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First Things First

The 134 PAC is in its infancy. My hope is that it will live to a ripe old age and that one day, perhaps far into the future, it will have completed its life work. What will that look like? If we are successful we will have a true two party state with competitive political races in rural Texas. Our elected officials will be attentive to the views and concerns of all their constituents, not just those who vote in their primary, and the end result will be a better, more responsive government in Austin. But first The 134 has to grow to adulthood and that will take at least 20 years.

I speak about this being a 20 or even 30 year project. I truly believe that. I believe it so much that it is the founding principle on which we at The 134 PAC will operate. We will make our decisions about what we will do in 2021 and 2022 based on looking ahead 20 years and always having one goal in mind. What is that goal? That is easy: Build a Democratic Community.

It is so simple and so obvious. It is so fundamental and basic that we in our complicated, fast-paced, internet fueled world have forgotten it. This is more important than how much money we can raise, how many ads we can produce and pay for, or how sophisticated our modeling and targeting can be. We have to discover, and perhaps invent, for ourselves what being a rural Texas Democrat means in the 21st century. We are not defined by our past or our present as Democrats. We also are not defined by what Republican propaganda wants us to be.

We have to break out of our isolation as rural Democrats. We can no longer afford to worry only about our little corners of Texas. We have to think and work strategically in The 134 as a whole, not as 134 separate counties. But before we can trust each other and work together, we have to know each other. We have to spend time together, lots of time. We have to not only communicate with each other, we need get to know each other so well we can support each other without really even thinking about it or doing so intentionally. We have to understand that everything we do is connected and we must all be pulling in the same direction. Knowing each other and communicating with each other is about much more than having met a few times or talking to each other on occasion. It goes much deeper than that. It is a permanent, daily community. Likening it to being members of a very close family is not a bad analogy.

I butter my wife's toast all the way to the edge of the crust not because I thought about it. I do it because I know her better than I know anyone. I know that she likes her toast that way and I do it without even thinking about it. That is the sort of relationship we must build with each other as Democrats in The 134, a relationship so deep we do not have to even think about it. It is just part of who we are.

You may feel like we are alone, in your little remote corner of The 134. You aren't. I guarantee it. But I want everyone to see what I see in The 134, a huge community of Democrats and untapped potential to transform politics in Texas. We can't do that just talking to the people in our local party or club that we already are friends with. We have to expand our horizons, enlarge our groups of friends and supporters, and grow and build a wide, diverse Democratic Community across all 134 counties.

Today I am interested in the broad vision of our goal. Over the next several weeks I am going to be writing a series of articles discussing concrete ideas of how we to do this as The 134 Pac.

I hope you will stay tuned. I also welcome comments, thoughts and feedback along the way..

Jon Mark Hogg is a lawyer in San Angelo, Texas and Founder of The 134 PAC

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