Wednesday, July 30, 2014

The Ugly Politics of Being the Change

by Wanda L. James
I recently read the Eli Stokols hit piece on Jared Polis “The Trouble with Jared” and I thought "the trouble with Jared?" How about the trouble with the Democratic Party. The “Trouble with Jared” is, he is a Democrat and it appears the rest of the Party has forgotten what that means.
While the Denver insiders fret about the fact that they still can’t control Jared, the rest of Colorado is cheering him on. Jared is a leader. Leadership was explained to me by my military father and my time in the military, I grew up understanding that leadership is sometimes lonely. Jared is always on the right side of being a democrat. Jared’s a disruptor, he always has been. He is out there being the change the Democrats wanted to see. And it appears he is always alone on the right side of history.
He was making the establishment unconformable when he started his schools for recent immigrants at a time when the Democrats in the state were campaigning on passing the toughest immigration laws in the country.
They were mad as hell when he proposed amendment 41 to limit gifts and free dinner from lobbyist to law makers. That pissed off a bunch of the “buy me and my friends’ tickets to all of ball games, galas and expensive dinners in exchange for my vote on your issue” elected officials. (Yeah, you know who you are)
Then there was my favorite move by Jared, he supported the cannabis industry.
He honestly supported it. He did not give the behind the door cowardly response of, “Well, Wanda, of course we support not locking up minorities, but I have tough race and I am too much of coward to actually let people know what I think” crowd. Jared was upfront about his approach. And like all of his decisions, he was unwavering and on the right side of the issue and on the right side of history. He introduced a bill in Congress to legalize marijuana only to have his home state actually do it a few months later and now the NY Times is calling for Congress to take up his bill.
While Jared is making the political class “nervous” they might be wise to tune into what the people of Colorado are saying. We are in desperate need of bold leadership and a vision for the future. To be honest, can any of you give one example of vision from any of the elected officials? Supporting Oil and Gas is not visionary.
The trouble with Jared, is that he belongs to a party that is increasing out of step with Coloradans and they are spinning their wheels trying to take him down a peg. He is rich, he is gay, he is outspoken and he wears bow ties with polo shirts. They have no idea how to handle him. And I love it. And apparently, so do the voters of Colorado.
In municipal elections, nearly 100,000 Coloradans have already cast ballots to ban or place a time out on fracking. These voters are not radical environmentalist, they are our neighbors in Lafayette, Broomfield, Boulder, Longmont, Loveland and Fort Collins that are feed up with the lack of action from our legislature and a Governor that is way more concerned about multinational companies that own mineral rights than homeowners and parents. They have taken matters into their own hands because the political leadership in this state has failed them. Except for Jared, he is listening.
I have never worked with a person I don’t believe in. When Jared and I discussed his campaign in 2008 for Congress, we decided to run on the fact he would be “a different” kind of congressman. One that is not beholden to the special interests. He continues to make me proud by proving that to not to be an empty political promise that changes his tune depending on who is writing checks.
Funny that the Democrats (and their staff hit squads) that are anti-Jared, are also the ones in the most danger of losing their seats. They appear to have no issue with selling their soul, their constituents and the person that paved the way for Democratic ideals in Colorado to continue to get a government check and free trips to meetings and dinners.
If the Democrats are in bed with oil and gas, the privatized prison systems and anti-immigration reform, then maybe we shouldn’t be voting for them in the first place.


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