Is the Democratic Party a waste of time for rural democrats?

Lovely weekend here in southwest Minnesota, and lotta things to do. There’s the big weekend party down at Baxter Cycle in Marne, Iowa- They’ve the typical earthy small town cycle shop that’s hosted both the old and now reborn Triumph motorcycles. Or within a hundred miles of home I’ve got my choice of two great old tractor shows at Montevideo or Butterfield. But noting that our democrats were doing a parade the next county over, I stayed home and headed over to do the parade with them today.

Got to the parade start and found we weren’t even entered. Didn’t see any of our local democrats at the parade start, so I checked the party booth at the county fair cross town… Booth was nicely set up, but nobody there. Not surprising, in this county of around 10,000 we’re down to a handful of democratic party regulars. County on the other side of mine is doing even worse, barely seen them since the party conventions last year. Couple weeks back I got asked if I could work a shift at the county fair booth 60 miles away, and the congressional district chair ended up driving over 100 miles there to cover a shift. This in one of Minnesota’s most diverse counties where the Democratic Party should have a year round office and full time organizers, but they won’t because it’s rural.

No surprise that democrats are leaving the Democratic Party here in rural Minnesota, thanks to decreasing support from our state Democratic Party. We got a couple staffers in tiny campaign offices for the 2010 election, and even less in every election since. The Minnesota Democratic Party is a ten million dollar plus operation during election years, but most of those millions are wasted “running up the score” in urban counties to eek out a narrow victory for Hillary while we’ve lost first the state house and now the senate too. Officially they’re the “Minnesota Democratic Farmer-Labor Party”, but most of the farmers long ago gave up on them, and labor is increasingly following suit. They’re a mini-DNC, lead by pretty much the same people that gave us last year’s defeats.

So no surprise that no democrat has been elected to the legislature from southwest Minnesota since the 2012 redistricting. And no surprise either that the party’s ranks are thinning- My county’s chair quit and dozens of losing democratic candidates in rural Minnesota permanently shut down their campaigns after the Democratic Party produced their 2016 electoral disaster. And democratic candidates aren’t going to win out here in rural Minnesota and America until the Democratic Party invests here like they have in the big cities.

Having blown half this weekend, the Democratic Party has my next weekend booked too. Saturday’s meeting is at least nearby with my fellow rural MN 7th CD democrats. But sunday I’ve been summoned 180 miles distant to MN Democratic Party HQ for an Outreach Officers meeting and  “Inquisition”, can’t give any more details lest I become the second “guest of honor”. Wouldn’t mind if I had nothin’ else to do, but that’s the weekend I get together with a bunch of my motorcycling friends from Florida while they’re on their annual trip home to rural Illinois.

Maybe I’ll feel better if I see some Co-op tractors at the show tomorrow, or maybe I’ll finally come to my senses, forget the Democratic Party for a while, and ride to Illinois next weekend…

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