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From The Vaults

Imagining The Montgomery County Democratic Party as “The Party Of The People”

I’ve met and interviewed only one “great man” — W. Edwards Deming, when he was in his ninety’s. The “Deming Prize” is a yearly award that is a big deal in Japan. Deming was an early leader in understanding how organizations can be successful. He helped Japan rebuild after WWII. Deming taught that successful organizations and businesses are mission driven. He emphasized that business leaders must have a clear understanding of the mission of their company.

The goal of business is to make a profit — but making a profit is a poor mission. A successful business is customer-centered. An automobile company wants to make money, but it defines its mission as producing high quality automobiles at a competitive price. By centering its attention and resources on advancing a customer-centered mission, it achieves its goal.

For political parties, the mission has come down to winning. This is like a business being all about making money. The customers are not fooled. The cynicism and apathy of the electorate is a logical response to a political system that is all about winning. What animates our political process, with the help of hate radio and propagandized TV, are wedge issues that divide and polarize voters. Harsh partisan divisions empowered Trump.

What would the Democratic Party look like — if it saw its mission as acting as the party of the people? A party of the people would:

  • Empower all interested Democrats within the Democratic Party.
  • Prepare and advance candidates who are “of the people” who are committed to being public servants.
  • Seek to win elections by creating unity — rather than through sowing discord.
  • Help build nonpartisan civic groups that center on advancing local civics education.

Each of Ohio’s 88 counties has a Democratic Party organization — each with its own constitution and bylaws. This means that each local organization can make its own rules. Each is in control of its own structure and processes. Every four years these county organizations are required by state law to conduct elections. This year’s May 8 Democratic Primary will determine the membership of MCDP Central Committee. Those chosen in this election will conduct a Reorganization Meeting where officers will be selected and a MCDP Constitution approved.

The Democratic Party at every level is in need of big improvements. The transformation that is needed must start at the grassroots level. The MCDP should seek to lead the building of a 21st Century Democratic Party that acts as the party of the people. I’m wanting to work with other Montgomery County Democrats to find consensus on possible changes to the MCDP Constitution that could be approved at the Reorganization Meeting.

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