That in turn requires a robust communication structure so that top down communication is just as readily received as bottom up!
This is where the rubber hits the road. We need a much better communication system, and we need an established hierarchy. Right now the DNC, the 50 states and 7 territories let alone the several thousand county parties operate as individual entities. That is the first thing that has to improve, if we are going to work together and put the needs of our members first!
My proposal is to establish a true chain of command that starts with the Chairman of the DNC, and runs all the way down to the member even in the most rural of communities! This means that there will need to be: a central directory for the city contacts, the county contacts, the state contacts, the DNC Members, as well as the Executive committee. There will also need to be legitimate response times in place at the higher levels of our organization so that inquiries do not get lost to volume! This will require more staff and volunteers at the national and state levels which will be a mandatory function of the State Chairs to provide, and the DNC Executives to provide.
Once we have established the flow of communication, a directory, and a contact base that is simple to navigate and use we can start focusing on what our goal is as a party: to win elections!
Now we can talk the talk how do we walk the walk?
This part is less simple because it requires a few things coming together at once. For one we need to tap into the passion and drive of the younger generation, as well as the voter's who have been stymied their entire lives because they weren't "loyal enough". That unfortunately means many folks that we need to run for office will be doing so for the first time, and through no fault of their own they will need the tools, resources, and mentorship to succeed! We have to provide that to them as an organization.
We also can't simply throw money at candidates, point them in a direction and expect them to succeed! It's not just about solid fundraising, or having great ideas, it's also about presence, and reach. I can attest to that personally when I had to run my entire State Representative campaign from scratch, and alone! We cannot afford to have glorified Independents running races, and still claim to be Democrats or the Party of the People, we actually have to be a part of the process even if it is a "sure to lose" race!
That being said my solution will be to have 1 full time Campaign manager, Treasurer, and Media specialist for every County Party. Each of those people will be responsible for all of the local races, campaigns, and candidates. Therefore they will need to be well versed in their local needs, processes, and availability. That is also why they will be subject matter experts and have the ability to mentor and teach others along the way. This doesn't limit campaigns to just those 3 individuals it simply means instead of having to tap 6, 7, 8, or 9 talented campaign managers for each individual race in a county we save man power and talent by pooling the resources together and focusing on what matters most: getting the word out!
Now with the consolidation of our campaign staff that frees up plenty of room and opportunity to recruit volunteers, knock on doors, build territories, phone bank, fund raise, and most importantly support all of our candidates. What we lack as a party is a core identity, and true unity. Every county and state party that has ran a United Campaign has had significantly more success than the traditional free-for-all feel of political races. If we are truly going to move forward as a party we have to work together, play together, lose together, and win together!
Ok so now we have communications and a ground game...how do we get the mula?
Fundraising is a big part of politics, not because I like it, you like, or any of us like it but because Citizen's United is a problem that will not go away unless we take back the House, Senate, Presidency and input Supreme Court Justices that actually care about the Constitution! In the mean time that's what we have to work with, but that doesn't mean we can't do it the right way!
Small dollar donations, fundraisers, banquets, dinners, etc. must be out focus moving forward. If We The People don't feel like we are invested in the party or the party is invested in us we will be back at square one within a few months, except with zero credibility and zero chance to recover! We must do it right the first time or this is an exercise in futility!
However the elephant in the room is still that big money, and large donations may still play a role in our fundraising efforts. The question isn't whether we do or don't accept big money, from our friends in Labor, Nurse's unions, teacher's organizations, and wealthy Democrats, but how do we show that there are no hidden strings for accepting it? The part of "Big Money" that people dislike is that it tends to almost universally effect the recipients Legislative or Judicial proposals, suggestions and actions, which obviously flies in the face of Democracy! So how do we solve that?
The short answer? NO CORPORATE DOLLARS!!!
My suggestion is that we go all in. There are 270,000,000 voters in the United States of America, at least 75% of them don't like Donald Trump, 89% don't like the current members of Congress, and 100% are fed up with being ignored in politics! If we all chipped in just a dollar a month, the DNC would have Billions of dollars each and every single year! That sounds like people having a voice in the process! That sounds like investing in our own future! That sounds like the party of the people, for the people, by the people!
OK well it seems like we're good to go now...right?
Almost, we have the focus, the communication, direction, and mentorship, we've filled our piggy banks but the unfortunate truth is that nobody likes the Democrats, and our base is incredibly disenfranchised. So far we have fixed some of the core issues, and taken massive leaps to prove our commitment to the voter not the party but there's still work to be done. Our image and brands needs to be rebuilt and advertised!
We need to be on news networks, and knocking on doors, showing presence in our communities, schools, and work places that proves beyond a shadow of a doubt that we care, and are working to do the right thing. Our integrity is shot, the trust of voters is eroded, and the image of weakness coupled with elitism isn't going to be removed over night, but we can overcome!
Firstly electing me as DNC Chair would send a very clear, and unquestionable message that the DNC is listening, and is putting the only person who has addressed these core issues in charge to fix them. The fact that I happen to be a Millennial, and a veteran will only serve to draw more people back to the party because of the relatability I possess. But this isn't just about me, and me being the Chair alone won't fix our credibility, it's also about holding our own Democrats accountable, at all levels!
We, who has positions of leadership, and authority must exercise that authority not simply to attack the opposition but to publicly, and clearly hold our members to the standard of Democrat. If we have County Chairs who are not holding up their promises, to provide support, structure, mentorship, and opportunity to for member to participate, or run for office then the other members of the executive board need to remove that person from office, or hold a public forum to decide the individuals status within the party.
Likewise if we have United States Senators who simply rubber stamp, each and every single Trump Cabinet pick, without so much as an eye roll, they need to be held accountable for those actions! That includes, and is not limited to withdrawing all: financial, political, social, and other support that the DNC offers its' candidates! That not only proves beyond a shadow of a doubt that we are taking this seriously, but that we have learned our lesson from playing establishment politics, and games of power!
There is only one authority in the United States and that is the Constitution, which was written for the people, by the people and of the people!
OK I am absolutely pumped to go out there and be a democrat, how do we win?
It all begins and ends with you! We win when people trust the party, and by association trust the candidates. Right now we are intrinsically doomed to final in Rural America because we have absolutely zero presence there. We need to fix that, and fix it yesterday! That is why I am, shocking as it may be, the only DNC Chair candidate that has talked about investing in Rural American, and especially in our local party offices. That is where we need our resources the most!
We win as a party when we don't focus all of our resources on races that would win regardless of our additional involvement! we nee to invest in the hard to win places, the places that are so entrenched with dogma, and rhetoric against Democrats that it is political suicide to even try! It starts with taking it one year at a time and showing people who we are, and that all we want to do is create a nation of plenty for the many instead of the few, or the "desirable".
We also win when we nurture and encourage first time Democrats, candidates, young people, and the disenfranchised to take a seat at the table and show us what they can do! Our biggest enemy in politics isn't the GOP, or Donald Trump, it's ourselves, because we get in our own ways far too often. Part of that is Establishment politics, and elitism, but a part of it is also that we are the party of thinkers, and thinkers usually like their ideas more than others! We have to accept that we are a group, one team, one fight, we rise together, we fall together, we learn together, and above all we grow together!
Now that may not a 15 step process, or 3 point plan. It may not be the sexiest example or a call to arms on how we are victorious, but it is the simple truth. We can't win if we don't work together, and focus on the team as a whole, and the men and women who comprise it! If we don't change our culture as a Party it doesn't matter who leads it, because it will ultimately crumble and be lost to the pages of history. Now is not the time for a "hero" with all of the ideas and solutions to emerge, now is the time for a leader to guide us, acknowledge the issues, and handle them.
There is only one candidate who fits that description, one candidate who can fill those expectations, one candidate who cares more about the men and women, then the party!
That is why the only candidate qualified for DNC Chair is: Samuel Ronan