State party convention... should I or no?

I've been invited to go to the NC Democratic State Party Convention on June 23rd with a few other people from the UNCG College Dems group. I'm seriously thinking about going and I've already RSVP-ed to go but I started thinking tonight... Why should I?

Why should I waste my time going to the convention of a party that really doesn't do anything for me as a gay North Carolinian. Sure, the NC Dems will be the ones to most likely (God willing) to stop the anti-LGBT marriage amendment. Sure... that is a big thing. BUT it isn't anything progressive. It isn't anything that most politicians consider to be a gay rights issue. Most see it as a "let's not mess with our Constitution unless absolutely necessary" issue.

I guess... the question is this: Should I support a party that, as of right now, isn't really supporting me? Give or take a few members of the Legislature who are openly supportive (such as Rep. Larry Womble and Rep. Alma Addams... among so many others), the majority of state rep's are no where near willing to be openly supportive of such meagre askings as a state non-discrimination policy in employment. It isn't like we are demanding marriage rights in North Carolina. Heck we can't. We aren't even a protected class yet and it's even still legal to fire me because I'm gay or kick me out of my house because of it.

I know that the NC Dems are probably the most supportive major party here in North Carolina. But the question still remains... what are they doing to protect me? I don't see them doing much of anything.


I don't have an answer...

But I suspect that many NC politicians are privately progressive on gay rights, but have read their districts (right or wrong) as not being ready for an openly supportive representative and are willing to move NC a step at a time towards equality. I don't know that, but it's a hunch.

Whenever I say things like that, someone always comes back with subtle (or not-so) suggestions that politicians like I just described are cowards, or lack integrity. And change, they say, requires bold leadership. It does, but it also requires strategery. Look at Meck Rep. Rhodes. He was a far right wing firebrand who never passed up an opportunity to say what he thought, no matter who he pissed off. Some loved him for it, but not only did he earn the "lease effective Representative" moniker, but he'll be leaving office at the end of the year, ousted in the Republican primary. Leadership is definitely part vision, but requires deal-making and compromise.

Ok, I'm not sure where that rant came from (it's late, and this is what happens when you take DayQuil at night). But I think I do have an answer to your question after all: go. Not only is it possible that (I think likely) the Democratic establishment is more progressive than it looks (at least on some issues), but there's a health progressive movement pushing from within and without the party.

And take a laptop and live blog, if you don't mind. :)

Go Go Go Matt, Go

You never accomplish anything if you don't show up. You need to be in their faces. You need to show the power of your constituency. Hiding behind a computer screen is fun, it allows you to express yourself but they don't have to look at it. Stand in front of them and remind them you are there. Your vote counts. Get in their faces! Plus, it will be a lot of fun and most conventions no matter how boring are usually pretty energizing if you are the least bit political. One suggestion. Print up business cards.

Vote Democratic! The ass you save may be your own.

Yes go.

And put the @$$holes on notice. Tell them that they are at risk of losing progressive votes on all fronts, not just with regard to LGBT issues.