Wednesday, November 29, 2017

There Has Never Been a Better Time to Become a Democrat. Guest Blog by Ross Hancock

There’s never been a better time to be a Democrat. I’m writing this in response to the Tuesday post by Geniusofdespair, “Does the United States Need a Third Party?”

I respect the sentiment of the argument. The spirit of independence in our community is vibrant and admirable. If I started listing appalling things about the Democratic Party and Democratic candidates and officials, I would probably leave out the one that you hate the most—and that’s not my point, anyway. In the five years since I first became a Democratic candidate in Florida, I have witnessed awful things, and maybe you have, too. Maybe if all of us got together we could fill volumes. Maybe we could get together and call ourselves an institute.

Right now, with the state party in tatters, and a tawdry circus of juggling vacant seats and positions, there is a wonderful power vacuum. The party that brought you a former Republican governor running unsuccessfully at the top of its ticket has been unhinged for years now. Just sweep up the pieces. Harassed women employees of the party are probably on deck right now to, rightfully, sue the pants off the whole state operation.

The most popular choice of party affiliation for new voters in Florida is “NPA”: no party affiliation. In a typical legislative district, there are about a third each of Democrats, Republicans, and NPAs. I hear from people all the time who get worked up and leave the major parties in protest.

Guess what? The major parties don’t really care if you leave. And even if the Democrats cared, there’s no one minding the store, anyway.

What NPAs should do is swarm the Democratic Party. Independent-minded people like Geniusofdespair should not only become Dems and bring fresh air to the primaries, they should run as Democrats. And Genius is doing just that! Even while bemoaning the two-party system, Nancy “Geniusofdespair” Lee has filed to run as a Democrat against an incumbent Democrat who is a living example of why many people hate being associated with the party.

That’s exactly what we should be doing. Running as independents within the Democratic Party process. Bringing fresh faces and talents into the primaries. You don’t need anyone’s permission to run. The party can’t stop you.

Also, give up that pointless protest of being an NPA and locking yourself out of the primary elections. No one notices that you are boycotting the party, and you end up with terrible choices in the general elections.

The state of Florida recently launched a new website that makes it easy to change from NPA to Democrat in just a minute or two. It’s at I have a project going in State House District 114 (where I am running as an “Independent Democrat” to replace Daisy Baez) to switch about 1,100 NPA voters to Democratic affiliation, just by asking. When this grassroots project is complete in a few months, the district will be officially changed from majority Republican to majority Democratic.

Because, despite everything, there are great things about being a Democrat. There are active caucuses on special issues like the environment, immigration, justice, etc. There are really fun local Democratic clubs. There are Resistance and Women’s March groups and so much more. If I started listing all the great things about being a Democrat, I would probably leave out the one that you’d love the most—and that’s not my point, anyway.

Together, and independently, we can change the system. The power is up for grabs, and it can be returned to the people. There truly never has been a better time to become a Democrat.

Ross Hancock


Anonymous said...

Registering No-Party, Independent, is not a smart or strategic move. When you do register this way, it allows the loonies of the parties to choose the candidates. That is how we got Donald Trump. Remember that.

Anonymous said...

Thank you Ross for reminding us of the importance of choosing a party.

Ross Hancock said...

If you want to know how to quickly change your party affiliation online, text SWITCH to 555-888.