OP-ED: Crazy Can Only Get You So FarWashCo Dems op-ed article

By Stefan Jones, Washington County Democrats Communications Team Volunteer

“When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro.”
— Hunter S. Thompson

There’s a certain cynical satisfaction in the Gonzo journalist’s quip, but in actual practice craziness doesn’t lend itself to productivity. Especially the productivity that is required to be part of a functional government. Expressing belief in conspiracy theories, cultivating resentment, and sowing fear can be powerful motivators, but they can only get you so far. A political career or movement built on these pillars might burn brightly for a while, but it will sputter. Look at The Tea Party.

It is not just Republicans in other states that have fallen in with “thh crazy.” The Oregonian recently published two notable items:

Article: “Oregon Republican Party condemns impeachment, aligns itself with conspiracy theories”

Editorial: “Mainstream Republicans, where are your voices?”

The descent of the GOP into shamelessly partisan nuttiness is dismaying, but it is also an opportunity. Craziness can lead to dysfunction: The inability to put together coalitions, to broaden one’s appeal, to get donations, and to organize a campaign. The same extreme statements that rile up people at a rally of true believers will make you look like an utter fool in a debate, and can be used against you in attack ads. Let’s not fight crazy with crazy. Let’s fight it with compassion and strategic reason.

This is not the time to take a rest, or be dragged down into dismay by the latest snarls and bravado of Trump’s remaining supporters. Democrats must, once again, do the job of the grown-ups in a house full of toddlers. Ignoring the tantrums as best they can, cleaning up the messes, and keeping things going.

This is the time to follow the lead of Stacy Abrams and other grass-roots leaders, and double down on civic engagement. It’s time for new ideas and doing the hard work of finding partners, building coalitions, pitching in together, and getting the job done. Here are a few possibilities:

I’d like to close with a quote from our second president, a far from perfect man who nevertheless wrote in a letter to a friend something the resonates today:

“A little patience, and we shall see the reign of witches pass over, their spells dissolve, and the people, recovering their true sight, restore their government to its true principles.”– Thomas Jefferson

ADDENDUM: Perhaps recognizing that their party leadership has gone too far, Oregon’s Republican legislatures have disavowed its controversial resolution.

[Ed- You can learn how to remind your Democratic neighbors about elections and voting here. No more paper and clipboards, just an app on your phone to smoothly check everyone off your list.  Because of Covid, you don’t need to talk face to face, just drop a provided flier, or text or call them during election season. Compete against your fellow NLP’s to see who can get more “stars” for your successful reminders.  Before you know it, everyone in your neighborhood will be voting as a habit, even when they move away. Take pride in making your little corner of the world a steady asset for progressive causes.]

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