What we see with McConnell, Trump, and the whole GOP right now is a fundamental rot that threatens our democracy. And to beat it, we not only have to defeat individual candidates—we have to build a *party* capable of winning. Chip in—to win now AND in 2022: http://wisdems.org/donate 
For all the decades of my life, the right has focused more systematically on investing in infrastructure, not just individual candidate campaigns. And that has paid off for them, and hurt the rest of us. Our job is to build institutions that make *all* our campaigns stronger.
Reince Priebus was the chair of the Republican Party of Wisconsin and helped Scott Walker flip the Badger State from a blue trifecta to a red trifecta in 2010—and then gerrymander maps so horribly that a blue trifecta is out of reach even if we win statewide in a landslide.
Reince then became the head of the Republican National Committee. There, he invested in a massive data and field operation. In 2016, Trump didn't actually have a campaign. Basically no offices, no staff. But, quietly, the Republican Party did. And it gave Trump the edge to win.
State Parties are the building blocks of the party overall, and they play a central role in what turns purple states into blue ones and red states into purple ones. Look at Nevada, or Colorado. Huge success stories, built in part on patient investment in infrastructure.
It's not *just* strong parties: you also need a great ecosystem of independent organizations, great candidates/campaigns/operatives, and a culture that makes all three additive rather than a circular firing squad. Strong labor movements are fundamental. But parties are crucial.
What we're doing in Wisconsin is building to win AND building to last (a phrasing I learned from @MinnesotaDFL chair @kenmartin73). We're going to win here this fall. And we'll come out of the cycle stronger ever. Because parties don't turn off the lights after Election Day.
If you have strong Democratic state parties, you create a disincentive for Republican Senators to do horrible things—because they know they'll face serious challenges. And then you beat them in elections. Ron Johnson is up in 2022. He should be on notice now.
There is so much that the GOP has done to structurally tilt the playing field away from what the public actually wants—and away from Democratic electoral victories. But it's up to us to even the field when it comes to party infrastructure. Don't just get mad. Get to building.
You can follow @benwikler.
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