The Arcuri for Congress campaign seems to be struggling with message control. At least I hope that's what is happening. Earlier this morning, the New York Liberal blog noted a recent trend anti-progressive slurs by supporters of Michael Arcuri. These Arcuri supporters, who I hope do not represent the majority of people behind the Arcuri for Congress campaign, seem to have forgotten that before Arcuri fight the general election, he has to win the Democratic primary. In order to do that, he has to win the support of actual Democratic voters. Insulting large groups of Democrats is probably not the best strategy for getting that support.
Since I started writing this blog, I have received many not very subtle messages from Democratic Party insiders, some from the 24th District, and some from other places around the country. These messages have been very plain in telling me that my job as a blogger should be to write in support of whatever position the party leadership takes - including its selection of annointed "recruits".
I've been told to "sit down", get back in "my place", "get in line", and "get out of the way". I've been told that I should just let the "important Democrats" do their job - picking a Democratic candidate for us all, without letting us have our say.
I can understand the kind of pressure that Bruce Tytler must have been receiving. If I, as just a pesky little blogger, get this kind of pressure to stop standing in the way of the Democratic establishment's agenda, what kind of pressure and abuse must Bruce Tytler have had to put up with? Bruce let that criticism get to him, I suspect, and that's too bad. I know from my lengthy interview with him last week that Tytler had a lot of great ideas to add to the campaign, and a good deal of serious thought about them. Tytler's campaign was not just a crass effort to advance a political career. It's clear that Tytler actually believed in something, and wanted to campaign in order to promote his ideals.
From over in Cortland County, Tytler's home territory, a member of the Cortland County Democratic Committee has left a comment here on the blog attacking Les Roberts as a "lefty upstart." Lefty upstart? Isn't that the kind of language that Republicans use? What's going on over in Cortland County that the county committee has people complaining about upstarts?
In a democracy, upstarts are to be welcomed. Ours is a nation of equality, where every citizen has the same right to participate in the political process. We Americans rejected the ideals of monarchy and aristocracy, and the claim that only the "right sort of people" should have the privilege of having a say in government. Let's not forget that the United States of America is a nation of upstarts.
In our system, today's upstarts are tomorrow's leaders. I'm not brave or selfless enough to ever want to go through the process of running for public office, but I do consider myself a lefty upstart, and am proud to be one. I do my bit, and that's what our citizenship calls upon us all to do - not to sit back and let the "important Democrats" make the decisions for us.
Lefty upstart? That's a compliment.