YDATL Blog NOTE: The opinions expressed by our individual bloggers are their own, and not necessarily those of Young Democrats of Atlanta.
Monday, March 06, 2006
I cheated a bit and got a jump start on my entry for today before we knew the sad news about Adam. So let me just preface this by wishing safe travels to those of you traveling tomorrow for Adam's funeral in South Carolina. You take all of our thoughts and prayers with you. -E
Welcome to Monday, my day on the blog.
Would you believe I like Mondays? Mondays are a chance to start again. The beginning of a fresh unit of productive life. Nothing has yet been left undone; the opportunity to complete plans and achieve goals stretches out on five clean, equally sized pearls of possibility. Fridays are good, too. But they are good for tequila. I have inevitably failed in many small ways by Friday, and really that’s OK. I can spend the weekend resting and visiting with friends. But when Monday comes back around, it’s the rebirth of confidence in accomplishment and progress.
So it’s fitting that on my blog day, Monday, I will write about strategy and messaging.
My introduction to the Young Democrats was during the 2004 election. I met amazing people in the year leading up to the election. People that I hope to count among my friends for years to come. There were also friends and family that I came to know much better during the weeks and months of hard slog leading up to November. I and my friends new and old poured everything we had into races from Kerry on down. I registered voters, I canvassed, I signed every petition MoveOn could dream up. I angrily read Salon.com. I flew to New York to protest at the RNC, I wrote checks, I even went to Florida to chase absentee ballots and GOTV the week before the election. But ultimately, our efforts were not enough. Not a single candidate I worked for all that long hard year won their election.
FUCK. Can I say that on the blog?
This is such a cliché, but I swear to god I looked into moving to New Zealand. Because – at the end of the day, I knew that I had no more to give. There was no way that I could repeat the experience of that year, much less every election, cycle after cycle. I could not even repeat the LOSING effort, much less give MORE!! I “left it all on the court” as they say, and as my grief and shock subsided, I realized that in fact, I could not work any harder.
So what’s the answer? I realized that if I can’t work harder, I’ve got to work smarter. Again, I know, cliché, but they say these things over and over again for a reason.
So, I will write about how we can work smarter. Lots of people are writing about that – there is no shortage of ideas from which to draw. I am so excited and encouraged by the intelligence AND the integrity of the work that’s been done since the election. I look forward to sharing it with you and reflecting on how we can use these new ideas to shape our tactics here in Georgia and the South. I am as determined as ever to help build back the sort of community I am proud to call my home.
This Monday, I can truly imagine a Georgia where children can get a world class education in every county of the state, no matter how much money their parents have. I can imagine a Georgia where every family has access to affordable, quality health care; where seniors are respected and cared for. I can imagine a thriving business community in service to Georgia families, not the other way around, which provides good jobs for every willing worker. I can imagine a Georgia where people can fall in love and start a family, no matter whether God made them gay or straight. I can imagine a Georgia with clean, healthy air and sparkling streams for all of us to enjoy. I can imagine honest people serving in government with integrity and decency. I can imagine the place I want to leave my children.