Tag Archives: Democrats

Might We Become the Party Will Rogers Wouldn’t Recognize Anymore?

By Mary Lyon

 Actor/writer/humorist Will Rogers may have said it best (at least until recently): “I am not a member of any organized political party. I am a Democrat.”

Indeed, the Democratic Party has long had a reputation for being disorganized. For Clackamas County Democrats Chairman Peter Nordbye, that’s a powerful, overarching and immediate concern: “We have to pull ourselves together as a party because we’ve gotta get Trump out.” Nordbye says this is more urgently true now than ever before, as a voracious pandemic magnifies the current administration’s calamitous excuse for leadership.

Nordbye points to earlier crises the U.S. has surmounted, recovering from a devastating Great Depression, bridging division by rebuilding one-time adversaries Japan, and Europe after World War II. He says we now face another task so vast it calls to us all. “Bring everybody to the table and get that done. We can move toward a can-do society. My job is to figure out some way to come together. We do not want Trump.”

Ironically, the year 2020 seems to be turning Will Rogers’ quote on its ear, as well as easing Nordbye’s deepest worries. At least for now. In the space of a week, only one Democratic presidential candidate remained standing, as Bernie Sanders suspended his campaign, endorsing Joe Biden mere days later. Former President Obama and Senator Elizabeth Warren quickly followed suit. 

Progressive firebrand Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez signaled she’d ultimately be in the presumptive Democratic nominee’s column as well. The media have noted the remarkable and unexpected shift. “What long and drawn-out primary season? Uh, wait, it’s over already?”

And not a moment too soon. Because there’s enough else to do at the moment. Nordbye says the coronavirus has pushed us into “uncharted territory for our families and our party,” a serious concern on both macro- and micro- levels. The effort ahead includes a broad based alignment on larger party goals of taking back the White House and Senate.

It’s also found deep within the minutiae of mechanics involved in problem-solving how we can still meet without physically meeting. Nordbye says the main issue is knowing “all we need to do to make this work for everybody.” Life has grown more complicated at the same time it’s been forcibly simplified by the need to follow statewide “Stay Home. Save Lives” guidelines.

The Clackamas Dems have now entered the brave new world of virtual meetings as a way to do business while maintaining social distancing. The first Zoom conference in April brought Metro President Lynn Peterson and Metro Councilor Christine Lewis live to your screen to discuss Ballot Measure 26-210, funding supportive housing services to reduce homelessness.

 Online conferencing is one thing, but Nordbye says there are no bylaws in place for learning skills at managing 100-people meetings. “The skills are different. There’s a lot to figure out.”

The challenge is even larger, broader and more urgent. Nordbye’s list includes staying informed as the coronavirus changes more aspects of life as we know it, especially since your life actually may depend on it. Fortunately, he says, new facts on the new realities are readily available from credible sources beyond “Dr. Trump’s reality show” which means “we don’t have to listen to him.”

There are also elections demanding our attention – county commissioners and other Democrats near and far, to keep in place or vote into power to solidify more reasonable and rational leadership locally and nationally. Nordbye further stresses the importance of inclusion. “We cannot win in November if we fail to include people from multiple different viewpoints.” And in the end, he says, all roads toward a Better-Everything for this country still lead to ousting Trump.

Continue reading

Why I am a Democrat

by Norm Tarowsky 

I recently was asked why I, someone who worked in industry (high-tech for 40+ years) and managed large organizations around the world, was a Democrat.  My answer is quite simple, it is because:

I believe that “we” the people have the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. That we all deserve to be treated fairly, equally and with dignity. I believe in the rule of law, the Constitution and the Bill of Rights and that no one is above (or below) the law.

I believe this nation was built by immigrants and the words inscribed on the Statue of Liberty are still relevant. That our diversity is our strength, and we are a nation of, by and for the people. That every citizen has the right to vote and have their vote counted, and the majority rules, while respecting and protecting the rights of the minority.

I believe the role of the government is to do those things that we the people cannot do for ourselves and that the measure of a people is how they treat the old, the infirmed, the young and the poor among us and to ensure everyone has the opportunity to live with dignity and pride.

I believe we are all in this together or we are NOT one nation. My parents came to America to escape persecution and to make a better life for themselves and our family. They believed in the American “dream” and so do I.

I believe that all people should be treated equally and fairly, no matter your race, ethnicity, religious beliefs, sexual orientation or economic status. There should be equal pay for equal work and equal opportunity for anyone who strives for it.

To have a meaningful and functioning Government we must have free and fair elections, transparency and a free and open press. We must eliminate voter suppression and selection (gerrymandering) and provide our citizens with all the necessary safety and security required (military, police, fire, judicial system, border security).

Continue reading

Litmus Test 2: What Do We Believe?

(Second in a series of posts exploring what, if any, litmus test should be applied to gain the election endorsement of the Clackamas County Democratic Party. Your comments, questions, and views are welcome.)

A recent Washington Post/Kaiser poll reports that 63 percent of Republicans blame the poor for being poor, whereas 72 percent of Democrats blame a person’s circumstances for their poverty, not the person. This is a fundamental division between us and them.

How much can be explained by just knowing this one fact? Continue reading

California Finds Answer to Partisan Extremes

Eureka  — We found it!

Eureka — We found it!

If things were calm in Clackamas County we’d think something is amiss. Well, if that’s the case, a lot is amiss just south of us. Republicans love to gripe and grumble about government, but when you elect them, all they do is make things worse and get in the way.

California’s answer is simple: Get rid of them. Let the voters make them powerless by not electing them. Only Democrats — both houses of the Legislature and the Governor — are now driving the bus and, while the road is still rocky, at least that bus is moving down the road. They’re making progress.

If only we could do that in Oregon. And in the Congress.