Shelby Chiles

Shelby Chiles

In the past year, I’ve worked on 21 campaigns directly or indirectly. I’ve learned the inner workings of the machine we call politics. The Denton County Democratic Party can only be described as dysfunctional when it’s operating at its finest.

I have stepped away because I’m tired of losing, and volunteer fatigue is real. I know I’m not alone.

I’m not saying there isn’t dissension in the Republican Party; however, they’re collaborative. They pursue a purpose. They work past their egos toward a common goal. Everything is like a game of chess. They’re intentional, always thinking several moves ahead. On the other hand, Democrats aren’t even on the same board, much less the same game, or even the same team.

The Republican Party has a clear path of progression. They have training, mentors, committees, leadership and preferred vendors. This is business for them — the business of winning. When the candidate wins, they win. They work, win and celebrate together. No one’s left behind except us.

The problem with the Democratic Party is that they claim to be inclusive. In their attempt to encompass everyone, they lack branding and a cohesive message. If they can’t run an effective campaign, what does that say? The DCDP would rather cut out anyone who gives constructive criticism or innovates like a cancer. They don’t want to change. They like the status quo.

The county party is supposed to collaborate with the candidates. After the candidates sign up, they never hear from us again. If you want an endorsement, you have to ask. You aren’t given a mentor. Think about prospective candidates who haven’t ever run for office before. They’re beyond frustrated by the lack of responsiveness, professionalism and assistance. That’s what the new county chair, Jennifer Skidonenko, claimed she was going to tackle as her first initiative; however, there hasn’t been an improvement.

The Democrats are fractured in Denton because no one actually works together. There are over a dozen Facebook groups, with the same people talking about the same things. It’s an echo chamber. If we’re on one team, why can’t we have one group? By sponsoring or endorsing these groups, DCDP is part of the problem. They’re electronically fracturing us.

People have asked me, “Why don’t you do your own thing”? I have seen others do it. They are ostracized, labeled and defamed. They fall into one or more of the following categories: Republican, mentally ill, racist, angry Black woman, dripping in white privilege.

There’s a time when it is better to walk away, but there’s nowhere to go. There’s no accountability. There’s no authentic chain of command. There are no defined roles. It’s not even organized chaos. It’s discord.

Einstein is credited with saying, “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result.” We can complain about what we don’t like, or we can attempt to initiate positive change.

The DCDP is not ready to change. You can’t get Democrats into office and flip seats without winning municipals. They will continue to lose because they’ve alienated the majority of the very talent base that wants to help them.

Sadly, I’m not alone.

SHELBY CHILES is a resident of Paloma Creek South.

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