Starting a Conversation


Earlier this month, I started blogging about the institutional changes I think are necessary to not only rescue the North Carolina Democratic Party from its looming insolvency. My goal is to cover five (or 5.5) big thoughts before the NCDP chair candidate forums this weekend.

I've covered an absolution, a mea culpa, the path forward for the NCDP organization, and the path forward for NCDP leadership. In the next couple of days I'm going to talk about what Democratic campaigns can do to be more successful, and I'm going to present a big idea for NCDP to consider.

I've made a concerted effort to focus on the institutions and idiosyncrasies that have made the party maladapted for the current legal and political climate as opposed to focusing on the people who lead the party. My main reason for this approach is that good or bad leadership is as much of a product of an organization's health as it is a product of anything else. Keeping a focus on ideas as opposed to people hasn't prevented ad hominem attacks, but for the most part I've received a lot of good feedback from people who agree and people who disagree.

I'd love to hear your thoughts on the blogs, but one thought I'd like to leave here is this: "The Democratic Party is not powerful or effective just because it exists. This is magical thinking of the worst variety. The Democratic Party is only as powerful as the work it is accomplishing."

Magical thinking is dangerous because it keeps us from fixing our problems. Our party isn't nearly as effective as many think it is, it has a lot more competition in the progressive space than it used to, and we can't expect to be relevant just because we're the Democratic Party.

In addition to competing for donors and volunteers, those other organizations use volunteer time more effectively. I've spent over a thousand hours of my life in Democratic Party meetings and on party organization conference calls. That's roughly 60,000 dials that weren't made or 30,000 doors that weren't knocked. We need to do a better job getting the job done.

If the Democratic Party wants to be a change agent in North Carolina, it's my firm belief NCDP needs to change. I'd love to hear your thoughts and your feedback!