Any Democratic Club that would have me as a member....

Last week, a flier announcing the September meeting of the Trenton Democratic Club showed up in my mailbox. Although I count myself as a Democrat (I even worked for them in 2002), I never been real enthusiastic about local political clubs. In my experience, they tend to be full of grumpy old men who want to canvass neighborhoods the Democrats are going to lose anyway. I'd rather work directly for the party or the candidate.

Unfortunately for me, my mother announced she wanted me to take her to this meeting so she could get a John Kerry sign for the front yard. Then she changed her mind at the last minute, but told me to go anyway so she could still have a sign.

Tonight, I met the Trenton Democractic Club, even though I wish I hadn't.

The meeting (mostly old people, like I predicted), opened with the club leaders apologizing for being disorganized and not having enough lawn signs, which they blamed on a television crew keeping them busy at campaign headquarters. Apparently, they sent the meeting announcment to everybody in Trenton who voted in the Democratic caucus, but didn't expect so many people to turn up. (I did manage to grab a sign before they ran out.)

They also recommmended people put bumper stickers in their windows so they would last longer. Huh? I've got two-year old stickers that still look new on mine. Here's the secret to good bumperstickering:

Wait until dark to put the sticker on! Bumpers (especially the plastic ones) expand in the heat. If you put a sticker on a hot bumper during the day, the contraction of the bumper at night ruins the bumper. Cleaning the bumper beforehand also helps.

But I digress.

The club leaders passed around some sign-up sheets for upcoming volunteer events (including a literature drop this weekend I might go to), led us in Republican-bashing for a while (like I needed a special meeting for that), and let some judicial candidate get up and ramble for a while. I've already forgotten the guy's name, but his platform consisted mostly of telling us how close he's come to winning in previous races, and reminding us that he's a good Christian. He asked us to pray for him.

And remember, this is the Democratic club.

Political Tip of the Day: When you've got a crowd of newbies at a meeting of a political group, Tell them what the group does. The leaders of the Trenton Democratic Club didn't really do that, other than to mention that the local Democrats sponsor bingo games. (Did I mention all the old people?) Without a clear idea of why the group exists, people aren't going to keep coming back.

After that, the meeting devolved to random chit chat. I got tired of old ladies saying how happy they were to see a young person involved in politics, so I left. I took the lawn sign home and left in my parent's living room.

Posted at 11:31:04 PM EDT on 16 September 2004 from Trenton, MI