WashCo Dems op-ed articleWashCo Dems Op-Ed:  How Factions Can Ultimately Break The Party

By Gary Peterson, PCP

I grew up in an ultra-right-wing Republican household and was a registered Republican as a young adult. I was both a Vietnam protester and served in the Army. I have a lot of Republican friends, and we have discussions and debates about how to move America forward. Even though I disagree with some of what our fellow Republican citizens say and do, I have found that I have more things in common with them than I have disagreements.

Admittedly, there are some who let the points of disagreement get in the way, and can’t discuss, debate and compromise to find a common path forward.

We all need to get better at learning to agree, disagree, and compromise, and to move forward for the common good of our democracy.

I do not want to see the Democratic Party get divided by unyielding factions in the same way that the Republican Party has been divided by ultra-right-wing Christian Evangelicals. This uncompromising mentality will destroy the Democratic Party.

There were some clichés that my ultra-right-wing parents taught me that have been a cornerstone in my life successes, they are:

* It’s not what you say that’s heard, it’s how you say it.
* There’s a time and a place for everything.
* It’s not what you say that matters, it’s what you do.
* Ultimatums are a lose-lose proposition.
* Don’t follow the leader just because they’re the leader.

If you want to be heard by others, especially those who may not agree with you, your message will be lost in the anger and negativity.

If the process is abused to move forward your personal agenda, you will do more harm than good (which is evident with Trump’s approach).

The rules, regulations, and processes for getting things done are well-intentioned; if you disagree with them, work with the body of the party to change them.

I know intentions are good, and your passion is amazing. We all need to care about the issues that affect Americans and we need to have the energy to combat them.  I am reaching out to you with this letter because I want us to grow and work together as a body. With the Reorg now over, I believe we are starting with a fresh, clean slate in 2018, and I look forward to us working together in our future CC meetings.