Thursday, November 04, 2004

Getting ourselves Organizized

The Dems appear poised to select Nev. Sen. Harry Reid as Senate minority leader. I think this is a wise choice for demographic reasons, but an unwise choice for promoting our core "values." The Republican party may have a strangle-hold on 40% of the country, however the other 55% are not nearly as conservative. The drift to the right will not net any new voters from the center and threatens to undermine the enthusiasm of lefties who made this election so close.

We need to win back the unionized middle-class Reagan Democrats if we are to become the dominant party once more. To do this, we need to look back at the failed social engineering that pissed these folks off and distance our party from them. Libertarians on the right are the most pissed off at the way Bush has reshaped his party and represent a good number of possible converts - although mainly from blue states.

Most importantly, we need to change our regional focus to the American Southwest - which explains why Reid was a good choice. Like it or not, the blue states are shrinking. The south is growing, but not as fast as the American Southwest. More importantly, the ethnic makeup is very encouraging for Democrats. The American Indian / Latino vote should favor our party. We need to shape a platform that incorporates their values as well as those of Northeastern Elites.

There has been a lot of talk about how to reinject religion into the Democratic party. I am loath to suggest this since I an a devout athiest. However, the catholic vote is now Republican. This is extremely dangerous since Latinos are Catholic. I have no idea how to "fake" being religious, and I don't want our candidates playing up their religiousness. I think we would lose on that front anyway for similar reasons to why we lose when we try to "out-right" the right. At any rate, all this talk about harnessing the power of religion missed the point about the religious turnout in 2004. These people were activated by the internet as much as by their churches. They beat us by being better organized.

Organized labor should be a key element of the new Democratic party. The union-hall is just as effective for political motivation as a church. If we unionized Walmart employees and got them an extra $2 an hour in pay, we could count on slightly more than a million employees nationally. Add to them the employees of the other major chains and we might be onto something. We should also get back to our roots as the party of the workers, not the management. We should play this up to paint the Republicans as elitest rather than popularists. The corporate scandals would be a good place to start whipping up anti-management hate. Realize also that the economic policies of this administration will fail miserably so we need to be poised to run on the economy and jobs. Despite the "values" argument, people still cared a great deal about jobs during this election.

Ok, my two cents are in. Don't crticize me for being incomplete - only incorrect. Let's hash this out and get a manifesto to send of the the DNC. I'll be back in Boston tonight and will continue being political until I am dictator of the world.


4 Thoughts:

Blogger pawlr said...

Andrew--many good points.. I agree that Reid is not the right choice.. unfortunately he won't be a good spokesperson for Democrat values because he will have to pander too much to his consistency. I would much prefer Boxer as minority leader.

A small clarification though on the values debate. Morality is NOT the same as religion. Democrats won't get anywhere by pretending to be religious, but there is nothing wrong with finding and using our own Democratic Morality, much of which has resonance in religious communities. Morality is simply a sense of what is good and proper, and isn't necessarily religious.. The Golden Rule is one example of a secular morality that many people adhere to, not because of its relationship to a diety but because of the collective good it promotes for us humans.

On the religious side, however, our new morality will find a lot of resonance--and we won't have to pretend to be something we're not just to win them over. See the "Sojourners" as an example of one possible point of contact and crossover:

Lots of thinking to do..

Thursday, November 04, 2004 12:54:00 PM  
Blogger pawlr said...

That link again: The Sojourners.

Thursday, November 04, 2004 12:55:00 PM  
Blogger mecki said...

And finally, I think we really have to help the poor. It's not just good politics, it's the right thing to do. We constantly get accused of class warfare, but it's the republicans who are fighting it, and we must help out those who are losing.

There are too many stories of poor, rural inhabitants who see no reason to vote DEM. We must give them one.

Thursday, November 04, 2004 2:53:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Hey, all:

I'm as atheist as they come, but we will not win without this Christian shell, and Paul brings up the good point that, hey, read the fucking book(s) and you'll find PLENTY of "liberal" or "left-wing" or "populist" fodder.

Think MLK, people. I have zero problem with any religious person with those values (yes, morality and religion are not the same thing, I know). But a truly religious Christian who "Christianizes" Democratic (and democratic) values is what will get us the 4% we need. I have no idea who that person is.

Andrew is right about better organization, too. Let's do it all, baby!

Work harder!

Thursday, November 04, 2004 9:01:00 PM  

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