We need a Tom Horner in every state.
We spend an awful lot of time looking at the problems around us and, for those of us who have invested significant amounts of time in political endeavors, it often feels like the problems facing our country are a giant weed that we keep hacking at, but can’t get to the root. It just comes back bigger and nastier two years later.
Tom Horner gave it his best shot in Minnesota, running on the Independence Party line for governor last cycle. Shooting the moon like that works sometimes, but not this time. Unlike most independents though, he isn’t fading back into obscurity. He’s showing us what we need from our leaders… staying power and the willingness to do the thankless unseen work that gets done behind the scenes – that pave the way for people to accomplish great things later on.
Instead of licking his wounds and going back to private life, he’s taken a look around and seen that what really needs to be done is for the organizational deficiencies of his party, in comparison to the two major parties, need to be worked on. One of the major advantages the two major parties have is plain and simple organizational strength. Not only do they have more members, but they also have strength in campaign knowledge, personal connections and access to the resources a campaign needs to succeed.
In most cases, independents have to start from scratch each campaign, or near to it. Its no wonder that independents have had some of the most success in New York and Minnesota over the years, where they have smaller, but thriving, party organizations to back them. If even half of the relatively centrist candidates who run for office and lose every year decided to roll up their sleeves and get to work on building a foundation for the future, instead of just another campaign themselves, or giving up and going back to private life, we might see less progress in the very sort term, but I think its safe to say we’d see geometrically more progress in years to come.
Bravo to Tom Horner and the Minnesota Independence Party. Along with the Independent Party of Oregon, these organizations are the trailblazers other states will have to learn from as the groundswell of moderates and centrist independents begins to organize itself better and works toward evolving into an actual movement across the country.