Please DNC, get a clue!

(Holding one’s breath waiting is NOT advised.)

he subject of the latest email from the DNC reads “Add your name to be first to know who the next DNC Chair is.” Am I the only one for whom that sends up a red flag? Things don’t get any better after opening the email.

Check out the Us & Them phrasing:

  • You’ve proven that Democrats are ready for action
  • You’ve made millions of calls to Congress
  • You marched on Washington and in your communities
  • You’re showing up at town halls with your members of Congress to make sure they hear your voice.

All of which means that…

  • We now have an unexpected chance to take back the House
  • If we have the right strategy
  • We’ll elect a new Democratic Party Chair and leadership team.

Basically, “we” appreciate all the good work “you” are doing, and oh by the way “you” are not “us.”

Think I’m being pedantic? Perhaps but I’m not wrong about the underlying framing issue in the language. The Us & Them phrasing really just flags a deeper problem: the team who drafted, then revised, then approved, then sent that email — potentially a handful or more of people including the Chairperson herself — don’t recognize the Us & Them phrasing as odd because it corresponds to their internal points of view.

Instead of the leadership arising out of loyalty and service to the party, the impression one gets is they think the party arises out of loyalty and allegiance to the leadership. “Saturday you will have a new Monarch to rule over you. Sign here if you want us to tell you afterward who it is and why you care.”

How can the DNC possibly expect deep engagement while holding us at arm’s length? When they don’t seem to even know who the hell we are or include the party rank and file as part of “Us”?

As a stakeholder of the leadership election I might want to participate in that action even more than in any direct activism. After all, the leadership will define the party going forward and I’ve got some strong opinions on what that should look like. Protesting, calling and writing is good but tactical. Electing a leader is strategy and that is what wins or loses in the long run. I care more about strategy than tactics, as well we all should.

But nothing in the email mentions who is up for election, how they became candidates, what their priorities and plans are for the party, the specific party posts that are open, a link to find any of this out, or really any reason why I should give a shit at all until after the election of the new DNC leadership.

Which, according to the DNC, is the appropriate time for me to get excited. Donna herself assures me that “because you’re one of our party’s most committed supporters, I want to make sure you hear the big news as soon as it’s announced.” Oh goody. My status as one of the party’s most committed supporters is so valuable I’m to be granted the opportunity to sign up for first notification of the fait accompli on which the future of the party is based! (And every other DNC blast email from now until the heat death of the universe if you read the fine print, which is what this actually seems to be about.)

Now THAT is what I call an enthusiastic call to engagement by the party. Not. If my reward is the opportunity to put my name on a mailing list, what do the party’s least committed supporters get, I wonder? Denied that opportunity? It’s a MAILING LIST for God’s sake. Not even Milo Yianoppolous is denied that opportunity. I’m practically bathing in my elite status as one of the party’s most committed supporters.

Donna, I’m a high school dropout with zero experience in politics and autistically unfit for that field. Yet every single email the DNC sends convinces me I’d be better at member engagement than you all are. Seriously, you and the rest of the DNC leadership please go stand on the tracks and let the Clue Train run you down. Then let someone serve who believes leadership arises out of the party not the other way around, and is capable of engaging with the party as full participants in the process.

PDATE: As of this writing (21FEB17 15:32EST), the Democratic Party’s Facebook page is filled top to bottom with various Trump stories and protest events. Not a single mention of the election of new leadership which, one would think, would be pinned to the top of the page. Nothing to see here. All. Eyes. Facing. Out.

Meanwhile over at the DNC web site, their Rebuild page actually solicits member input. Why was this not prominently linked in the email? Right at the top?

If you are wondering how you might find out who is running and what posts are open, let me be your guide. (Because you might just need one.)

  1. Go to
  2. Go to the bottom, far right of the screen (the intuitive and natural position for this topic) and click “WATCH: Hear from candidates for DNC officer positions.”
  3. You then land on the DNC Future Forum Livestream page at which you can indeed learn about the candidates for the DNC leadership. If you have 32 hours to devote to watching each of the 8+ hour videos. No, there’s no summary.
  4. Then after picking yourself up off the floor where you’ve fallen in shock, you might notice “ And you can learn even more about the future of the party here” with the one word “here” linked to…
  5. CONGRATULATIONS, you found it! The page has all sorts of information on the leadership organization, process, goals, feedback, and in case you missed it the 32 hours of video you passed by before wandering in here.

There are 45 links in the navigation panel at the bottom of every page. The page about the future of the party is not one of them.

No here.



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