Ex-Republican at Democratic Boot Camp

By: Teddy
Published On: 7/13/2005 1:00:00 AM

Or how I left the Party of Stuffed Shirts and Joined the Party of T-Shirts...

This past weekend, I attended an all-day, all-weekend seminar called ?Grassroots Activist Training.?  The class was run by a mixed group of organizations that would most likely raise a Republican's blood pressure to explosive levels just on account of their names of their names alone (never mind, just trust me on this).  I figured that a fairly recent convert like me could benefit from total immersion in all this, to learn how to be a good Democrat after all those restrained and proper years as a nicey-nice Republican lady. 

More importantly, I had become completely fed up with all of the Bush Lies -- an especially virulent sub-form of the Lie Species, and one of the main reasons why I?d turned my coat.  I had decided that I needed to mingle with a bunch of like-minded folks who might help me figure out what to do about that.

The seminar opened at 8:30 AM on Saturday morning in the cafeteria/auditorium of a local high school. It was a glorious summer day outside, where most normal people were mall hopping, golfing, going to kids' sports or the swimming pool, and participating in other fun activities.  Sitting in the cafeteria/auditorium, we grassroots activists trainees were clearly not normal people.  Yet here we were, some hundred and seventy-five masochistic souls, clutching coffee cups as we willingly sacrificed our precious weekend time for a (hopefully) higher purpose.

I knew instantly I was NOT in a staid Republican gathering, as I did not see even one coiffed and manicured, mascara-tipped lady; even one self-important stuffed shirt of any kind, sucking up to more important stuffed shirts.  In contrast, I saw a magnificent cross section of today?s America -- all colors, all ages, all kinds of dress (except no buttoned-down shirts).  If this was the ?liberal elite,? I recall thinking, then Ann Coulter needs to do a bit more field research.

Out bounded our super-charged leader and head honcho of the seminar: a Bangladeshi-descended Muslim from North Dakota who spoke machine gun colloquial American English, ate bacon, and did not pray 5x a day.  The day?s schedule was hand lettered on a strip of butcher paper held up by an assistant, and it was dense and intense.  Nothing was scheduled on the hour or the half-hour, it was all like ?8:35-9:05. 9:05-9:40.? And away we went at breath-taking speed.

To be continued....


Mr. Mark, Democracy (Teddy - 4/4/2006 11:27:15 PM)
Mr. Mark,
Democracy for Virginia, Democracy for D.C., Latinos for America were primary sponsors

You mention organiza (Jonathan Mark - 4/4/2006 11:27:15 PM)
You mention organizations which sponsored this training. I thought that Democracy for Virginia sponsored it. Were there others? Which ones?