To The Editor:
Good news on the doorstep…Monday’s Oklahoman (June 22) has as its lead story the movement in the Oklahoman Democratic Party to open its primaries to registered independents.
New Democratic Party Chair Mark Hammons promotes the idea and expresses optimism that delegates to the continuation of the recessed May state convention will embrace the change on July 25 when the state convention is reconvened.
Oklahoma Democrats have been marginalized in recent elections, and now have no representation in Congress, no statewide elected officials, and a tiny and shrinking minority in both houses of the state legislature.
The Brennan Institute, Change Oklahoma, the Brennan Society, and others have been working for four months or longer to open Democratic Party primaries in Oklahoma. More recently, many current and former elected officials and party leaders have publicly joined the cause.
Opening our primaries is the right thing to do.
Democrats have always favored more participation in our democracy and easier access to the political process. We are the party promoting voting rights. Defending the status quo will only accelerate the marginalization and slow implosion of our electoral fortunes.
Let’s support this idea and the positive leadership of our new state chair and give success a chance. Our lives and the life and health of our state is at stake. Act like your life depends on it…because it does!
Note: An emeritus professor at the University of Central Oklahoma and Oklahoma City University, Guild was on two occasions the Democratic nominee in the state’s Fifth U.S. Congressional District.