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Workers Quitting Crappy Jobs

I voted for Reagan in 1984.

By 1988, I’d registered as a Democrat and have voted for Democrats in every election since. I’m now canceling my membership in the Democratic Party.

I realize this means I can no longer vote in some primaries. But the decision to block open primaries is controlled by the major parties, as is the decision to block ranked-choice voting.

They also control the choice to keep the filibuster.

And the choice to maintain the Electoral College.

And the choice to allow gerrymandering.

And the choice to accept corporate donations.

I wish the best for those still trying to change the system from within. But when even our “heroes” on the left cave, time and time again, to corporate Democrats, I simply can’t muster the energy to believe that “next time,” they won’t pull the football away at the last second once more.

The Great Resignation needs to include leaving any political party that only pays lip service to our needs.

If it’s Democratic voters and not the Democratic Party machine destroying the chances of Nina Turner, India Walton, Charles Booker, Bernie Sanders, or others trying to make a real difference, this is still a group I no longer want to be part of.

So I’m out.

“But you can’t do anything from the outside!”

That’s probably true. But I clearly can’t do much of significance from the inside, either.

President Biden had a chance (still does, and he absolutely will not use it) to cancel all student loan debt. If the DNC wants me back, they can see that he does so.

When Democrats control all three branches of government and still can’t add vision and dental to Medicare, they’re of no use to me. The DNC knows what to do if they want me back.

But I don’t think they do want me back. I think they don’t care about me at all. At best, they’ll keep demonizing the “my way or the highway” voters, never accepting responsibility for their own position—“Let them eat cake crumbs!”

“Republicans are worse!” Democrats argue manipulatively.

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I concede the point.

But if my options are to accept one broken leg or two broken legs, I’m choosing not to play this abusive game anymore.

I call my senators and representatives and council members, I send emails, I sign petitions. I mail postcards to voters in swing states. I donate to candidates who make promises and when they don’t deliver explain why I won’t donate to them again.

Since none of that seems to matter, the only thing left is to withdraw my membership. If “every vote counts,” I can only hope that “every party membership” counts, too.

When winning on a no progress platform makes Democrats believe that making no progress is acceptable, when losing on a minimal progress platform makes them think they were too radical, when losing after capitulating on a high progress platform makes them think that zero progress is a more secure path to success, there is no way for voters to persuade party leaders we want more.

As Democratic leaders fumble in the dark trying to interpret voter behavior, every outcome justifies their decision to abandon even weak attempts to address our needs.

Of course, they really don’t have to guess what their lower numbers mean. We’ve been telling them for years. They simply don’t listen.

So what’s the solution?

Party officials must demand that elected leaders pass meaningful legislation. We need universal healthcare, universal pre-K, equitable public school funding, tuition-free college and vocational training.

We need zero-fare public transit, with massive investment in public transportation and high-speed rail. We need significant and measurable anti-racist policies. We need to ban all fracking and new fossil fuel projects immediately and focus on healthier ways to power our cities.

“Be patient!” we’re told, election after election after election. “Progress takes time!”

But science hasn’t yet found a way to lengthen the human lifespan an additional three hundred years. I have no more patience because I have no more time.

With increasing economic inequity and an escalating climate crisis, even young voters don’t have time to be patient any longer.

If Democrats can’t get us the minimum we need to survive, culture war victories are only window dressing, “rights” that can be ripped away at any moment.

Because “compromise” for Democrats always means “we’ll try harder next time,” and because “next time” always means “never,” I’m done. I’ve emailed the DNC, verified my name is no longer on their rolls, and demanded they remove me from their mailing lists as well. Any of their emails still coming to my inbox will be marked as spam.

Because that’s what they are.

Johnny Townsend

The Great Resignation needs to include leaving any political party that only pays lip service to our needs.

For all those Democrats upset with my decision, let me calmly reassure you—my membership was never going to lead to progress anyway.

Johnny Townsend