No matter how detailed (or foolproof) our plans are, if it doesn't emphasize the contribution and needs of the people that will be effected then the plan will fail. Politics is not the military. It isn't a cookie-cutter process that can be applied through all times, good or bad. It is rapidly evolving, and requires people in the grass roots to be a part of it for it to succeed.
Sam’s first act as DNC Chair will be to caveat all other plans, proposals and implementations from the DNC through to the State and County parties, requiring direct input from those impacted. What this means is that if we are talking about consolidating our resources and streamlining our processes for recruitment, we will have a different approach in Idaho versus Ohio. It will also have a different execution in Polaski county as opposed to 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 require a more vigorous communication system. We need an established hierarchy in order to succeed in the changing political landscape. Right now the DNC, 50 states, 7 territories and 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.
Sam’s proposal is to establish a strong chain of command that starts with the Chairman of the DNC, and runs all the way down to the members and Precinct Committee persons even in the most rural counties. This means that there will need to be: a central directory for the city contacts, county contacts, state contacts and DNC Members, as well as the Executive committee. There will also need to be swift 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. This will be a mandatory function of the State Chairs and DNC Executives to provide.
Once a flow of communication is established we can start focusing on what our goal is as a party: to win elections!
The time has come to to tap in to the passion and drive of the younger generation who have become active in the struggles for justice, as well as voters who have felt left out their entire lives. That 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 a duty to provide that to them!
In addition we can no longer afford to simply continue throwing money at candidates, point them in a direction, and expect them to succeed. It's not just about solid fundraising or having great ideas. The most important aspect is presence, and reach. Sam can attest to this personally, as he had to run his entire State Representative campaign from scratch and alone! We cannot afford to have glorified Independents running races who still claim to be Democrats or the Party of the People. We have to be a part of the process. Even if it is a "sure to lose" race!
Sam's 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. They will be experts and have the ability to mentor others along the way. This doesn't limit campaigns to just those 3 individuals. It simply means that instead of having to tap 6, 7, 8, or even 9 talented campaign managers for each individual race in a county. We can save man power and talent by pooling the resources together and focusing on what matters most: getting the word out and reaching voters!
By consolidating our campaign staff we can free 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 run 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!
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 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 no credibility and no 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!!!
Sam’s 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, by the people, and for the people!
We now have the focus, communication, direction, and mentorship. We've filled our piggy banks. What about the unfortunate truth that nobody likes the Democrats, and our base is incredibly disenfranchised? So far we have fixed some of the core issues. We have 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, knocking on doors, showing presence in our communities, schools, and work places. We must prove beyond the 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. The image of weakness coupled with elitism isn't going to be removed over night.
Firstly, electing Sam 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, an immigrant, and a veteran, will only serve to draw more people back to the party. This isn't about me though. Being the Chair alone won't fix our credibility. We also need to hold our own Democrats accountable at all levels!
Those who hold 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 a Democrat. If we have County Chairs who are not holding up their promises to provide support, structure, mentorship, and opportunity for members 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 will to be held accountable for their 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 the 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 and by the people.
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 fail in rural America because we have absolutely zero presence there. We need to fix that, and fix it yesterday! That is why Sam, shocking as it may be, is the only DNC Chair candidate in years that has talked about investing in rural America. 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 need to invest in the hard to win places. The places that are so entrenched with dogma, and rhetoric against Democrats that it becomes 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 is ourselves, because we get in our own way far too often. Part of that is establishment politics, and elitism. Another part of it is that we are also the party of thinkers. And thinkers usually like their ideas more than others. We have to accept that we are a group. On one team. Fighting one fight. We rise together. We fall together. We learn together. Above all we grow together!
Now that may not be 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. It is simply the truth. We can not win if we don't work together, and focus on the team as a whole. Every man and woman who comprises it. If we don't change our culture as a Party, it doesn't matter who leads it. 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 face them head on.
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, than the party.
That is why the only candidate qualified to be the Chairman of the Democratic National Committee is Samuel Ronan!
This right here, people like you and me, across our country are the reason why we do the things we do!
The problems we as a party face are many and daunting: Super-delegates need to be removed. Communication from bottom to top and top down needs to improve. We need a more centralized organization, etc. But these things are not insurmountable. The first problem we face is the feeling of elitism that has become prevalent and synonymous with "Democrat" and "Liberal.” We are no longer the "party of the People” if people don't feel like they are included! Re-engaging with the People are the first thing we must address and redress.
My goal as DNC chair would be not to simply "take suggestions" from folks up and down the political spectrum, but to actually listen to them and incorporate their ideas. It's the stratification of those ideas that can sometimes be overwhelming for some who wish to be inclusive. Rest assured, all ideas will be heard and all will be considered. Those ideas which represent the best and brightest WILL be implemented!
How would such a task be accomplished and what would the criteria be? The good news is, I am in the very unique position of bringing forth a fresh perspective! I am firmly entrenched in the popular ideals of the people! With this down to earth approach, I will be capable of standing with the People as I have voiced some of the same concerns and levied some of the same opinions as my constituents.
The problem isn't that there aren't viable alternatives, or that those alternatives aren't being taken seriously. It is that they are powerless and their voices are being drowned out by special interests and party elites! This is predominantly why Millennials and "Berniecrats" felt so put out during the last election cycle and, unfortunately, they are correct to feel this way. You cannot have a robust and thriving political party if you shrug off the next generation of leaders! Being this dismissive is an impossible way to run the party and an ineffective way to further our ideals! Therefore, my efforts as DNC Chair will improve the recruitment and retention of young people and first time Democrats.
We need to take back our narrative. We need to be in control of our policies. We need to be Democrats!
Many of you may be thinking what that even means, and some of you may be slamming your fists on the table, pointing at the screen shouting, "You're damn right!" The rest of you are reading this with apprehension, wondering if what I'm going to say even has a chance in succeeding. The good news is we are resilient as a party, and as far as platforms go, there are none that can compete. The problem we have been facing as a party, and as an ideology is that sometimes our passions or beliefs are really hard to summarize in a soundbite! That is where things need to change.
Before I get to far into that, I want to discuss what that means for us in the past and moving forward into the future. We are the party of ideals that will bring our country forward into the 21st century, that will revitalize the Middle Class, and bring prosperity to all Americans, not just the few. The issue is that a lot of these policies require the use of words such as, "Universal, Blanket, Single Payer, or even Federally Funded," and these words have been contorted over time to be associated with: un-American, Communist, anti-Capitalist, Socialism, etc. This didn't happen over night, of course, this was purposely and methodically accomplished over decades of propaganda, messaging and manipulation of facts, meanings, and political expediency.
I won't go into a dissertation of how we went from the heroes of WWII, to living the scenarios painted in the book 1984, but suffice to say we have a rather large series of hurdles to overcome!
So how do we even begin to change peoples perceptions of words, let alone ideas? Is that even possible? The short answer is yes, the longer answer is: it's not gonna be easy! The first thing we need to do as a party is completely re-brand ourselves, because the current model lacks trust and faith, from without and from within. That goes without saying, but to actually embody it is the hard part. We cannot simply say, "we are a new party hear us roar," and literally do the same things, the same way as before.
We need to truly open our doors to all Americans, and show even the most staunch Conservative that we have their best interests in mind, even if the "single issue" they have fault with would normally deter their support. That is the single most difficult task that we as a rebuilding party will face because it isn't a single tier issue, but multiple. First, we have to overcome the barriers in place due to trust, then we have to overcome the barriers of perceived elitism or exceptionalism, then we have to convince voters that even if some of our values are in contrast to your own, the greater message we believe in does not!
Convincing people in the United States of America that their preconceived, strongly held belief is wrong, or in error is akin to walking up to a mountain and demanding that it should move. Therefore, moving forward, the goal of the DNC isn't to convince anyone of anything through words, and pretty speeches, but through actions. This ties in neatly with the People, Country, Party concept that we would instill across various party levels. We don't have to convince anybody of anything if our actions, and candidates embody taking care of the voter, and the citizen before taking care of "party agendas". This again takes time, and requires candidates of integrity and promise to step forward, but, therein again comes the recruitment effort and nurturing of the next generation of leaders.
Actions speak louder than words as the saying goes, and by and large, Republican voters believe that their party acts on their promises more often, are more in line with voter beliefs than Democrats, and that stems in large part due to the messaging of the Republican Party. They have an outstanding media campaign that sends a very clear and concise picture to their constituency in a way their constituency can absorb it! We simply do not. When all is said and done, Democrats have a lot of ideas, great people to fulfill them, and an abysmal execution of presentation. Read through any of my other pages on this website and tell me how easy to understand they are, or if my writing is geared to a lower level. I am a shining example of, "having great ideas, but lengthy, complicated explanations." So what makes me of all people qualified to build the message? Absolutely nothing. I am the exact wrong person to develop the message! Luckily though, all of this is for the DNC Chair, not the PR specialist!
That brings me to this final point about message: the smartest, most qualified people in a room or organization, are sometimes the worst presenters of information or ideas. Even if they are not the worst, they still don't have to be the best. The thing is, E Plurbis Unum isn't just the motto of our nation, it is indicative of all successful groups, teams, and organizations. It is the premise for trade, for industry, Capitalism, and society. If everybody was perfect at everything, why collaborate at all? What we lack is the willingness to admit our weaknesses to others or ourselves. What we need is to embrace our shortcomings, and seek out those who compliment, or offset them. That is what we as a party, and arguably as a nation have gotten far afield from.
How do we take back our message? How do we show that we care about people and we are a new party? Proving it by putting the best people forward, regardless of "credentials," or their party loyalty. Talent isn't something that can be gleaned from a piece of paper. As we have just surmised, being the best at something doesn't mean you have done it the longest. It means that is your strength, and you can prove it through action. We need to start changing the way we look at people in positions of authority or leadership. We need to change how we perceive capability and success. We need to start giving people the chance to shine, and if it turns out they don't, we help them. If they cannot be helped, then we guide them in the direction they excel at. In other words, we take over the message by being the example we wish to set for others!
This is the bottom line: all of the changes and good intentions in the world mean nothing if we don't win our elections to have the opportunity to make those changes. That makes our ultimate goal that of success. Getting there is not a simple or easy process. It will take a lot of hard work and effort. It will not come the first time around, nor will it come immediately. We need to fully expect to lose elections, run failing campaigns, and make rookie mistakes. What we cannot do, however, is lose hope or continue to bull forward with the same failed concepts and actions that brought us to the brink of ruin this year! Therefore, we need to combine our efforts, apply the fundamentals outlined throughout this discussion, and act like a major political party that fights for Americans all across the country!
There is no "winning" strategy that can simply be applied at any given political race, or demographic, or geographic location. There is always the unknown, and the human element. There are always the differences in personal beliefs, backgrounds, and expertise. The only thing that is certain in politics is uncertainty! However, we can instill a set of core values, and develop a process that sets people and Parties up for success! To that end, my proposals would be as follows:
• Create a template for new candidates to follow in regards to: pamphlets, flyers, advertisement looks, campaign focus, etc.
• Have funding in place to cover the expenses, or to augment the costs, of running a campaign at all levels of the party.
• Have a team ready to assist all candidates during the primary with: recruiting volunteers, fundraising, and the legal aspects of a campaign.
• Support our candidates!
• Make sure that there is at least 1 person running against a Republican at every level and race, regardless of possibility of winning.
• Party Chairs at the Local and State Levels will be responsible for establishing and maintaining media ties, so that our candidates can get the exposure they need to win.
• Have accounts, at all levels, ready to accept online donation, and sub-sequentially, make sure all Local parties have at least a donation page as their website.
• Instill, encourage, empower cross communication between voters and "executive members,"as well as Local party leaders and State Level leaders. Nobody knows your community better than you, if you need help ask for it! If the State level is already strapped, then elevate it to the DNC!
• People, Country, Party in that order, at all time, no exceptions. If we can't take care of our local parties, our local candidates, and most importantly our voters, than what is our purpose?
• Innovation, process improvement, and suggestions need to have a place to be heard and processed, then taken into consideration at all levels. Neither I, nor anybody else, in existence has all the right answers and we should be open to new ideas, criticisms and solutions that seem alien to us, but common to others!
• Have fun, embrace the fast paced world of politics, and participate in your Democracy!
How the rubber meets the road.
How do we allocate funds and resources?
We broke our backs selling cookies, writing checks, and hosting fundraisers and we have, at the national level, at any rate, hundreds of millions of dollars ripe for the spending!
The questions is how?
My beliefs and goals for the DNC moving forward, should I be the Chair, and what I would encourage the person who becomes chair should I lose, is this: Stop hoarding all the cash for "sure to win"candidates, and federal level, governor, or senate level races only. The people who need the money least are those running statewide campaigns because they should already have a fundraising machine in place. Secondly, as a reinvigorated party of the people, we will be discussing better ways to fundraise and support candidates, rather than leaving them to their own devices. Which brings us to the hierarchy of spending money!
Hierarchy of spending money?
Yes, it's not the most glamorous phrasing of all time, but it is the most correct representation of my proposal which is best seen in a sort of flow chart!
• DNC - This is where the vast majority of funds will reside, due to the nature of fundraising, and where people feel most comfortable sending their hard earned money! It is also the premise of why Federal taxes have a wider area of influence, as opposed to State level taxes or local taxes. There is quite frankly more money to be had at the higher levels, and therefore, it can be that much more influential. That being said, there will be a per capita cash flow from the DNC to all state level parties at roughly 30% of total National funds will redistributed to the States based on population. 50% will be allocated to each individual county per capita to help cover operating costs and full time persons who would be in charge of: recruitment, and local fundraising.
• State Level - This is the second highest level of funding, largely because if people don't feel comfortable donating to the National level of an organization, they would most likely default to the State Level to have the reassurance that the funds will have an impact. This level is also quite capable of doing individualized fundraising that can cultivate large single donations, or vast quantities of smaller donations respectively. Therefore, States only receive 30% of National donations, in addition to their own, because with these improvements to the party structure and culture, States should be well equipped to cover their own expenses, as well as help their local Parties recruit, fund, and operate their own Areas of Influence as well! It should also be noted, that State level money should be invested in Congressional, State Senate/Representative, County wide, and Statewide Judicial races first, Local races second, and Governor, US Senate races last.
• Local Party - This is where the focus of funding needs to be. Just like in a country, or a Fortune 500 company: if you don't take care of your people, you don't have a foundation to build from. This is especially true in rural counties across the country, but especially in places like Warren County, which is nationally known as one of the most Conservative counties in the nation. The reason why rural communities are so "Conservative" isn't so much that they prescribe to the party policies, but more so because it's cultural or generational. That also has a lot to do with image and perception of the Democrats, who are seen as the people who close Mines, Plants, and negatively impact workers salaries. This makes it an uphill battle from the get go, and the majority of local parties barely have enough funding to operate, let alone recruit and fundraise! This is precisely why the DNC needs to allocate 50% of their funds, to the local parties, per capita, so that every county has a fair shake at getting their candidates elected!
Great ideas and great people alone don't win elections in this day and age, so we need fight back with our own strategies!
Citizen's united is the reality we must face.
Nobody in the Democratic Party likes, or should like, what Citizen's United has done to our country. It has hoodwinked the political process from the common man, and made it the Patrician play thing that lead to the same downfall of Rome! We cannot continue to function as a society of laws, and of people if money continues to control, and arguably, corrupt the very government that was put in place to prevent such atrocities from occurring! However, we cannot overrule Citizen's United, we cannot replace the corruption in government, we cannot overcome these adversities through wishing it alone. We need to win. We need to take action. We need to organize and fight! All of that takes the almighty dollar!
The bottom line is there is a divide among Liberal Democrats and Progressive Democrats when it come to money. Even I have differing thoughts on the subject matter but at the end of the day we have to ask ourselves, what kind of party do we want to be a part of? I asked myself that same question and the answer is without a doubt, a party where we make the difference! So that means our focus must be on the smaller dollar, recurring donations! Our friends in Labor, Nurse's Unions, teacher's, Silicon Valley, and Businesses like COSTCO are still valued members of the DNC, and will be welcomed with open arms to help us get the word out!
With that being said, read my lips: NO CORPORATE DONATIONS!
The biggest hurdle we face moving forward, in terms of fundraising, is to give people a reason to do so without moonlighting popular Democrats. We need to inspire people to want to donate to the Democratic Party throughout the year, during presidential elections, and everything in-between! Furthermore, we need to encourage people to donate at all levels of the party, with an emphasis on local party donations in rural areas. The fact of the matter is, we have pretty strong presences across the country, wherever the word Urban can be used to describe the location. But in all others, we are dismally short of where we need to be!
Fundraising isn't always glamorous, and who wants to give money to the "Establishment" anyway? Fundraising ties in with people, and messaging (notice a pattern here?), and we cannot begin to improve this part of the process without the other aspects in place and working. That will fall largely on the shoulders of local Party Chairs, and their efforts to recruit, and curry fresh Democrats from around their Area of Influence. It can almost be said to leave the big fundraiser, high dollar events to the State and National levels, and focus the small donations at the local levels.
That would be the ideal scenario, but there are plenty of rural counties where the number of Democrats is literally less than 100 in a population of several thousand. So we need to also have fail-safes ready to go so that they are not left out of the loop! We have to make sure we are taking care of all our people and the DNC needs to make sure their efforts are reflected at the lowest levels of the Party first and foremost! This ties into the next part of this discussion: Funding.
Created with Mobirise free builder