Tuesday, June 26, 2012

People for Natalie McClendon

""The State Democratic Party, and each of the local party organizations, work for the rank-and-file Democratic voters, not the other way around. We need to trust and respect the Democratic voters of the state to know what their best interests are and to make good choices for our communities, state and nation. We need to build a party that reflects this reality."
From Natalie McClendon Previous Chair of Whatcom County Democrats 

I am very slow to endorse politicians or contribute to existing political parties.  An observer would say that I am a victim of my own self-developed cynicism and disappointment with the democratic process.  But then, I may not be the only one who is afflicted as such.  Nevertheless, every now and then there is reason to pull back from the darkness and wish for hope and change, even knowing that it might not come.   And so, dear reader, I recommend you invest some time considering supporting once Democrat county chair Natalie McClendon for the 42nd legislative district. As a distant observer of Ms. McClendon, what I like most is her  marked ability to combine effectiveness with a passion  for electoral participation. Under her chair, Whatcom County has significantly increased voter registration and turnout. Whatcom County has also returned some remarkably important electoral results. Most notably, the turn out for President Obama in 2008 and the turnout for Rick Larsen in 2010. I'm sure Ms. McClendon would graciously credit others for some of these achievements.  In reality, few leaders  in local  politics bear the responsibility for energizing a local voter base more than the county chairs of the various local political parties.

Cynicism  and her step-sister Apathy are the twin death knells for political participation, but today cynical voters are becoming more the rule than exception. How could they not given the events of the last twelve years?  Today, our families are saddled with poverty, debt, bankruptcy, and foreclosure. Our military is overburdened. Our foreign adventures and bubble economics have so sapped the domestic economy and bloated our budget that our country risks insolvency. Readers of this blog have probably ascertained that I harbor a deep mistrust of our electoral process stemming from a past attempt to organize and understand the voting process and my ongoing analysis of *surprising* vote results. Beyond this, many of us across the political spectrum have tired of a two party system that functions to support unending war and corporate dominance.

The Occupy movements has given us a glimpse of how the raw anger of  (mostly) young people in their twenties can upset what has become a dominant capitalist class based  hegemony in our country. The resulting suppression of their movement was predictable. We don't have a strong socialist or Marxist party to vote for here in Whatcom County or in America.  Until the citizenry as a whole decide to advocate for nationalization of corporate industry, the redistribution of wealth, strong progressive taxation, and an end to our imperial wars on second and third world countries, those of us who are neither liberal nor conservative are going to have to pick and choose among members of our community we value enough to give our support. Ms. McClendon looks like a promising choice. Here are her web pages:

"People for Natalie McClendon" (Website)
Donation Page for Natalie McClendon
Facebook site for "People for Natalie McClendon"  


Expected Optimism said...

"We don't have a strong socialist or Marxist party to vote for here in Whatcom County or in America."

Thank God for that! Actually, on second thought, we should thank the countries that did adopt socialism or Marxism for providing the example of what not to do. It's no accident that, despite our problems, America remains the wealthiest, most prosperous nation on Earth.

Ryan M. Ferris said...

Thankf for your comment. It should be noted that there is a "socialist presence" here in Whatcom County and the Pacific Northwest. See the facebook page for the "The Socialist Alternative for Whatcom County" at . I believe this group still holds monthly meetings at the WWU campus.

I cannot discern any viable socialist candidacies for local office currently running in Whatcom County. However, there is a "Socialist Alternative" candidate (Kshama Sawant) running for 43rd legislative district Pos 1. Her website is at

There are Socialist candidates at the national level from the Socialist Equality Party : . They are running two candidates: Jerry White (President); Phyllis Scherrer (Vice President).
I have submitted questions to the SEP party contact form asking whether their candidates will be on the WA state Primary or General Election Ballot. Also, I will ask them whether or not they would consider a visit to Bellingham (WA) during the campaign. I will report back on their answers and perhaps create a blog post() on the viability of a Socialist Party in Whatcom County.

Douglas Smith said...

Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont is a socialist and he's proud of it. I believe he is by far the best person in the U.S. Senate!

Ryan M. Ferris said...

Go Bernie! Subscribe to his Google Plus feed!:

Ryan M. Ferris said...

Go Bernie! Subscribe to his Google Plus feed!: