Why Do I Still Fight?

4 February 2017, West Point Cadets tour the Permanent Exhibition.

I have been asked why, after all the shit I have been put through on the county level, I continue to participate in the Polk County Democratic Party. Sure there are other places that I can focus my energy, such as the Ankeny Area Democrats, Congressional District 3 Democratic Party or the State Democratic Party. Here is the thing, I am active in all 4.

So, why do I continue even though there have been targeted attacks on my character from the people in power in the Polk Count Democratic Party? Because they are transient, our communities and our party are not. Over time, those in power now will not be in power in the future, but our communities and our party will still be around and still need help fighting for the future of all our neighbors. That is why I continue.

Another question I have been asked, and I have already answered this in another post, is why do I fight for things that don’t necessarily effect me? Just because I am not directly effected by current policies doesn’t mean that it doesn’t effect someone that I know. Plus, when the community as a whole does better, we all do better. If we turn a blind eye as our elected representatives to openly attack our LGBTQ sisters and brothers, our sisters and brothers of color, our sisters and brothers of different religions and women’s reproductive and civil rights, it is only a matter of time until they come after everyone else.

One of my favorite quotes comes from a prominent Protestant pastor who emerged as an outspoken public foe of Adolf Hitler and who spent the last seven years of Nazi rule in concentration camps, Martin Niemöller. The quote is as follows:

First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Socialist.

Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Trade Unionist.

Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Jew.

Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.

If we stand idly by and allow our elected officials to go after those that can’t or won’t fight against them, then it is up to the rest of us to fight for them.

This is exactly why I continue on fighting within the Democratic Party even though the chair attacks my integrity and and character. This is OUR party, and I for one am here to stay no matter what some transient chair does or says. To those trying to push me out, keep trying if you want, but I am here to stay. I will continue to be on the front lines fighting for inclusion for all our sisters and brothers in all walks of life.

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