Friday, March 25, 2005
This is Part 2, picking up from our last column (8.0), where, by several reader's requests, I'm sharing here my background as a Democrat, and how I became a feature contributor for this site.
We left off last time in 1971, when I first registered as a Democrat. That year, and in 1972, I was very much a big supporter of George McGovern both in the CA primary and in the general election. In the fall of 1972, while a college junior, I actually visited a local high school where I gave a classroom speech talking up McGovern. The class was pro-Republican, and I felt like a not-so-good stand up comic. If there had been oysters or olives, they would have thrown them at me.
I'm proud to say the first vote I ever cast in my life was for...George McGovern for President.
From school year 1974-75 thru 1976 I was just starting out in the field of education, and was interviewed for social science instructor positions in several very conservative Republican neighborhoods. I actually worried that my past visible public activities as a Democrat might cause me NOT to get hired.
Well, those worries ended when I was hired in 1976 at a urban Catholic high school as the senior class government teacher. Even though in the primaries of 1976 I supported Frank Church, I enthusiastically backed our Carter/Mondale ticket that fall. I even had students doing volunteer work at the Carter/Mondale hdqs in Montebello, CA.
Sadly, that teaching job ended after I invited the honorable Dolores Huerta, co-founder of the UFW (United Farm Workers) to speak at the high school, and the nuns actually had Dolores stand across the street, OUTSIDE the high school, where Dolores tried to inform the high school students about UFW. They felt Dolores Huerta and me were just too liberal for that high school.
In 1979 I joined ADA (Americans For Democratic Action) and in 1980 backed Edward Kennedy for the Dem nom because of his 1978 health care visions. I stayed with the ADA thru 1981, and did not get bodily involved again in Dem affairs until 1984 when I backed Walter Mondale in both the primary and general election, and was present in downtown L.A. for election night festivities.
For 1988, I very much wanted Joe Biden to be our nominee. I even sent him a check for $50 in 1987.
In 1992, my first choice was Tom Harkin in the primaries. In 1996, I backed the reelection of Clinton/Gore.
In 2000, I was a big supporter of Bill Bradley in the primaries. I was so saddened to see our U.S. Supreme Court deprive Gore/Lieberman of taking office, as they did get over 500,000 more votes than Cheney/Bush Jr.
In 2004, I wanted to "Re-elect Gore/Lieberman", but the day Gore announced his support for Howard Dean, I followed Gore's lead and became a Dean Sunday morning tabler and letter writer-to-Iowans for Dean up thru the NH primary. I joined several local Democratic clubs in 2004, as well, but being unable to go to any meetings due to work/family scheduling conflicts, by March 2005, both memberships lapsed.
I continued my Sunday morning tabling, in the same location that I tabled for Dean, now for the presumed nominee John Kerry, and the Kerry/Edwards ticket once selected. I DID however vote for John Edwards in our 2004 CA primary.
During this Sunday morning tabling, and a one-shot tabling shift at the Montebello Mall, across the freeway from my home, I could see that Kerry might not make it. I even wrote a private e-mail to some fellow Dem tablers about my concerns. That really hit a nerve, me saying "the emperor has no clothes." To this day, several of them will not speak to me, as they thought my concerns were "disloyal." I think that in their hearts they too felt the same way.
Even though he won in CA, the negative impressions I heard about Kerry I knew must be stronger in the red states. In August 2004, I bought an 8X10 portrait of Evan Bayh on EBay, and even though I voted for Kerry in Nov, I felt that if Kerry lost, Evan Bayh would be the right man for 2008.
A day or two after election day, while web surfing, I found a couple of blog/message post sites, I have no idea WHERE they are now..I should have bookmarked them.. and "endorsed" Evan Bayh on one of those. On November 10, just by random surfing the net, I found the brand new Evan Bayh In 2008 Yahoo! site where I became the writer of Message Post #1. I was drafted, by the owner of that Yahoo! site, as the SECOND moderator of that group, and after the first moderator resigned, I became "senior moderator" based on my seniority as a mod.
Up to recently, I was most visible in our national Yahoo! group, but when the opportunity came for me to make regular contributions as a feature contributor here on our AFB.com website, I jumped on board and tried to freshen up the site here with op/ed commentary, colorful graphics, and helped produce the "From JOE DEMOCRAT" feature, written man-in-the-street-style by our own Erich Cumberland from MN.
Well, now you know who I am. My life as a Dem. I could have done more. My Dem activist resume is not very long. But I'm proud to always have voted the straight Dem ticket since 1972. And I'm proud of what I DID DO as an activist Dem.
But I'm most proud of, now at 54, that I'm right here on the ground floor of the Evan Bayh campaign for the Presidency in 2008.I'm committed to this campaign right to the finish wire. I look forward to reading comments from YOU. I hope you get something out of my columns you will find right here in the months, and years, ahead.
Please click on the "comment" link at the end of this column so I can hear from YOU. After all without YOU, we're just talking to ourselves.
(BiLL EARL is a periodic feature of AFB. com. Not only is Bill a regular contributor here, but also EB08 Senior Moderator of the national Bayh Yahoo! group, and CFB Moderator from Rosemead in the CA Bayh Yahoo! group, all part of the National Bayh! Network..NB!N)