This article contains commentary which reflects the author's opinion
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Enter King County Young Democrats
When I saw a headline saying that the King County Young Democrats (KCYD) had issued a “Do not vote for under any circumstances” for the first time in their history, I just assumed it was about President Trump. Then I realized that, in a non partisan race for a city council position in which I was running as an independent, they had issued it against me.
I often say that Seattle is the canary in the coal mine for the rest of America. Bad ideas and policies spread. Kshama Sawant burst onto the scene by winning a seat on the Seattle city council in 2013 as a member of the Socialist Alternative. She was the first socialist to win a city wide election in Seattle since 1916.
Even though all of the major local Democrat parties endorsed her opponent, many prominent members of those local groups, including officers, endorsed Sawant. A rift formed in these local parties as activists and officers began handing out Sawant campaign material at party meetings and while door-belling for other democrat candidates. By the time of her re- election campaign in 2019, Sawant was endorsed by The King County Young Democrats, the 43rd Legislative District Democrats, 3 Democrat Seattle City Council members, 2 Democrat Washington State Senators and a long serving Democrat King County Council Member.
The Left vs. The Far Left
Elections in Seattle have recently been between liberal or moderate democrats and far left democrats. The 37th District Democrats, after a raucous meeting where members of the Democratic Socialist of America and the Socialist Alternative packed the house to try and get their candidate endorsed, could not come to a consensus. They eventually voted for a no endorsement in the race between Sawant and her challenger, Egan Orion.
Socialist activist members also joined other local Democrat groups to attempt to push through their positions and candidates. The battle between the left and the far left over control of these groups was documented in local publications. This has been the case across council races in the 2019 election for Seattle City Council. Long time local Democrats like Pat Murakami, who helped run President Obama’s campaign out of her home, were passed over in favor of fringe left candidates and labelled as “conservatives.”
Phil Tavel, a Democrat challenger to Sawant’s council ally, Council Member Lisa Herbold, was accused of “being supported by Nazis” by the Chair of the 34th District Democrats during an endorsement meeting of the group (Tavel is Jewish). Later in the evening a drink was thrown in a Tavel supporter’s face by the Chair’s partner.
In a non partisan race, where the hot button issue is the drug/homeless crisis in Seattle and the “sin” of seeking treatment instead of injection sites and other common sense solutions, I was quickly labeled a white supremacist, racist, white nationalist, Nazi, fascist and even an anti Semite by members and officers of these local Democrat parties. Ironic, given the fact that I am an Orthodox Jew and Geraldine Ferraro, the 1st woman to run for Vice President of the United States (who ran on the Democrat ticket) was at my Bar Mitzvah.
The KCYD were very proud that, in this election cycle, they had changed their bylaws so they could endorse someone who was not a Democrat. Even so, I was not invited to candidate forums hosted by the group, and neither were long time Democrats who they labeled as “pro police” and “bigots” because they were “anti homeless” and “Republican.” My Democrat supporters in these groups, who had been members for years, were not allowed to speak and were shouted down at meetings when they objected to this treatment.
Do Not Vote For Under any Circumstances
In retrospect, it is obvious that this bylaw change was done to allow for endorsing Democratic Socialist of America members like Tammy Morales, Shaun Scott, and of course Council-member Sawant. It was not enough, however, to just exclude me from forums. My message was resonating, and I had to be destroyed. So, for the first time in their history, the KCYD issues a Do Not Vote For Under Any Circumstances against me, which was widely covered by local left wing media outlets.
My opponents bought Google ads linking my name to these articles, even though Google ads were supposed to be banned in Washington State. The Vice Chair of the 37th District Democrats even compared me to pedophiles. All of them were proud to support and volunteer for socialist campaigns.
Not Your Daddy’s Democrats
The Democrat party no longer exists as we knew it. It has been taken over by fringe activists and radical socialists bent on the destruction of the free market economy. The average engaged voter is so focused on the national candidates, they are missing what is going on in their own neighborhoods. It is no longer just enough to vote.
To stop radical leftists, moderate democrats need to get involved with their local parties, show up to meetings and become officers. Local GOP groups in Democrat strongholds need to stop accepting the status quo of certain areas as “unwinnable.” Engage new members in order to stop destructive policies like the $15 minimum wage, which led to worker shifts being cut and replaced by automation, and the war against the police department.
It is the unengaged voter or the citizen who is not even registered that need to be reached in order to turn the tide. These local activist groups are what is fueling and steering our national conversation, because so many don’t even vote. We are seeing a movement to fundamentally change America. We can either sit by and do nothing or we can be part of the solution.