Editor, The Era-Leader:
It is with deep regret that I announce my inability to serve any longer on the Washington Parish Democratic Executive Committee and my leaving of the Democratic Party after being a member for 30 years. I no longer feel that my principles and values align with the modern party after proudly considering myself a Jeffersonian Democrat. It seems to me that the party has lost its direction and is not even a shadow of the party of Thomas Jefferson, Franklin D. Roosevelt, and John F. Kennedy.
I qualified and ran unopposed for the Democratic Executive Committee in hopes of influencing reform, if even on a local scale, and bringing the party back to the people and its founding principles of freedom and unalienable rights for all citizens, equality for everyone, all having a voice in their government, looking out for "the working man", a government ran by the people instead of the aristocracy, "LIFE, LIBERTY, and the PURSUIT of HAPPINESS", and States Rights among others. After the last DPEC meeting where nominations for vacancies were voted on, it became clear to me that reform looks impossible.
While I feel all of the qualifying members and many of the nominees have tremendous potential in moving the local party forward, away from the fringes, and back to the people, a few that were voted in and the absence of other nominees being seriously considered made it evident to me that DPEC intends to stay in a rut and continue to loose support.
In recent years it has been my perception as a former candidate and elected official that when election time rolls around the Democratic Party takes part in race baiting, fear mongering, misinformation, and other unscrupulous practices that literally make me sick to my the stomach.
It's been over a century-and-a-half since slavery was outlawed, and over half a century since the civil rights movement, yet come election time elements take us back there time after time with no apparent appreciation for how far we've come or how the rest of the world looks to us as the example of civil rights and equality.
I've been advocating for the moderate majority to fix the party for years, but they seem content with letting the radical fringes hijack the party. Political parties should be a representation of the party members, not party members bending to the propaganda of the political party.
I can never support socialism and Marxism, and I must say that the majority of Democrats feel the same with the defeat of Bernie Sanders. However, when I see what's going on all over this country with violent protests and riots, where is the rule of law? As a democracy we have legal mechanisms to deal with bad laws or injustice. Who is allowing these illegal activities to continue? And why?
I will fight with everything in me to support the legal right to peaceably assemble, the freedom of speech and expression, the right to bring grievances before the government, and the fundamental right to peacefully protest. However, I am going to always fall on the side of law and order as long as there is a legal way for the will of the people to be done.
When I see young people, that have never experienced inequality, throwing Molotov cocktails at the police and burning or seizing neighborhoods all supposedly in the name of "social injustice", I ask what is this all really about, and I realize that these are not the protesters but the agitators and instigators using the legitimate unrest to advance their ulterior agenda. Obviously this is not peaceful civil people advocating justice, it's anarchists and Marxists trying to create chaos and division. The folks that allow this to continue are just as guilty as the rioters. The vandalism and destruction of our historic relics reminds me of the exact same tactics that ISIS used in Syria and Iraq trying to erase the identity and history of the people they oppressed. People, we are all better than this!
I am sending my letter of resignation from DPEC to the Louisiana Secretary of State and the local DPEC. As soon as I have confirmed receipt of the letter, I will change parties. I have many many friends in the Democratic Party just as I have many many friends in the Republican, Independent, Libertarian, and No Parties. I hope our friendships will only be strengthened; just because I can no longer support the Democratic Party, it in no way affects how I feel about the individuals in the party. No political party is ever going to stop me from defending and supporting what is right.
It is my sincere hope that the Democratic Party finds its way in the near future. My advice is to quit following the leader and get back to the people and your founding principles. Remember how far this country has come and the struggles of a peaceful civil rights movement. You win the war on racism through hearts and minds, not violence and lawlessness. I wish you all the best.
Perry Talley, Bogalusa
(Editor’s note: Perry Talley is a former member of the Washington Parish Council.)