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As a former Democratic Party precinct chair in Colorado, one of my biggest frustrations was trying to get my neighbors to attend caucus meetings every two years. Another was to find volunteers to help with voter registration, canvassing for candidates, or otherwise taking an interest in local, state or federal candidates for office, or the various proposed laws and amendments to the Colorado constitution. Our caucus meeting were sparsely attended, and never once did I see a person under 30 attend...never. And I really tried, "canvassing for the caucus" going door to door of apartments where young people lived. I came up zero.
Then Bernie Sanders came along and energized a base of young people who previously were minimally active in politics. And last night as I attended our neighborhood caucus I was overwhelmed by the presence of young Bernie supporters everywhere. They not only delivered Colorado in a big way to Bernie, they also were elected as precinct chairs and delegates to the County Assembly. If my precinct is representative of the state as whole, Bernie Sanders's political revolution is alive and well. As a Hillary supporter I had to admire their passion, even if I disagreed with some of their assertions, uninformed opinions and sometimes almost hateful ideology about Hillary and what her life has been about.
For the 30 Bernie supporters who dominated our precinct caucus meeting, I salute you. I just hope you'll be there for the long haul into 2018 and beyond, for better or worse, because politics is messy and it's easy to become disillusioned when campaign promises cannot be kept because the "other side" controls some of the strings to effective government and compromises are necessary for progress. That's the meaning of progressivism. Things just don't happen in big giant revolutionary steps unless the ruling part has an overwhelming control of all three branches of government as FDR did in 1932. Mostly it's slow hard work building relationships and doing your homework...and making lots and lots of compromises along the way.
For those now participating in the government for the first time, keep an open mind and learn from the experience...and read history. The progressive movement did not start with Bernie. It's been alive and well for over a century...sometimes going forward with leaps, sometimes a step backwards, and sometimes stagnant...but always making progress over time. Live with it and learn about the "other" instead of repeating political talking points not serving any purpose but to divide us. Life is too short to "hate" the other.