I’m a member of the Malden Democratic City Committee. Malden is a post-industrial satellite city near Boston, with about 60,000 residents. I was elected by Democrats voting in the the 2016 presidential primary and reelected in 2020.
Local leadership has launched a Disciplinary Committee against me. As far as I can discern, their charges against me are these:
- Demanding an urgent response
- Threatening others
- Making requests that require excessive amounts of others’ time
- Seeing your perspective as the only right way
- Misrepresenting activities and actions of others
- Being unwilling to examine your impact on both individuals and the whole group
I think I might have threatened someone in second grade, though I’m not sure even that rises to the formal definition.
Of course, none of these are causes for discipline in an American political party. American parties are loose coalitions, and in this they are not similar to (say) the Labour Party or to the PCF. American parties never expel people for character flaw or for beliefs; this tends to make them incoherent and unmanageable but avoid fission.
A significant component of this sad affair, alas, is my Jewishness: in the course of political discussions, my critics apparently believe that I’ve behaved Jewishly. I wasn’t born in Malden, I didn’t attend Malden schools. I’m often opinionated, sometimes loud. I interrupt, and I gesticulate. I talk funny, and I use strange words. Our current political situation makes me angry, and I sometimes show it. An outsider like me ought to be respectful of Leadership and should cringe on command.