This really is the heart of the dilemma for every effective organization. You need people - volunteers, for the most part - to do most of the day-to-day drudgery involved in running any organization, especially when said org gears up for one of its periodical Big Events.TollandRCR wrote:This should be the last election in which an aspirant to the Presidency is deemed by his or her party to have a right to the nomination. "My turn" makes no political sense. The only possible exception would be a sitting president, and even then the party needs to decide if that person would be the best possible candidate and the best possible president.
The org's continued existence rests on the faithful few: those who show up, those who can be counted on to do the work, and do it right, and especially, those who can be depended on to keep showing up.
There is a tremendous amount of truth in the adage The World Is Run By Those Who Show Up.
On the other hand, the org needs a constant influx of new people, new ideas, new approaches. Problem is, any organization that has lasted beyond a few years survives in large part due to the reliable people reliably turning up and reliably doing the work. So the new people are simultaneously welcomed and looked at a bit askance: Will they do the work? Will they keep coming back? Will they listen? What have they got to say?
And both sides think: Can we use them, or are they only interested in using us?
Orgs traditionally reward the faithful, especially the competent ones, by promoting them through the ranks. Political parties often reward party faithful by promising them the party's support if/when they decide to run for office. What office, and when to run, is subject to negotiation, since the party isn't going to want to waste a promising candidate on a sacrificial run, nor have them go head-to-head with another party loyalist who's currently the incumbent.
It's this that causes orgs to fill up with and be primarily represented by older white people. They've put in their time, they've now gotten their payback. But in the meantime, the world has changed. The makeup of political parties and their leaders no longer represent their constituents. Back to the need for new people. But if you take a pragmatic view and endorse that brand-new minority prospective candidate, because it's not only the smart thing to do, it's also the right thing to do, you will have passed over somebody who's been working for the party and waiting their turn. They may understand. Or they may be royally p.o.'d and turn on you.
There is no single answer to this dilemma. Whatever you decide and whoever you pick, you will be passing over someone else with an equally valid argument for being the best choice. There is one argument in favor of institutional inertia, though: if you consistently pass over the faithful in favor of the new, you'll lose many of the people you can least afford to replace, and over time those losses will add up. That's the reason behind making people put in their time before being rewarded. Then again, if you consistently pass over the new, you become increasingly irrelevant because you've become increasingly out of touch.
This is why we need both the old guard and the new. We need both Bernie and Hillary. It is a great shame that the party and these two candidates were not able to resolve their differences and work together. If I had to guess, I'd say the major factor for both candidates was their ages. They both knew this was their last chance to grab for that gold ring. When it's your last shot, it's going to be oh, so hard to concede.