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Recovering the Party

US Politics & Gov't  (tags: Democratic party )

- 697 days ago -
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TomCat S (128)
Wednesday April 26, 2017, 2:13 pm
Ever since the Fuhrer was able to occupy the White House with less that 25% of eligible voters and a minority of votes cast, several propel have published articles on how to recover the Democratic Party in order to enable it to take America away from the Republican Reich, an alliance of billionaires and misanthropes, and represent the people. While I can't say I agree with everything these authors have to say, here it is for your consideration.

Joanne Dixon (37)
Wednesday April 26, 2017, 2:18 pm
1. Analyze reasons for the loss. Yeah. How do we do that? Every attempt I have seen has turned into a pie fight. And worse, they are using those pies from t"The Help."

2. No, we don't need FRESH ideas. That's how we got into neoliberalism, my God. We need our consistently tried and true GOOD ideas. Stevenson's 1956 platform looks darned good to me, as far as it goes. Now, a fresh way of presenting these ideas - that's different. We probably do need that.

3. And yes, we need to bad=se our campaign on ideas. GOOD ideas.

4. Focus on issues that matter to voters. Well, duh. Show you can get things done. OK, see #6.

5. Burnish the party's image. Good luck with that. We have the internet now.

6. Find a dynamic Presidential candidate to give GOOD ideas popular appeal.

Merkley-Schiff 2020!!

There are others I'm sure. One point, though, is that some of the best and most competent people we have we are not, in my opinion, in a position to ask to run, in today's polarized environment. What kind of sadist wants to put, say, Elizabeth Warren, or Kamala Harris, through the kind of shredding that Hillary Clinton received? And who among us is so deluded as not to realize that would happen?

There is a great deal of food for thought in this article, and it is well-considered and well researched. But it is not, as it stands, a cure-all. It is definitely a basis for discussion.


Gloria picchetti (304)
Wednesday April 26, 2017, 2:51 pm
The reason we lost is because the DNC would not listen to the majority who supported Bernie.

Animae C (508)
Wednesday April 26, 2017, 3:41 pm

Kathleen M (210)
Wednesday April 26, 2017, 3:55 pm
Noted with interest. Thx for sharing TC.

Pat B (356)
Wednesday April 26, 2017, 4:06 pm
#6, I think that we need a viable, energetic candidate who speaks the truth, and who is behind the people who have concerns, issues, whether it's personal, or community/state wise. Go to town halls, or meetings, and hear what is being said. Listen to the candidate, and support him or her is important too. Together, we can DO this.

Thanks, Tom.

Sheila D (28)
Wednesday April 26, 2017, 6:23 pm
These are all good points. However, finding someone who is a viable, energetic, reasonably honest candidate is not an easy process.

Thanks for the post, Tom. Lots here to think about.

Glennis Whitney (393)
Wednesday April 26, 2017, 6:44 pm
Great article I Some very good points Agree with Pat B. Take care and have a great day Thank you for caring and sharing TomCat

Edith B (146)
Wednesday April 26, 2017, 7:34 pm
We need a fresh face for the Democrats.

Mitchell D (82)
Wednesday April 26, 2017, 7:55 pm
I don't know about the strategies, but I believe I do know that the Dems need to find someone with passion that shows (maybe illary had some, but it was not evident), that people can relate to but that is not built on hate. Bernie, Liz, would be possibilities.

There was an article in the NY Times Magazine, of April 16th that sought, and successfully, I think, to draw the line between the conservative hate, and passion for it, back to the KKK of th 1920's. It is called "The Correction," and is by a historian named Rick Perlstein, who blames historians, including himself, for totally ignoring that dark underbelly of America for so long. I vcan not get the link to it because I have used up my free readings for the month. If no one else gets it, I will try to do so on May 1st.

Katie & Bill D (107)
Wednesday April 26, 2017, 8:17 pm
Again she should have listened to Bill Clinton and Bernie
Thank you TomCat

Ted W (127)
Wednesday April 26, 2017, 8:47 pm
Noted, forwarded and shared ultra-liberally across four networks!! Interesting article! Thanks for sharing, TomCat!!

Dawnie W (250)
Thursday April 27, 2017, 2:37 am
❤️❤️Noted...❤️Extremely interesting post.❤️Thank you...TomCat❤️❤️

😉💜ღ❤️Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ😺♥L💜ve, Hugs and Peace go with you all♥😺Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ💛ღ❤️😉

Carol Bischoff (409)
Thursday April 27, 2017, 5:57 am
Very interesting article. Thanks TomCat.

Lona Goudswaard (66)
Thursday April 27, 2017, 5:58 am
Points 1, 2, 3 and 5 are at odds with 4: Focus on issues that matter to voters and show you can get things done, the other four are just more of what the Dutch call "belly-button staring", a purely in-group thing behind closed doors which further disassociated the Democratic party from its base, especially those progressives who have not left yet because of Bernie's program.

If Democrats do not know by now what went wrong, they never will, and they are losing valuable time before either reforming or allowing a new party to emerge from the rubble. And they are loosing even more valuable time resisting Drumf & Co. at this very moment, and losing the last bit of connection they had with their voters. Focusing on the issues that matter and getting things done right now, not in 4 years time, is what matters. As for their agenda and connecting with voter's issues: just compare the "New America" platform to Bernie's and see the huge overlap in socialistic ideals.

If the "new" party can find a platform all its leaders and all its voters can aspire to, and if it can purge itself from the dinos and staunch establishment representatives, the image of that party will automatically reflect what it stands for and a new charismatic candidate for president will announce him or herself in time. Democrats shouldn't go looking for that person but get their agenda and their base reconciled first, because in the end the candidate should stand for all of that agenda and for everyone in that base and not for what's in it for him or her.

Freya H (345)
Thursday April 27, 2017, 6:00 am
Bernie Sanders should have been the Democratic nominee, but because Madame Clinton was an insider of the Democrap Elite she got all the attention while Sanders was marginalized. What the USA really needs is more viable parties, more alternatives to the established parties. Right now, though, our only hope is a reformed and refurbished Democratic Party. Unless the Democrats can put forth candidates who represent what the Donkey is supposed to represent, we are headed straight for chaos and blood in the streets.

Janis K (129)
Thursday April 27, 2017, 6:02 am
Thanks for sharing.

Gene J (286)
Thursday April 27, 2017, 7:00 am
This is a passion. But before getting into that. The election wasn't so much lost as stolen. There is credible evidence that Trump paid to have that Comey letter leaked - along with all the other things he is accused of. If that letter had NOT been leaked, Hillary Clinton would have won the election. She still got nearly more than 3 million more votes. Even so - the candidates, the issues people were passionate about were not enough to motivate 97 million eligible voters to do the ONLY thing this country really asks of them in return for the great privilege of have been fortunate enough to have been born here which is vote. Just vote. The last couple weeks worth of Doonesbury (reprints from long ago) have just emphasized how little our youth know about our world and what goes on it. A math professor decides to educate his students for a couple weeks on geography, not his discipline but he's incense that students know so little of our world. He asks if anyone can tell him were Korea is? One girl says, um, isn't that the next planet past Mars? He says, it might as well be. In a time when many American students can't find THIS country on a map, is it surprising that they can't be bothered to care about anything other than social media? Or at least many can't? Okay, that rant over.

1. Analyze reasons for the loss
This is trickier than people think. It wasn't a single thing, it was a combination of things. It's time for a female president but Hillary was perhaps not the right female, too much baggage, not her fault, but still the truth. There were NO new ideas, it was a continuation of policies that the working underclass did not identify with. Some of that was, is, bigotry, but not all of it. The party has lost touch with its core components over the last three decades. Working class citizens felt ignored by policies that focused almost solely on splinter and minority group issues. There is more to the progressive coalition than immigrants and the Democrats ignored that at their peril. They've lost the rural vote they could always count on, unions have shrunk so much as manufacturing jobs have moved out of the country that, apart from public unions, there are few blocks of core support there any longer. They have not reached out to people who are no longer in manufacturing jobs or to the agricultural community that was once solidly Democratic. As those groups felt increasingly disconnected and ignored, the populist message of a demagogue was able to take root. They ignored the middle of the country and lost it. They should have spent a ton of time and money in large still mostly industrial states and it cost them the election, battleground states are NOT all that should be considered but you cannot ignore them. It is also important to note that as events play out over the next year, that it may well be that the election was lost by an act of war against the American people by Russia. That cannot go unanswered - Democrats have to follow through with this investigation and respond to Russia's belligerence - as do EU countries where Putin is still playing his long game.

2. Develop new ideas
This is critically important. Those ideas have to prepare the country for the next millennium, they have to look toward the kind of jobs that are going to be needed, find ways to fund education and enable young people to get into those lines of business. Education needs be totally revamped - the idea of teaching to the test has failed. Democrats have to use the numbers that prove how far behind the world we are to bring forth ideas that will help us teach the coming generations both history, that it might not be repeated, and how to discover their passions and use those discoveries to direct their educations. They have to realize, understand and accept that the concept of working 45 years for an employer and retiring is gone and develop policies to allow students and young people the flexibility to work in new ways and new places through technology and advances in science and need. Fund think tanks to produce these ideas, use those ideas to create campaigns across the country that appeal to rural, small town and big city citizens. There's no one way to be any more, it is important to acknowledge that and design educational systems that feed into the jobs that the future will require. Some of those will always be traditional, medicine, education, law, and so forth, but innovation shouldn't be an occasional thought, it should be a constant challenge and part of every curriculum as well as every job.

3. Use new ideas as a basis for the next campaign
The leadership of the Democratic party has to recognize that the time for baby boomers to run things has ended. It must reach out and develop leadership, using the ideas developed, to create entirely new kinds of campaigns using every available tool to reach the social media generations. Electing more boomers to leadership positions is a losing strategy, recruit millennials for every thing, get them into leadership roles NOW. The next generations are globalists, multi cultural, multi faceted. Acknowledge that, embrace that. It is a new world and campaigns must be built around that concept by other than boomers.

4. Focus on issues that matter to voters and show you can get things done
Commission focus groups around the country to bring out the needs and desires of the people. LISTEN to them, don't hang out just in the cities, go out into the rural areas and ask questions in person, don't send anonymous surveys that show you don't really care about their ideas, go MEET them, talk to them, grassroots politics as it once was. Then take those ideas and get them into your campaigns. As you recruit candidates, ensure the party spends money, lots of it on those ideas AND that its emphasis is not just "here are some new ideas", but here is what YOU said you wanted from this country and offered in return. Here is how we work together to make these ideas come to life. Here is how we take what YOU told us and ensure the future of our democracy together. Emphasize the together because the new face of America is multi-hued be sure your candidates and opinion seekers are too. One size does not fit all here, reflect the community you are reaching out to, but be sure people know that as the world changes, so too must our party. White supremacy is a thing of the past and the party has to absolutely acknowledge that and celebrate it.

5. Burnish the party’s image
Apologize. Apologize for having appeared to be so focused on splinter groups and issues that we gave the impression to a large segment of America that we no longer cared about them. We do, we always have and we have to flat out say so. Insincerity here is the kiss of death. So, spend time and money explaining how the party lost its broad focus and appeared to lose interest in the broad needs of ALL of the people in this country. Polls shows that most people support progressive issues, develop new approaches to those issues and recruit the next generation to take those ideas to the next generation of voters and leaders. Be sure people know that any idea that made people think the party had left them behind was wrong, the party knows it and the party wants to not only change that perception but atone for it. I don't care if that means hot dogs and picnics across the country, whatever it means (from the focus groups and the outreach), DO, in every area of the country, what THEY want there, is what the party needs to give them. Meaningfully, sincerely, and humbly apologetically for having created ANY other appearance. The Democrats lost the people, they need to win their hearts back. You don't do that with numbers but with ideas and love. SHOW people we mean this. Forget negative ads, only positive, forward looking, loving ads going forward. Do NOT respond to negativity with negativity, but with loving. It is a cliche, but it is true, look for the loving intention, and you WILL find it. Be sure you communicate that message with every idea. We believe this is good for ALL Americans, and ultimately the world. Lead, don't react, lead.

6. Find a dynamic presidential candidate to give new ideas a popular appeal
Yes. So far all I've heard talked about are reruns. Not this time, the next group of candidates, and I do not mean just for President, but for offices all around the country, need draw on women, minorities and most importantly, young people. Bring them into the fold, spend as much money and time as necessary to help them develop their leadership skills. Establish progressive leadership academies if necessary. But help them, do not leave them out their on their own. The other side has been doing this for years, it is time to acknowledge that what is needed is a coordinated national approach to attracting and developing new leaders. It is time for boomer to step aside, but we can mentor the next generation of leaders, and we should, gracefully turn those reins over. There are many very attractive young people out there, help them, support them, give them tools. This is the path forward, it must be.

Peggy B (43)
Thursday April 27, 2017, 7:50 am
They need to acknowledge their mistakes, especially the 2016 fiasco of nominating Clinton knowing full well the people wanted Sanders. They thought they knew better what we needed/wanted and they were clearly wrong. They need to remove all the people that was in on this debacle from positions of authority. They still think they know better than their members with placing Tom Perez as DNC chairman. How many more members left the party after this? What we really need is to lose the hurdles that prevent installing a 3rd party.

Dot A (179)
Thursday April 27, 2017, 8:46 am
Great article, Tom Cat~ with wonderful additions by our Caring2 members! Troubles also seem to embed themselves in the Capitalistic system of profit, and the more the better, and those who dig into every crack and crevice to benefit from "how it's done" in this land of opportunity. I'd say off hand, that that mind-set is dominant in the Republican agenda. What has lessened over the years is the stronger 'One and All' of our society, of which the Democrats used to champion! It's not a mystery however, because we've all witnessed those who 'Work the System' to gain financially without intent on supporting our country, in any way. Responsibility seems to be lacking in our culture. Including the American government. The sense of entitlement is rampant, and many have the notion fueled by entertainment, media and social media, along with advertising, that being 'rich' and 'not having to work hard' is ideal. There's no way a fair system can be achieved when such superficial goals are encouraged. I watched an episode of the tv series, "Billions," and see that our business practices, social systems, organizations, institutions, etc., are allowing corruption for personal gain and playing one against the other to see who can outsmart the other and gain bragging rights. It's that kind of perspective that left this last election in a quandary. WHO DO YOU TRUST? While some of the candidates spoke bravely of changing the scenery, it is likely that their leverage to do so wouldn't accomplish those lofty goals. Trump has the tenacity and audacity to bully his way through TV and the American audience, and he proved (with a little help from the Russians) that making the US a STAR, like himself, was an angle that changed our landscape, and many thought that would help our nation. {personally, I think that's a highly misguided pipedream!!!} Hillary has the political insight to swim among the sharks, but, her associations and demeanor aren't particularly attractive to a large percentage of voters, and out of those, I'd say they're mainly men. Misogyny is alive and well in America. Hillary doesn't play well, especially to the traditional male. (nor to the traditional female, btw) So, let's appreciate that we are in a transitional phase, and that pretty much everyone is interesting in what's happening in politics, and the country. I'd like to see a woman come to the fore with the strength of her convictions and the character that connects with the majority, and she could inspire the virtues of our 'home of the free, land of the brave' once again. I do believe the world would benefit from the leadership of a caring American President, who fights loyally to establish a fair economic structure, a country that sees our children as the future and helps families to succeed, and a beacon of world hope that all people are created vulnerable, and require a safe place to live and work, plus, inspired to live responsible lives, not rewarded for their conniving shenanigans. People aren't perfect. But, being blind to their wrong doings won't bring anyone a bright future. So far, we're not seeing the ONE, who represents America the Beautiful. We are seeing, the Ugliness of America. I hope that reverses very soon!

Winn Adams (179)
Thursday April 27, 2017, 9:18 am
I believe what Michael Moore said when he stated know one was paying attention to the ball cappers. The DNC screwed this up to no end.

JL A (281)
Thursday April 27, 2017, 10:46 am
A thread running through many of the points is needing a candidate not beholden to corporations and the neoliberal AKA neoconservative vision so that people's needs and priorities are the focus. Great comments all.

John B (185)
Thursday April 27, 2017, 12:33 pm
Thanks Tom for the post.
Clicked through and read all.I concur with JL A's comment.

TomCat S (128)
Thursday April 27, 2017, 1:17 pm
Thanks all Hugs. Stars.

Kudos to Gene and Dot.

Janet B (0)
Thursday April 27, 2017, 3:10 pm

PANDA B (79)
Thursday April 27, 2017, 3:29 pm
thanks, but I just want to remind people Hillary didn't lose .....every other True Democracy in the world, she is President with the most votes, just not in our antiquated electoral college.......where the minority is strengthened and the majority weakened.........of course the irony is that Rump is becoming very Hillary like on issues related to NAFTA, military intervention at least, but even worse than some expect on health care, climate, immigration........

Colleen L (3)
Thursday April 27, 2017, 8:03 pm
Good article. Agree with many of the comments. Thanks TomCat

Margie F (148)
Friday April 28, 2017, 4:34 am

Mandi T (366)
Friday April 28, 2017, 10:56 am
Noted--very interesting TY TC

TomCat S (128)
Friday April 28, 2017, 2:14 pm

Nita L (127)
Friday April 28, 2017, 9:33 pm
Great article. Thank you TC.
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