What Run for Something does is look to inspire and find progressive candidates for local office. The idea behind it is to channel the frustrations that many of us are feeling about things such as, I don’t know, how cool we suddenly are with elderly people dying from a virus or how completely chill we are with turning our democracy over to authoritarians.
Litman is pretty brilliant, and her strategy is one the Democratic Party should have started years ago because conservatives are focusing on down-ballot races. Professional Worst Person Steve Bannon has issued a call to his minions to seize control of the Republican Party from the bottom up:
“It’s going to be a fight, but this is a fight that must be won, we don’t have an option,” Bannon said on his show in May. “We’re going to take this back village by village … precinct by precinct.”
MAGA conservatives are also running for school boards, town councils, etc. One of the primary QAnon forums had a call at the top of the page calling for people to run for local offices. The Oath Keepers and Proud Boys are shifting their focus to local politics.
Local and state politics can have a huge impact beyond town and state borders. For proof of this, just look at what’s been going on with gerrymandering, and the sudden influx of book bannings and teacher threats that are coming out of school boards. What have Democrats done in the meantime?
Well, largely go after what Litman calls “shiny objects.” An example of this is the $90 million blown on Amy McGrath’s senate run. A fine person, but she had no chance against Mitch McConnell. Litman said it may have made Democrats feel good to dump 100 bucks on McGrath’s campaign, but it had no impact. And Republicans keep making inroads at the local and state level.
So, Litman said, run the GOP’s game and focus on local office. She outlined all this on a recent episode of The Ezra Klein Show podcast. This is the link to the transcript but like many of Klein’s episodes, it is well worth a listen.
I won’t go into the entire thing (seriously, check it out either by reading or listening), but some of her key points include:
– Run for Something is focused mainly, but not exclusively, on younger people. This is due to this fact: Younger people are wildly underrepresented in government. As she puts it: “…30 of 50 US governors are over the age of 60. The average age in the house is 58. The average age of the Senate is 63. The median age of a school board member is 59. The median American is 38.”
– Therefore, the Democratic Party needs to build up its bench of future national figures. The town councilperson of today might be your U.S. senator tomorrow (or president!).
– Local races can be underfunded but don’t require near as much money. Your 100 bucks can go a long way.
– Younger people sometimes have a better understanding than their elderly counterparts on certain issues. The example she uses is anytime there is a hearing on something tech-related.
– Run for Something has success stories – she mentions they’ve helped to elect 637 individuals across 48 states.
The thing about the interview is it’s not just a vent session. It’s addressing our quite frightening problems facing us, but it also offers something that so many podcasts and written pieces don’t:
What to do and steps to take. And that can be inspiring.
The last word goes to Sam Cooke, in keeping with the “inspiration during tough times” theme.