OK

This is only a Preview!

You must Publish this diary to make this visible to the public,
or click 'Edit Diary' to make further changes first.

Posting a Diary Entry

Daily Kos welcomes blog articles from readers, known as diaries. The Intro section to a diary should be about three paragraphs long, and is required. The body section is optional, as is the poll, which can have 1 to 15 choices. Descriptive tags are also required to help others find your diary by subject; please don't use "cute" tags.

When you're ready, scroll down below the tags and click Save & Preview. You can edit your diary after it's published by clicking Edit Diary. Polls cannot be edited once they are published.

If this is your first time creating a Diary since the Ajax upgrade, before you enter any text below, please press Ctrl-F5 and then hold down the Shift Key and press your browser's Reload button to refresh its cache with the new script files.

ATTENTION: READ THE RULES.

  1. One diary daily maximum.
  2. Substantive diaries only. If you don't have at least three solid, original paragraphs, you should probably post a comment in an Open Thread.
  3. No repetitive diaries. Take a moment to ensure your topic hasn't been blogged (you can search for Stories and Diaries that already cover this topic), though fresh original analysis is always welcome.
  4. Use the "Body" textbox if your diary entry is longer than three paragraphs.
  5. Any images in your posts must be hosted by an approved image hosting service (one of: imageshack.us, photobucket.com, flickr.com, smugmug.com, allyoucanupload.com, picturetrail.com, mac.com, webshots.com, editgrid.com).
  6. Copying and pasting entire copyrighted works is prohibited. If you do quote something, keep it brief, always provide a link to the original source, and use the <blockquote> tags to clearly identify the quoted material. Violating this rule is grounds for immediate banning.
  7. Be civil. Do not "call out" other users by name in diary titles. Do not use profanity in diary titles. Don't write diaries whose main purpose is to deliberately inflame.
For the complete list of DailyKos diary guidelines, please click here.

Please begin with an informative title:

I've written a blog post mostly directed at activists in Georgia and other red states, but which I think is applicable to most areas, called Turn Georgia Blue precinct by precinct

I think an approach that starts geographically close to where you sleep is a good strategy for building a lasting movement, whether you are trying to win an election,  fight poverty, build an anti-war movement, or achieve universal health care.  The rest is below the fold ...

Intro

You must enter an Intro for your Diary Entry between 300 and 1150 characters long (that's approximately 50-175 words without any html or formatting markup).

I think that post-WWII sprawl has had the effect of creating a geographically neutral approach to politics, and a counterproductive psychology to go along with it.  Just as I can drive to work twenty miles from where I live, I can also go to a meeting to a place with like-minded people.  I may or may not see those same people in other contexts, but we've self-sorted.  The internet makes it even a bit more Balkanized.

Now there are good things about this.  Progressives living in a conservative suburb, or in a solidly red north Georgia county, can break their isolation  by either going online or driving to a meeting elsewhere.
It has other advantages as well.  The old ward boss system in northern cities, or county unit systems in the south, were fertile grounds for corruption and fiefdoms run by petty dictators.

I think at this point the progressive movement should embrace a modern version of ward politics though.  In red states I think it's the only way progressives are going to dig in and build lasting movements for change.  We can wait around for demographics to do our work for us, but there's no guarantee even that will work for us.  Eventually the right is going to start seriously contesting for votes in segments of the population it's been ignoring, and progressives and democrats don't have any birthright to anyone's support or votes.  We have to work for it like anyone else.

I've laid out some of the specifics in my blog post, but my basic premise is that the precinct is the largest unit an individual activist can really know intimately.  I can make generalizations about my county, state, or region, but there are only so many people I can actually talk to, and the precinct keeps it manageable.  

One thing I didn't cover was some of the arguments I've heard for why people aren't doing work in their own precinct.  "Everyone here is a conservative",  or "There are too many other progressives in my area, so I should be focusing somewhere else".  I look over election results a lot, and in the case of the 2012 election there wasn't a single district in my majority conservative county which didn't have a substantial number of Obama votes.  Not one.  Not even in overwhelmingly white and affluent East Cobb.  And Romney got a surprising number of votes in my Democratic south Cobb precinct.  So there are always people to reach.  As for the "too many progressives" argument, great,  do an intense GOTV campaign, then raise money to send to people in areas organizing in less receptive districts.

Extended (Optional)

EMAIL TO A FRIEND X
Your Email has been sent.