As each of us tries, quietly and privately, to regain some measure of balance, if not true equanimity, let me share a daydream that is perhaps not entirely idle.
Bernie made much of the fact that the average donation to his campaign was $27. Suppose we try to imagine a standing organization of permanent full-time paid community organizers, scattered across the face of America, dedicated to fostering local citizen organizations, working to elect City Council members, School Committee members, Mayors, State legislators, even Governors, guided in their actions by the issues that concern the people of the community in which they work. Suppose they were paid a salary roughly equal to the median household income in America, namely $50,000 a year. Assume each community unit has a minimum of two paid organizers, trained by a national headquarters and funded by donations of $27 a month, or $324 a year. With fringe benefits and operating expenses, including rental on an office and associated costs, each two-person unit would cost, let us suppose, $200,000 a year. A thousand such offices would cost $200 million a year, and would require roughly 650,000 supporters nationwide.
Are there six hundred fifty thousand men and women who could afford, and would be willing to donate, $324 a year to such an effort, headed we may suppose by Bernie? Perhaps not before Trump was elected, but now? I think so.
Would such an organizational structure be able to make a measurable political difference in Trumpworld?
What do you think?