Dear Fellow Patriots,
Living as I do in NY19, I am now, for the third time this year, canvassing my neighbors in search of their support for my Congressional candidate. I’m 73, but one of my knees is at least 90. And, my childhood was spent listening to my mother say, “I don’t care what the school says about selling things, you are not to annoy the neighbors.” Well, sorry, Mom, sorry, knee.
We here in NY19 are not used to speaking up about politics: in my local Republican controlled town, the Supervisor instituted a three minute cut-off rule as I was in mid-sentence. Currently John Faso is our Member of Congress, so there is no chance we’ll get to converse with ol’ No-Show-Faso. It appeared that we Democrats and liberals could just curl up with a good dystopian novel and await Armageddon. But no, along comes the Democratic federal primary for House of Representatives – to be held in NY on June 26, 2018, (not to be confused with the state and local primaries to be held on 9/13—no kidding, imagine having just under two months to campaign for governor— apparently Cuomo imagined that and smiled). Well, we have now, ladies and gentlemen, a horse race worthy of the offered prize. (Faso is definitely going to be voted off the island. The only friend he has is Mercer, and what with Cambridge Analytica involved in national security issues, well…).
So we as partisans of the various seven Democratic candidates go door to door, write postcards, hold parties, make calls, plant signs, and as we do so, smile and wave to each other. So how can this be? My only answer is ticks, in this case the democracy tick.
Any one of these seven candidates would bring far more authentic representation to NY19 than we have now. The last public gaff of Faso was his telling Republicans in Ulster County that all drug dealers carried SNAP cards (food assistance program—part of the farm bill). Even he had to attempt to disavow this, saying later that he was just being emphatic about how a program might fail. In fact SNAP brings to local communities $1.79 for every dollar paid out, and even the non-partisan Congressional Research Service says that fraud is “rare.” And so, Faso’s push to make this a “punish the poor” bill blew up in his face and helped cause its failure in an administration controlled by his own party.
Also, some of my best friends (really) are working for candidates other than my first choice. I know these people and respect them. They put their time and their egos on the line. I want my candidate, Brian Flynn—win with Flynn—remember that if you’re in NY19 voting absentee ballot—is my man. But, I will work for whoever wins the Democratic primary. This is democracy. Why in my county, Dutchess, our Democratic Committee even went so far as to use rank choice voting to give a really accurate indication of where our alliances lie in regards to the seven candidates. It worked amazingly well, as there were three points between the first and second candidates in the final round of tallying the endorsement votes. This voting confirmed our belief that the ultimate choice is that of the individual Democratic voter.
So this experiment in activism has been exhausting, but just as (repeat now if you’re from NY19: “I’m In– Win with Flynn—I’m IN”) I’m in with democracy, I believe it is the best anti-Trump medicine we have.