I wanted to have this conversation face to face, but it's late, and everyone knows what a dink you are if you don't get a solid 8 hours of rest. This just couldn't wait any longer and I had to get it off my chest. So this letter will have to suffice.
I just don't feel like I know who you are anymore, and as time goes on, I feel us drifting further and further apart. Though on paper, we appear to be a good match, what happens behind the scenes would indicate otherwise. Where to start...
Let's start with progressive men. Though I know a whole lot of great, truly progressive men, many of those in leadership roles with the Arizona Democratic Party seem to be as big, if not bigger, misogynists than many Republican men I've met. At least with hardcore right men, I know where I stand. I know they think I should know my place (in the kitchen) and they are hell bent on legislating my vagina (and all vaginas). But I'd like to expect more from D men. I've watched brilliant women work in Arizona politics while a few token men get the credit for these women's hard work. I've watched these incredible women be demeaned, paid less than their male counterpoints and had their expertise questioned and insulted. I've experienced it first-hand by earning half that to male progressive counterparts, had more than one man steal my idea as if it were his own, and most recently, had a candidate client seemingly forget that I'm the owner of my company while they all spoke directly to the fantastic guy who works for me, and answers to me. I prefer a wolf to a wolf in sheep's clothing any day of the week. Stop saying you're for equality, then acting like a sexist pig when you think people aren't really listening. It's shitty. We really are capable I can assure you. We need more women in leadership roles. Period. And give credit where credit is due. To do otherwise is just having awful social graces.
Hypocrisy. I loathe hypocrisy, and just as I see it regularly from the far right, it's all too common with you too. You're progressive, but you really don't want those homeless people hanging out by your newly built, urban loft. You're progressive, but clean elections wouldn't be good for you. You're progressive and can't stand dark money, but you know out of state money will be channeled in for a smear IE campaign on that other guy, so that's just dandy. You're progressive, but get super uncomfortable if someone says #BlackLivesMatter. You're progressive, yet people speaking out loudly about oppression makes you cringe and you worry far too much about being polite - instead of speaking out about what's right. Quite frankly, you're mostly a bunch of soft, squishy testicles. Grow a vagina for crying out loud. What happened to standing behind your principles and standing up for those who may not have a voice? I just can't relate to a group of people in khakis who aren't willing to shout when need be.
Just as I don't feel the need to subscribe to a religion to be a good person, I no longer feel the need to subscribe to one party to stay politically active and motivated. On the contrary. Not belonging to a broken, two party system will allow me more freedom to speak my mind, as I know plenty of Democrats who I think suck as people and politicians. And we already know the majority of R politicians are wrapped in tinfoil and batshit crazy. We're all fucked up, flawed humans in some way, but some are far bigger liars and bullshitters than others. You know it's true. And you know who you are.
The shit show that is the DNC tied with the last Arizona legislative session clinched it for me. I heard Democrats say things that made me throw up in my mouth when they were caving on the solar referendum. "Grassroots is great, Stacey, but you know what's even better? A giant oak tree (APS). Where were the solar lobbyists and why weren't they donating money to my campaign or wishing me a Happy Birthday?" To all you ignorance is bliss folks out there who don't really have a clue about how corrupt politics really are, especially here in Arizona, bravo. I salute you and wish I didn't know half the shit I know. It's amazing what a little power and greed can do to a person in a relatively short period of time. Yuck.
I will continue to battle for our environment, women's rights, LGBTQ rights, immigrant's rights and reform, Native American rights, social and civil justice issues and the kind and compassionate treatment of all people. I will continue to pass out burritos to the homeless folks on Tuesday mornings and do art benefits for community members in need and fight against evil corporations like Nestle and be a decent human being who attempts to walk my talk. I will continue to support candidates and politicians who aren't sell-out egomaniacs and still have souls and are involved in politics for the right reasons. But I will do all of this as a No Party human. The party will happen on my own terms moving forward. And my party will most likely involve loud music, tacos, ice cold beer and laughter.
So farewell, Democratic Party. It's time for our dysfunctional relationship to end. I hope you miss my mixtapes, strong coffee and Sunday brunch. I know I'm an awesome girlfriend. It's just time for me to move on...