Building knowledge, skill base to build network for future success

David Rauzi

Proactive forward-thinking plans by Idaho Democrats in the wake of the 2016 General Election are an inspiration for a change in state party politics overall.

This month, the Idaho Democratic Party (IDC) created a rapid response team to “hold GOP elected officials and the Trump administration accountable” through legislative scrutiny and alerting communities on how to engage elected leaders. The party reported an unusual outpouring of support following this election with hundreds of people calling, e-mailing and stopping by the office wondering how they can volunteer and make a difference in the state, as well as run for office.

State Democrats capitalized on the remaining enthusiasm in the wake of the election with a plan that focuses this passion into narrowly directed efforts with clear purpose, and avenues for people to take political action. The IDC isn’t letting their losses define them; rather, they look to the road ahead to not just maintain but to also enhance their party’s voice in Idaho’s political discussion.

One wonders what the impact will be of having a left-wing political SWAT force riding herd over Idaho politics.

Despite having all the answers, the state’s GOP does not always have the right ones. An effective Democrat voice to mobilize the public to voice options and alternatives in the debate could challenge Republicans into crafting better solutions or veering away from poor policy.

And then there’s those third parties.

What state Democrats are planning here should be inspiring for Libertarians, Constitutional and other parties to “up” their game. Especially so in the wake of what we experienced this year where non-establishment candidates were passionately supported, and much of the party mainstream were casting their eyes to whether a third-party candidate could save them from a Trump or Clinton vote. The opportunity here is to seize on this attention and perhaps emulate the IDC’s team to focus the party’s message and on how it substantially differs from the status quo of Republicans and Democrats who have too long monopolized the system to the detriment of voter choice.

Political analysts will be looking at and commenting on the lessons to be learned from 2016. One to consider is “status quo” politics won’t be tolerated anymore, and future political victories may lie with parties that leave behind old ways of business to better manage the message and, in so doing, inspire and mobilize the faithful to draw converts to the cause.

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