By Mario Piscatella
As we consider the candidates we (as Democrats and Progressives) want and will have on the ballot in 2016, I want to put this out there, as it came up in a discussion about the Florida Senate seat.
Some activists question “litmus tests” or an aversion to less progressive, or untrusted candidates, and in some cases that it is those activists that demand better that are hurting the party/outcomes by not voting for those candidates should they win the primary.
The problem isn’t that nearly all of us in the “activist” sector won’t vote for a mediocre (corrupt, blue dog, wall street hack…insert your disappointment here) D in the general election, we vote nearly 100% of the time — it’s that the next tier of potential Democratic voters, and the tier beyond them, are far less likely to turnout and vote D.
And it makes the tier of voters that haven’t yet established their own identity as voter to either not “become voters” or to vote for the other side. We need the engaging candidates that are beacons of energy and passion, that gives something to fight for, something to motivate us to hurl our bodies into gusting winds…men and women that stand up and say [metaphorically], “I’m going to fight for the thing you care about most, for the people you care about, and for the communities you live in.”
Those candidates cause you, me, and the rest of the activist and “base” tiers to become beacons of energy ourselves, inspiring our friends, neighbors and communities to become more engaged, and thus more likely to vote (and volunteer, and donate).