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Fri Jan 25, 2013, 08:37 AM

If The Dems Made A Concerted Effort To Appeal To Rural Voters What Would You Recommend They Do?....

I was reading a post this a.m. that garnered a lot of responses about "why Dems don't do well in rural areas". It made me wonder - what could Dems do to appeal to rural voters to get their vote?

This got me to thinking about the problem Repugs have with minority voters, women, LGBT's, etc - and the Repugs now are talking about re-branding and changing their message to appeal to these groups going forward.

My feelings on that is that the Repugs might on the surface re-brand and change their message - but when it's all said and done - all it would be is lip service and as soon as they would get elected - they would revert back to their old ways. That you couldn't believe them or trust them to have really changed.

I'm thinking now after reading the long post and thread about "why Dems don't do well in rural areas" that the same goes for Dems in those areas. The Dems might be able to change their message to rural folks to appeal to them - but bottom line - I'm wondering if the rural folks would trust or believe the message?

So my question is - is there something really tangible that the Dems could do in order to appeal to rural voters? What would that be? and - Would that be a worthy endeavor?

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Reply If The Dems Made A Concerted Effort To Appeal To Rural Voters What Would You Recommend They Do?.... (Original post)
global1 Jan 2013 OP
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Response to global1 (Original post)

Fri Jan 25, 2013, 08:39 AM

1. Send them somewhere they can get a quality education?

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Response to mmonk (Reply #1)

Fri Jan 25, 2013, 08:49 AM

3. One can get a quality education in rural places. Yours is the kind of bias that hurts the party.

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Response to Scuba (Reply #3)

Fri Jan 25, 2013, 09:00 AM

5. Mine is the kind of bias that comes from getting screwed by them

and the politicians they vote into office.

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Response to mmonk (Reply #5)

Fri Jan 25, 2013, 09:46 AM

12. Who grows the food you eat? nt

 

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Response to tama (Reply #12)

Fri Jan 25, 2013, 10:11 AM

19. Thank you.

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Response to tama (Reply #12)

Fri Jan 25, 2013, 10:27 AM

29. Mexico. n/t

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Response to Ian David (Reply #29)

Fri Jan 25, 2013, 10:37 AM

34. That most important point has not been very much forgotten in these threads

 

When the frame is "how to get white rural folks to vote Dems", you forget that it's the brown immigrants who do most of the work on the fields. And they are not treated as fellow humans.

Instead of thinking about fishing for votes, progressive though should start from question: what kind agricultural and rural policies would be just and humane and for the common good of all human kind?

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Response to tama (Reply #12)

Fri Jan 25, 2013, 11:45 AM

82. who SELLS the food we eat

You act as if they are concerned about our welfare

They are making a buck, plain and simple ...

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Response to Trajan (Reply #82)

Sat Jan 26, 2013, 02:56 AM

155. Some farm just for money

 

Others do it out of love. If we want to understand the urban-rural divide and political structures, rural primary production is controlled and organized by urban centers to satisfy urban needs. Ie, to serve corporations and big money capitalism. Not of their own choice.

US organized progressive land reforms in Japan and Taiwan after WWII, and Democrats used to support progressive land reform in US until it was completely corrupted by corporate interests, and has been working for capitalist and oligarchic land reform that is going on all the time.

If you look countries with multiparty systems and which have agrarian parties, as we do, you see that while agrarian parties represent conservative values, they are socially and economically for the little guy. Social democratic movement in my country and elsewhere, which originally was progressive land reform party - has become totally urbanized and neoliberal - and anti-rural, bigger and bigger factory farms, less and less local human scale services, all about technocratic concentration and making life more difficult for rural population.

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Response to tama (Reply #12)

Fri Jan 25, 2013, 06:37 PM

142. Both good and bad people.

You'll have to pardon me if I'm not in the mood. The tea party took over my state legislature and now my votes for the legislature and the US House of Representatives are rigged. When I had Obama bumper stickers, there were attempts to run me off the road twice (once when trailoring a Sea Doo). I had my car keyed on numerous occasions and my bumper stickers cut up with a sharp object while on my bumper. I've received death threats on occasion for things I've had published in the newspaper. So take it up with someone else. My war paint is on and a year of civil disobedience in my state lies ahead of me.

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Response to mmonk (Reply #142)

Sat Jan 26, 2013, 03:01 AM

156. OK

 

So take it up with someone else.


As you wish, but as I follow your wish and stop talking with you, I wish that you also search for your motivations for contributing to these threads, if you are refusing dialogue.

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Response to mmonk (Reply #142)

Sat Jan 26, 2013, 04:53 AM

168. tarring every rural voter with the broad brush won't help your war; you need allies & there are

 

undoubtably some living in your local area.

not every rural voter is a conservative tea partier & even among conservative tea partiers, i doubt most cotton to death threats.

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Response to HiPointDem (Reply #168)

Sun Jan 27, 2013, 08:01 AM

299. I don't cotton to death threats myself. That's a point I'm trying to make.

It is us who try to speak to them about policies they don't get on Fox News who get tarred with a false broad brush. What we need is a party not afraid to challenge the opposition when it gets to office and explain their positions better. Rural tea party types are more into conflict and less into listening. They have been whipped up into irrational anger by the opposition to shut down conversation. This goes back to my original post where I suggested a better education in areas that matter such as history, the constitution, and economic plurality. The rest of you look at what I said and took it as me just insulting their educational level. I grew up in a small town before I moved to the city.

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Response to tama (Reply #12)

Sat Jan 26, 2013, 11:09 AM

216. Oh please

Let's just vote in the red politicians they want then! We'd starve without them.

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Response to treestar (Reply #216)

Sat Jan 26, 2013, 12:37 PM

228. Then why are rural people in Minnesota,

like my family, liberal and progressive Democrats? Most farmers in Minnesota are. And here where I live in Illinois, they are teabagger assholes. What are the Democrats doing right in Minnesota? Is it all just history and tradition?

The OP is asking a good question.

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Response to murielm99 (Reply #228)

Sat Jan 26, 2013, 03:22 PM

243. Then I'd say study that

At least find the rural voters who do vote Democratic and find out why.

Those are the rural voters we already appeal to, if we knew why, we could perhaps get some more. But there are some stubbornly red rural people, and there does not seem to be a way they'd ever vote Democratic.

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Response to murielm99 (Reply #228)

Sat Jan 26, 2013, 03:41 PM

248. Minnesota has a large union presence in rural areas

They don't call it the "Democratic-Farmer-Laborer" Party for nothing.

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Response to murielm99 (Reply #228)

Sat Jan 26, 2013, 05:18 PM

263. I live in a rural area in NC that always votes Democratic Party.

My county and some of the ones next to us do, at least. I wish I knew of any other answer than to offer jobs besides just Wal Mart "associate" jobs. That is really the best I can come up with as an answer; jobs.

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Response to murielm99 (Reply #228)

Mon Jan 28, 2013, 09:00 AM

370. MN has the particular history of the DFL to thank for that, but don't fool yourself.

As someone with family in the state, there are plenty of people in the state who are republicans. Bachmann isn't just some anomaly foisted on Lake Wobegone by assholes in Anoka..

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Response to treestar (Reply #216)

Sat Jan 26, 2013, 04:40 PM

262. ???

 

Politicians tend not to be self sufficient farmers sharing what they don't need with others, but hierarchic creatures climbing to the top of hierarchy, fed by the bottom of hierarchy.

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Response to tama (Reply #12)

Sat Jan 26, 2013, 01:27 PM

233. Who do you think?

The giant agribusiness corporations owned by multinational investors. Only a meager 2 percent of all Americans now live on farms and those small/family farmers cannot compete with the huge agribusiness, seed and food processing conglomerates that completely dominate the US food industry and scoop up the lion's share of generous government subsidies and cushy tax breaks.

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Response to procon (Reply #233)

Sat Jan 26, 2013, 02:54 PM

242. Exactly

 

And how does urban way of life figure in all of that?

In many ways. The positive we learn in cities is also important. Melting pot. Global sense of community and in-group, if and when our individual consciousness expands to 'think global, act local'. When I started to hear about peak oil, "End of Suburbia" was big theme. Now I know it's possibility and new beginning, community gardens in Detroit, Flint and elsewhere. Horticulture.

We who have tasted urban life know that sense of community need not be based on authoritarian patriarchal values. And that rural people with conservative values can know much more about sense of community that we are missing, searching for and relearning. Not either-or. Both and, combining the best of us.

This is my experience as in-between, border-zone. This is what I believe. No "us", no "them". Just one for all, all for one.

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Response to mmonk (Reply #1)

Fri Jan 25, 2013, 08:57 AM

4. Urban school districts are the worse performing in RI while rural areas have excellent schools.

Fail.

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Response to hack89 (Reply #4)

Fri Jan 25, 2013, 10:01 AM

16. I guess they just don't teach the research and critical thinking skills..

.. needed to distinguish good ideas from bad, and good politicians from bad ones.

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Response to hack89 (Reply #4)

Fri Jan 25, 2013, 11:13 AM

48. Rural Rhode Island = oxymoron.

Rural areas are places people don't go to "summer".

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Response to lumberjack_jeff (Reply #48)

Fri Jan 25, 2013, 11:23 AM

55. I take it you are not familiar with western RI

it is very rural - lots of farms. Thriving 4H organizations.

Hell, I live on Aquidneck Island and I am bordered by a dairy farm and potato fields.

Point is that urban schools can be just as shitty as rural schools.

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Response to hack89 (Reply #55)

Fri Jan 25, 2013, 11:30 AM

64. Rhode Island has 1000 residents per square mile!!

The median 4 person family income is $88,000.

You don't appear to know what "rural" is.

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Response to lumberjack_jeff (Reply #64)

Fri Jan 25, 2013, 11:35 AM

70. And you don't know RI

our urban areas are densely populated.

Are rural areas are not.

The area of NW RI, NE Connecticut and central mid Massachusetts are all very rural - can you wrap your mind around a large rural area divided between three state?.

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Response to hack89 (Reply #70)

Fri Jan 25, 2013, 11:49 AM

86. Rhode island has half the area of my *county*, much higher incomes, and 15 times as many people.

No. It's not rural. "Rural" is spending 1 1/2 hours twice a day on a school bus and eating venison/pheasant/groundhog/squirrel/rabbit for dinner.

My entire county has 36 deputies to patrol 560 miles of roads.

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Response to lumberjack_jeff (Reply #48)

Fri Jan 25, 2013, 11:42 AM

77. You = rather ignorant of RI

Some of the most backwater, no running water places I've been to are in RI.

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Response to Capt. Obvious (Reply #77)

Fri Jan 25, 2013, 11:43 AM

80. With 1000 residents per square mile, there are no backwaters. n/t

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Response to lumberjack_jeff (Reply #80)

Fri Jan 25, 2013, 11:53 AM

90. You = ignorant of RI

I can repeat myself too.

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Response to lumberjack_jeff (Reply #80)

Fri Jan 25, 2013, 12:36 PM

102. Did you learn math at a rural school?

the urban centers of RI have a population density as high as any major city in America. Which leaves plenty of room for rural areas.

Has it crossed your mind that RI population is not equally distributed?

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Response to hack89 (Reply #102)

Fri Jan 25, 2013, 04:27 PM

126. Yes, I did. You apparently didn't.

...rural or otherwise.

My county (which also includes cities and towns) has 6%... one 17th... of the density as your state. Each of the counties in Rhode Island has more than 10x the population density. There aren't any "backwaters".

King County, Washington, the most populous county in Washington and about the size of RI; home of Seattle, Bellevue, Kirkland, Renton, Kent and Federal Way, has less population density than even the least crowded county in RI.

I would consider the density of my county as the upper boundary of "rural". Most parts of the country have even less density than this, including those with cities.

The longest drive you can take on major highways in Rhode Island, from the north edge to the southwest corner requires 49 minutes of driving. This is one third the time required by the daily school bus ride my kids take.

RI is one of the most densely populated regions of the country.

You don't know rural, so don't presume expertise about the challenges facing rural schools. What you describe as rural is really suburb, and affluent suburb at that.

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Response to lumberjack_jeff (Reply #126)

Fri Jan 25, 2013, 05:07 PM

133. King County has a average pop density of 908/sq mi

we have areas with densities below 100/sq mile.

We have many urban areas with densities over 5000/sq mile

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Response to hack89 (Reply #133)

Fri Jan 25, 2013, 08:55 PM

148. "Areas"? Perhaps an occasional 50 acre gated estate.

Let's look:
In Bristol county the land area is 25 square miles or 5 miles x 5 miles, and is home to 50000 people. That is a density of 2000 people per square mile or 3.13 person(s) per acre.
In Kent county the land area is 170 square miles or 13 miles x 13 miles, and is home to 166158 people. That is a density of 977 people per square mile or 1.53 person(s) per acre.
In Newport county the land area is 104 square miles or 10.2 miles x 10.2 miles, and is home to 82888 people. That is a density of 797 people per square mile or 1.25 person(s) per acre.
In Providence county the land area is 413 square miles or 20.3 miles x 20.3 miles, and is home to 626667 people. That is a density of 1517 people per square mile or 2.37 person(s) per acre.
In Washington county the land area is 333 square miles or 18.2 miles x 18.2 miles, and is home to 126979 people. That is a density of 381 people per square mile or 0.6 person(s) per acre.
In Grays Harbor county, WA the land area is 1917 square miles or 43.8 miles x 43.8 miles, and is home to 72546 people. That is a density of 38 people per square mile or 0.06 person(s) per acre.

I know math, and I know "rural".

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Response to lumberjack_jeff (Reply #148)

Fri Jan 25, 2013, 10:06 PM

153. How about census tracts?

there is a reason the census divides population the way they do.

That is a hint by the way.

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Response to hack89 (Reply #153)

Sat Jan 26, 2013, 03:28 PM

244. good hint

Got anything like this?

BTW, the above census tract encompasses 251 square miles, 6773 people (27 people per square mile) and includes the seat of county government. Got anything like that? From end-to-end it is nearly the length of your entire state.

Someone in the neighborhood with a backyard chicken isn't the definition of rural.

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Response to lumberjack_jeff (Reply #244)

Sat Jan 26, 2013, 09:23 PM

276. Wow, that is a cool site.

I'm a bit of a data nerd, so I love stuff like this.

Here is my county's info:

Population
52,228 (2010), rank #9
Population Growth
2.63% since 2000, rank #10
Population Density:
12.76/sq mi, rank #13
Median Household Income:
$36,647 at 2006-2010—19.25% increase since 2000, rank #13
Median House Price:
$109,500 at 2006-2010—56.21% increase since 2000, rank #13
Time Zone:
Eastern GMT -5:00 with Daylight Saving in the Summer
Land Area:
3,924.40 sq mi, rank #3
Water Area:
169.13 sq mi (4.13%), rank #8
State:
Maine

As an aside: Minor thing, I know, but this is why I sometimes get irritated when folks make sweeping statements about the Northeast being 'urban' and that we don't "understand" what it's like to rural. Uum, I hardly think a population density of 12.76/sq mile can in any way be characterized as a bustling metropolis.

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Response to PotatoChip (Reply #276)

Sun Jan 27, 2013, 12:13 AM

287. Looks like my kinda place.

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Response to lumberjack_jeff (Reply #287)

Sun Jan 27, 2013, 11:07 AM

303. Well, I must admit that a common saying about this area

Last edited Sun Jan 27, 2013, 11:38 AM - Edit history (1)

(even among many of us who live here) is, "This is God's country, because no one else wants it."

Another one, in reference to tourists and summer people is, "If yah cahnt abide a Maine wintah, yah don't deserve her summahs." Meh, I'm ok with them, but out-of-staters really piss off some people. Particularly the old-timers. I bet it's probably true for you folks in Washington too.

But like anywhere you go, you learn to really enjoy the good things while making the best of the bad.

Getting back to the point of this thread, I agree with your post (#91). I wish our party would not be so quick to write off rural voters and our politicians as a lost cause. My Blue Dog Congressman is far less liberal than I would like, but at least 80 to 90 percent of the time, he votes with us when it counts. I'd much rather have him than the alternative, which would almost certainly be an R.

-Cheers!

Edi: For some reason, I mistakenly thought you were in Oregon. Fixed it.


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Response to PotatoChip (Reply #303)

Sun Jan 27, 2013, 04:45 PM

320. I'm annoyed by people who extrapolate their own experience into whatever topic is current.

For instance, every point in Rhode Island is a manageable bicycle ride from a Home Depot, or Starbucks.

People who think this represents "rural" have no business explaining what challenges rural communities face.

In my neck of the woods, there really aren't any "summer people". Pretty much, if you're here it's because you live here, which is fine by me, but it would be nice to be closer to Puget Sound.

I'm the family's designated "fixer of stuff", so I'm not sure I'd enjoy fixing Maine's frozen water pipes, otherwise it sounds great.

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Response to lumberjack_jeff (Reply #320)

Sun Jan 27, 2013, 06:28 PM

321. Yes, I know what you mean.

Furthermore, I would add that a one-size-fits-all approach to electing Dems in right leaning rural areas won't necessarily work.

Just as cities and suburbs are varied, so too are rural regions. The fact that you guys don't have 'summer people' would be an example. In my area, tourism is second only to the paper industry for bringing in revenue, therefore very important. As is, of course, all issues related to our biggest "crop"... timber. In other places "farms" (the kind we traditionally think of, not wood) may be quite important, and in your area, it may be something else entirely, idk. But the point is that people seem to be broad-brushing in search of an easy, uniform answer. It's not that simple imho.

I've worked on 3 successful dem. state representative campaigns in this red area of my blue state. No dem has won in this district since my candidate retired from politics in 2004. She won 3 times because her campaign was tailored to what is important to people in this area; not some other rural area out west, in the mid-west, or even in this very state. She knew the people, and also knew instinctively that what worked for rural, red coastal lobster fishing districts (for example), just wasn't a fit for this one.

So in summary, I guess what I'm inarticulately trying to say boils down to that old Tip O'Neil adage- 'All politics is local."

There is a lot more I could add, but this post is too long as is, so I'll leave it here.

But yeah, I share your frustration about the subjective definition of rural that some here seem to be using. However, I know that it's totally natural and understandable to see things through ones' own filtered lens of life experience. I catch myself doing the same thing from time to time an all sorts of matters.

-Cheers, and sorry about that long spiel!

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Response to lumberjack_jeff (Reply #244)

Sun Jan 27, 2013, 12:47 PM

312. One more thing...

Just for kicks, I went back to that site and put in my daughter's Manhattan zip code. Holy shit! No wonder why it takes me weeks to recover from a visit. Talk about culture shock!

Population
56,024 (2010)
Population Density: <----------------------------------------
97,187.68/sq mi.

Land Area:
0.58 sq mi.

State:
New York

Apologies to the OP for getting off-track.




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Response to hack89 (Reply #4)

Fri Jan 25, 2013, 11:13 AM

49. Highest ACT Scores in the country (in order)

Minnesota
Iowa
Wisconsin
Montana
Nebraska


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Response to Jeff In Milwaukee (Reply #49)

Fri Jan 25, 2013, 11:25 AM

56. My daughter goes to college in the Midwest with a bunch of farm kids.

they are smart and articulate as any kids you will ever meet.

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Response to Jeff In Milwaukee (Reply #49)

Fri Jan 25, 2013, 11:25 AM

57. I spent my first 7 years of education in a 1-room rural Wisconsin country school.

Then they let me into second grade.

Actually, I know of 3 PhDs who came out of that school in the years I was there.

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Response to mmonk (Reply #1)

Fri Jan 25, 2013, 11:20 AM

52. Dat shud hep. Owteer inda stix

we aintoo swif an mebee ifn ya eddicated us fer moar yeerz yu kud git ussens up ta thrid er mebby eevn 4th graid levvil.

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Response to Jackpine Radical (Reply #52)

Sat Jan 26, 2013, 07:09 AM

198. I love language

 

First novel ever written in Finnish is about 7 brothers grown in the woods and going to school to learn to read and write and becoming "civilized".

There's an episode where they run away from school back in the woods to live as part of the forest. And in the novel that is the episode where the most beautiful and poetic language, most fascinating stories appear. In the language of forest.

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Response to Jackpine Radical (Reply #52)

Sat Jan 26, 2013, 05:23 PM

264. Thank you. n/t

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Response to mmonk (Reply #1)

Sat Jan 26, 2013, 09:11 AM

212. As a rural teacher,

I'm offended by your stereotyping.

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Response to global1 (Original post)

Fri Jan 25, 2013, 08:49 AM

2. Give them a "DU" & then tighten rules about being polite & avoiding gratuitous insults.

You have to start with people where they are, not where you think they should be.

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Response to patrice (Reply #2)

Sun Jan 27, 2013, 09:41 PM

336. Out in rural areas "DU" means Ducks Unlimited.

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Response to Eleanors38 (Reply #336)

Sun Jan 27, 2013, 10:10 PM

348. He, he, they'd probably like that!, but maybe we should make that a Rural Underground instead.

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Response to patrice (Reply #348)

Sun Jan 27, 2013, 11:13 PM

356. How far down the thread before FDR's name was used in vain?...

Seems DU needs to talk with each other before it deigns to talk with the "rurals." And the discussion should be what the Democratic Party is about.

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Response to Eleanors38 (Reply #356)

Sun Jan 27, 2013, 11:19 PM

357. Not sure what you're referring to there, but I will try to check. & I was actually just thinking

rural America talking in a facilitated, sustained, and maintained environment with rural America.

I've seen quite an evolution in "party attitudes" here on DU, so I was thinking about what would happen within other cultural contexts, in their own right, with similar tools.

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Response to patrice (Reply #357)

Mon Jan 28, 2013, 09:29 AM

371. FDR's alphabet agency approach was effective, but

Didn't rear its head as an approach til well down thread, imo. In any case, Democrats will have to decide where they stand as a party before they can communicate effectively with rural folks and others. Right now, we are a muddled, centrist organization which doesn't wish to challenge finance or corporate power. Not a good message for anyone.

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Response to Eleanors38 (Reply #356)

Sun Jan 27, 2013, 11:22 PM

358. It's a big thread and I don't see that FDR reference; it would be okay

if you gave me a link to the post or the post number, if that's alright with you.

I'm curious who'd diss FDR, but just let this request go if you're uncomfortable.

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Response to patrice (Reply #358)

Mon Jan 28, 2013, 09:34 AM

372. I wasn't dissing FDR, I was being sarcastic about hiw long the

discussion went before his approach was broached.

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Response to Eleanors38 (Reply #372)

Mon Jan 28, 2013, 12:01 PM

375. I didn't think you were. I thought you said you saw someone else do that. nt

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Response to patrice (Reply #375)

Mon Jan 28, 2013, 12:29 PM

378. No, no. Just bad conumijashun!

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Response to global1 (Original post)

Fri Jan 25, 2013, 09:01 AM

6. Show some respect

The responses in that thread were very disappointing. Almost juvenile in asserting people in rural areas have low IQs, etc. My experience with rural America is that people like to live at a slower pace. They are not as attached to their computers and cell phones and they don't text, use twitter, or facebook.
Dems have to meet them where they live. These are people who still idealize Mayberry. I think many aren't comfortable with the speed of changes in the modern world. That has be be taken into account. They aren't stupid they just don't like to text.

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Response to loyalsister (Reply #6)

Fri Jan 25, 2013, 09:59 AM

15. There is a chicken/egg element

People in the boonies often can't get access to the Internet, texting, etc. So it is not a proven fact that there is a rural predisposition against such tools and technology.

In my experiences living urban and rural, when a service is available, the picture becomes more nuanced. Some people will use the tools and some will not.

Don't mistake unavailability for preference.

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Response to riqster (Reply #15)

Fri Jan 25, 2013, 10:10 AM

18. Whether it's availability or preference

the fact remains that people are not using it and the Democratic conversation is taking place around them not with them.

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Response to loyalsister (Reply #18)

Fri Jan 25, 2013, 11:00 AM

46. True enough

I just wanted to make sure people did not make the same assumption you did.

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Response to riqster (Reply #15)

Fri Jan 25, 2013, 06:12 PM

138. Good points. In many places in Colorado there is no cell phone service or cable.

If you want television or access to the internet you have to get it by satellite. Phones must be land lines. It's either that or you go into town. And there still may not be cable available.

And the people are as smart as people in the cities and suburbs. Not as many may have gone to college and many do have a somewhat different way of looking at the world. But they are just people. Many are very good people who would do anything for you. But they do believe in self sufficiency. That is an issue that could use some clarification from Democrats. Most of what rural people hear is from the other side. In red rural areas they think that Democrats are big city slickers who want their tax money for. That needs to change, and only Democrats can do that.

Rural poverty, access to medical care is a problem, business development, sending kids to college are issues that need to be addressed.

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Response to loyalsister (Reply #6)

Sat Jan 26, 2013, 05:45 AM

179. There is an issue of infrastructure being in place for the type of communications you refer to

but that is changing. I also think that the nature of the work to get food or raw materials from the land to the consumer chain is very misunderstood by those who are further removed from the process. Working the fields and animal husbandry are not limited by seasons so much anymore but involve work throughout the year. There is a tendency to belittle the ag industry here in DU but I've not found one person here who is willing to live without food. I know lots of us grow our own gardens but we can't grow everything we needs and, like it or not, the nation does need what we in agricultural states produce.

Now I live in Iowa, where a lot of good decent people live. Sure we have a few knuckleheads but mostly the people here tend to have a good sense of fairness and do value equality and justice and recognize the importance of education. We have some of the finest public schools in the nation. If you take note of Iowa's history, we also are a progressive state which has been the first to move social justice issues ahead many times. However, we tend to be dismissed as red state by the left and assumed to be a red state by the right, both failures to understand who the people are.

Now during the 2008 election year, we worked very hard in our county which had voted Republican historically to turn it blue. You don't shame or name call people into coming agreeing with you. Your conservative neighbor has the same needs of a society that you do as a liberal. Sometimes it means just calling attention to those because there has been about 20 years of propaganda to dig through that has been sold to the nation by Frank Luntz, FOX/Murdoch, Rove, and Limbaugh and his ilk. Stop to think about how the communications market has been bought up (radio stations, newspapers) have been bought up and consolidated by the right wing machine. Cutting through the language with which people have grown accustomed to hearing issues framed is important. Human values have been twisted and sold as identity politics. Everything has been personalized to the nth degree while the needs of our greater society has been denigrated. The left does a version of this too--e.g., derisive dismissal of the middle of the nation as being ignorant and not worth the effort of civil discourse.

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Response to Skidmore (Reply #179)

Sat Jan 26, 2013, 09:16 AM

213. Iowa was incredibly strong for the Union during the U.S. Civil War. One of its

 

regiments endured forced marches in Missouri and fierce fighting at the Battle of Wilson's Creek (about 70 miles from where I grew up), a nasty little battle in the trans-Mississippi.

We Missouri Unionists thank Iowa heartily for her contributions!

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iowa_in_the_American_Civil_War

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Response to loyalsister (Reply #6)

Sat Jan 26, 2013, 07:02 AM

194. +1!

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Response to loyalsister (Reply #6)

Sat Jan 26, 2013, 07:40 AM

204. I lived in Alaska for a time.

it really does not get more "rural" than a place where most people live off subsistence to some degree. Prior to that, semi-rural southwest Alabama. I don't know what the cutoff is, but driving for hours and seeing nothing but cotton fields broken by live oak stands and soybeans ought to count.

My experience tells me that you're being a condescending ass. "These are people who still idealize Mayberry," and you're telling others to be respectful? "Aw shucks, we're just a li'l podunk nowhere y'all, we'd just 'perciate if y'all didn't boom yer boogaloo music so loud, ahyup"

No. The issue isn't kissing butt with the perception that they're stuck in a 1940's time-warp. The issue is that most of them do not give a fuck about politics. Oh, don't misunderstand, they have strong opinions. Just... not strong enough that it'll induce them to go out and vote. There's a combination of factors, and lack of information and a tendency to luddism aren't two of them.

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Response to Scootaloo (Reply #204)

Sat Jan 26, 2013, 04:33 PM

260. In mid-Missouri

People DO long for Maberry. The "these people" I refer to are friends and family. They dislike the fact that they now have to lock their doors.

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Response to Scootaloo (Reply #204)

Sat Jan 26, 2013, 11:21 PM

283. She's not trying to be condescending at all.

She lives in mid-Missouri. I graduated from high school in that area and she's right-there are still plenty of very small towns who idolize the "Mayberry" ideal. It's not a bad thing-it's just different. Our small towns hold treasures such as the world's largest pecan (Brunswick), "Main Street USA" (Marceline), the scene of a tragic riverboat accident (Malta Bend), Heidelberg Fest (Concordia), Apple Fest (Waverly), the oldest lyceum west of the Mississippi (Arrow Rock), the final resting place of a psychic dog (Marshall), the home of "Man's Best Friend" (Warrensburg), Carrie Nation's hometown (Holden), burial mounds (Miami), and plenty of Civil War battlegrounds for those with an interest, including one that has a cannon ball buried in the pillar of a county court house still in use to this day (Lexington). We even have a small town that helped coin a phrase used throughout the Cold War. (Churchill gave a speech in Fulton at Westminster College in 1946, where he used the term "Iron Curtain" for the very first time.)


Mayberry was quirky yet warm and loving and showed that small towns really hold their charms, along with lots of talent. Besides, Andy Taylor was pretty darn smart, Barney Fife was someone everyone knows, I have female friends who are basically Floyd and Otis, Aunt Bea made incredible food that everyone loved and Opie was just a small town boy who did his best while growing up. If comparisons need to be made it's a loving comparison compared to other places.

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Response to loyalsister (Reply #6)

Sat Jan 26, 2013, 11:10 AM

217. We won without them, though

So catering to them will just get us accusations of "caving."

We have to defeat them. Wouldn't trying to get them to vote Democratic make the Democratic party move to the right?

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Response to treestar (Reply #217)

Sat Jan 26, 2013, 12:38 PM

229. You must think that rural people are interested only in guns and social conservatism if you say that

Stereotyping like that is one reason that the Dems aren't doing well in rural areas.

The farm foreclosure issue in the 1980s is an example of where the Dems could have won the hearts and minds of rural people, not by compromising their values but by reaffirming their values.

However, the takeover by corporate DLC types and the yuppie Democrats (they love those social issues but think there's nothing wrong with the way the economy is structured as long as the crimes aren't too blatant) had already begun.

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Response to global1 (Original post)

Fri Jan 25, 2013, 09:06 AM

7. make sure they have internet

I would also do repeat mailers. Repeat because they will be glanced at and thrown away. Use things that matter to them Like what has the republicans done for farmers? What have the dems done? Put a few facts on postcards and mail them several times to them

In other words you must blanket them with truth to counter the fox crap.

They listen to more am radio because in some areas it's all they can get. So use am radio to advertise.

This is not something that will change overnight but right now they get the fox news view of the world and that is largely it. Send facts, send them again, and yet again. Make in pertinent to their lives, farming, rural roads, schools.

More households are ran by males out here with the woman still being more influenced by what the husbands point of view might be.

Hit them with truth. Hell,hit the whole country with a little truth.

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Response to 2pooped2pop (Reply #7)

Fri Jan 25, 2013, 09:10 AM

8. This and it should be in 2013 a basic service like electricity

then there is at least an alternative to the hate drivel spewed on the radio everyday.

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Response to libtodeath (Reply #8)

Sat Jan 26, 2013, 03:50 PM

249. Shit - when you live rural

every time there's a thunderstorm, high wind or snow you are subject to losing electricity. It takes a different skill set and mentality to live rural.

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Response to 2pooped2pop (Reply #7)

Sat Jan 26, 2013, 12:28 PM

226. +1

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Response to 2pooped2pop (Reply #7)

Sun Jan 27, 2013, 08:35 PM

326. Seriously?

All we can get is AM radio? Sweet Jesus. The women are more influenced by the husband's point of view? LOL

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Response to ohheckyeah (Reply #326)

Mon Jan 28, 2013, 06:53 AM

364. yep in some areas, all is still true.

but because you are from one part of the country where that isn't the case, it must not be anywhere, right?

I live here too and I know what I see. Some people do not have access to any internet. Many of the men still dominate the women. At least they are allowed by the women to think so. Yes, there are areas where the reception sucks like hell.

But maybe in your area everyone is just a fucking red neck and there is no way to help them see the truth?

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Response to global1 (Original post)

Fri Jan 25, 2013, 09:18 AM

9. they could get some tips from Oregon's Rural Organizing Project...

a great group. What it takes is time, respect and presence in rural areas....
http://www.rop.org/member-groups/organizing-tools/

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Response to Bluenorthwest (Reply #9)

Sat Jan 26, 2013, 05:24 AM

175. That looks like a great resource.

 

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Response to global1 (Original post)

Fri Jan 25, 2013, 09:28 AM

10. Emphasize values like freedom, liberty, equality. Hammer hard about how Repubs are screwing them.

Appeal to their sense of Americanism and start telling the unvarnished truth about his the Republicans are destroying America and hurting them.

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Response to LonePirate (Reply #10)

Fri Jan 25, 2013, 10:20 AM

26. 'emphasize' Single Payer National Healthcare, $20 an hour Minimum Wage n/t


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Response to leftstreet (Reply #26)

Fri Jan 25, 2013, 05:32 PM

137. A $20/hr minimum would appeal to people who hire much low-skill low cost labor? nt

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Response to global1 (Original post)

Fri Jan 25, 2013, 09:38 AM

11. Land reform

 

Seriously. You may say but but but the rural landowners would go berserk!!! And yes, there would be much of that.

But who are the real rural working class? Who pick your fruits? Yup, immigrant labor. So if you want the votes of rural working class, give them right to vote and promise them land. Simple as that.

And think further, there are lots of urban folks who want to grow some of their own food. Part time or full time, but can't afford to buy land. Access to patch of fertile land should be a human right and citizen right that belongs to everyone.

And if we want to keep on eating also when we can't grow food with fossil fuels, much more of us need to work with the land... so, land reform.

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Response to tama (Reply #11)

Fri Jan 25, 2013, 10:12 AM

21. Promise them what?

Hell, let's just give them cash.

Vote the way we want you to and we will give you ONE MILLION DOLLARS!!!!

Who would you take this land from that you are going to "give" them?

Access to a patch of fertile land is everyones "right"?? There are about 7 acres of land for every person in the country, should we just divide it up equally? Or does everyone have a "right" to land that can grow oranges? Does everyone then have a "right" to mass transit to get to their little patch of land? Or do the people who live in NYC have the rights to the (8MX7=56M acres) entire state of NY and half of PA?

Nonsense.

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Response to Lurker Deluxe (Reply #21)

Fri Jan 25, 2013, 10:22 AM

27. Land reform

 

is the classic divide with genuine progressive movements (as. e.g. European social democratic movements began) and right wing policies of protecting the haves and robbing the have-nots.

As for details, there are many historical examples and ongoing processes to learn from and do better.

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Response to tama (Reply #27)

Fri Jan 25, 2013, 10:43 AM

40. What?

"classic divide with genuine progressive movements"

What does that mean? The USA has property rights, the government can not just take land from people to give it other people. It is against the constitution. If you think that "genuine progressive" means to take from one set of people to give to a different set of people than your movement is going nowhere.

I would like to know of what historical example you would cite of one people taking land from another to distribute? The European invasion of the Americas?!?! What ongoing processes? The Gaza strip?!?!

Wealth distribution through progressive taxation is one thing, and most people believe in that principle to a certain extent. The major differences between the sides is to what degree that transfer of wealth should be, our side believing that more progressive taxation being the answer. As soon as you start talking about taking land from other people and giving it to someone else you will lose 80% of both sides. Even more so because you want to take land from people who vote one way and give it others to vote the way you want them to.

Nonsense.

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Response to Lurker Deluxe (Reply #40)

Fri Jan 25, 2013, 11:09 AM

47. As you say

 

It's not yours but all stolen from first nations. And declaration of independence does not say "unaliable right to private property pillaged from others" but "Life, Liberty and Pursuit of Happiness." Land ownership is not god given right but social contract.

There are ongoing land reforms e.g. in many Latin American countries, in Venezuela, Cuba, Bolivia, Brazilia, etc, each with different historical backgrounds and circumstances. And similar informal developments are going on in rust belt suburbia of US such as Detroit where people are turning abandond lots to food gardens. As for historical example, latest progressive land reform here in Finland was after WWII when we lost large areas to Soviet Union and had to relocate great part of our population. Details vary, but the general principle is that those who have more than they need give some to those that have none and are in great need, so that all needs are met.

Do you consider big landowner taking government subsidies, while all real work being done by immigrants treated as subhumans, social justice?

And there is not necessarily any need to take any land from anyone. Government can buy land to distribute it to needy.





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Response to tama (Reply #47)

Fri Jan 25, 2013, 11:51 AM

88. OK

First, the declaration of Independence is not the law of the land, it was a letter to those who needed to know. Kind of, I am quitting but before I leave I have something to get off my chest.

The particular constitutional question would be, taking land without due process and how to justify that it is in the public good. Not very many cases have gone the way of the government taking land and giving it to others for distribution. Most often it is used to take land to create right of ways for roads or other infrastructure.

As for the stealing the land from someone else in history, yea ... that is war and the results of it. Well you may not like it, it has been that way since the beginning of time, everyone got their land from someone else.

Ongoing land reform that you speak of I am not familiar with, or certainly not familiar with it being a good thing.

Let's take Cuba... After the revolt in 1959 Casto's government confiscated billions in private land for "official" use, at that same time they also crushed free speech and nationalized just about everything that made money. Now, some 50 years later over half of the usable land in Cuba sits idle. They are in the process of granting access to that land to people who will commit to use it to increase domestic production of food, and are having huge issues with it, people know the stories of government confiscating land that has value so are hesitant to put forth resources to make the land prosperous. They are not giving them the land, they are giving them the rights to use it for a term. That is certainly not a very good example of "land reform".

You are correct that in some urban areas the community is taking back land and putting it to good use. I am sure you are also aware that the local governments are attempting the stop them from doing that ... not help them.

Of coarse no one likes the exploitation of immigrant workers, but to assume that all rural land owners act that way and speak of them all as some evil human beings who steal from the rest of the world is not helping you get their vote.

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Response to Lurker Deluxe (Reply #88)

Fri Jan 25, 2013, 02:02 PM

112. We didn't

 

We moved north as the ice was smelting.

As for Cuba, I consider it good example in right direction, as we are all facing same future where we can't rely on food produced with fossil fuels but have to learn to feed ourselves locally and sustainably. In Russia, where land ownership is still very open and confused issue, also many of most urban people have a "datsha" garden and ordinary people produce about half the food and are not totally dependent from government for their basic survival, and in fact have survived many near total collapses of the top hierarchy. And also in Russia AFAIK government is at least to some extent supportive of the local ecovillage movement. Unlike the local (and federal) governments in US as you point out. And not just in US, permaculture and ecovillage and generally organic farming and local food folks have faced in capitalistic Western countries mostly obstruction from government.

Governments being owned by big money are in fact in doing continuous land reform by supporting big landowners and industrial farming in numerous ways. And that's not in the benefit of rural people, just selected few who do business in terms of big corporations. Land ownership is concentrating all the time in fewer and fewer hands because of government and corporate policies. And even worse outside US, e.g. in much of Latin America where neocolonialist corporations and governments have forced people to farm consumer products for northern consumers instead of feeding their own people. So many of them become dislocated and are forced to seek employment in US as legal and illegal immigrants.

And no, I'm not speaking of anyone as evil human beings, humans act according to the system they live in. The issues are structural and systemic.

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Response to Lurker Deluxe (Reply #21)

Fri Jan 25, 2013, 10:50 AM

41. Did you know that the U.S. imposed land reform on Japan and Taiwan after World War II?

Yup, it used to be a Dem value.

Agribusiness made out like the bandits they are after the artificial "debt crisis" of the early 1980s. The double whammy of high interest rates and low crop prices forced the sale of countless family farms to agribusiness, destroying both long-standing family businesses and many rural towns. I was living in Minnesota at that time. Heartbreaking stories of families losing farms that they had owned since the homesteading era were on the news all the time.

The Dems did NOTHING.

Sure, it was the Reagan administration, but the Dems still had a majority in the House. They could have proposed debt relief for farmers in the form of low-interest loans. Even if the proposal had died in the Senate or been vetoed by Reagan, the Dems could have campaigned on "We tried to save you, but the Republicans wouldn't let us."

Instead, they did NOTHING.

That's when they really lost rural voters.

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Response to Lydia Leftcoast (Reply #41)

Fri Jan 25, 2013, 06:29 PM

140. Now that you mention

 

I recall reading about that sometime, somewhere.

Thanks for informing, that information needs to reach also many others who want to understand better the urban rural divide and Dem role in that.

I read Grapes of Wrath long time ago. Seems quite many DUers have not read it, or have totally forgotten it.

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Response to Lydia Leftcoast (Reply #41)

Sat Jan 26, 2013, 05:08 AM

171. +1

 

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Response to Lydia Leftcoast (Reply #41)

Sat Jan 26, 2013, 07:26 AM

201. A sad and Forgotten Time

in our Nation, a National Shame on us. Farm Aid concerts tried to help but the problem was just so big. John Cougar-Mellancamps song "Blood on the Plow" still makes me mad and ashamed to this day, and I am a City boy thru and thru. We have also denigrated working class people in this country, if you do not go to college and get degree you do not deserve to make a lot of money. You are a failure. We also some how began to think that good honest hard work was beneath us as a society and motivated young farm children to move off the farm to find "success".

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Response to 4Q2u2 (Reply #201)

Sat Jan 26, 2013, 08:12 AM

207. Manual labor in the fields

 

The urban structurally racist view that that's not what any well educated (white) person should or needs to do, has occurred also on DU. Our brains and opinions are often too garbled to connect the dots.

All the moaning about lack of "jobs", but never a suggestion to go pick and pack oranges with illegal immigrants. And that's structural, not personal.

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Response to 4Q2u2 (Reply #201)

Sat Jan 26, 2013, 12:27 PM

225. The Dem power structure is overwhelmingly urban and coastal, and too many of the Beltway types

think of our agricultural regions as "flyover land."

Rural voters don't vote for Democrats (although they used to, and many were Socialists) for the same reason that African-Americans don't vote for Republicans (although they used to). No one will vote for a party that disrespects them so visibly.

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Response to tama (Reply #11)

Fri Jan 25, 2013, 06:18 PM

139. Urban and commungardens are becoming increasingly common. There is a whole movement promoting them.

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Response to global1 (Original post)

Fri Jan 25, 2013, 09:50 AM

13. Point out the facts

Repubs talk rural, but they don't deliver for we folks in the sticks. They cut or deny funding for infrastructure, agriculture, education, Internet access and other things we need but rarely get. They take the money and give it to their corporate paymasters.

That is an approach that could work.

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Response to global1 (Original post)

Fri Jan 25, 2013, 09:52 AM

14. better access to health care

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Response to WI_DEM (Reply #14)

Fri Jan 25, 2013, 11:22 AM

54. Cooperatives exist that do that

 

Cooperative models allow for collective bargaining for their members in many economic venues in rural places.
http://www.farmershealthcooperative.com/

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Response to WI_DEM (Reply #14)

Fri Jan 25, 2013, 06:40 PM

143. this is a great one.

 

i grew up in a town of currently about 600 in the middle of nowhere mountains of northern colorado and its snowy passes to get to a hospital or even a medical doctor. theres a nurse-practitioner and she's good at plenty but with an aging population.. just saying rural healthcare development via obamacare somehow might win some hearts.. and votes.

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Response to WI_DEM (Reply #14)

Sat Jan 26, 2013, 05:35 PM

265. This is an excellent one

Only instead of the cheater's delight of a program they have now to forgive school debt for docs who become GPs in rural areas (the docs quit after 6 months and are debt free), they need to do a program with teeth in it wherein the debt payments are written off only as long as the doc stays rural. The payments will need to be made if he skedaddles back to the city.

Also realize that rural folks don't just till the land, many are businessmen running small markets, gas stations, feed stores, and who sell farming equipment. These people need support, too, especially with WalMart putting so many of them out of business in so many areas.

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Response to global1 (Original post)

Fri Jan 25, 2013, 10:03 AM

17. Bank bailouts, "free trade" with Korea, mandatory insurance. Those would be my top priorities. nt

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Response to Romulox (Reply #17)

Fri Jan 25, 2013, 10:18 AM

24. Right-to-work, Chained CPI SS cuts, Jobless Recovery Program n/t

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Response to leftstreet (Reply #24)

Fri Jan 25, 2013, 10:19 AM

25. And if those ignorant racists don't like that, I don't know what to tell them?

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Response to global1 (Original post)

Fri Jan 25, 2013, 10:12 AM

20. You need to show them, not just tell them.

Show them exactly how democratic policies help them in both the short term and long term and counter every single republican talking point. Because a lot of times, that's all rural people hear are the talking points.

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Response to geomon666 (Reply #20)

Sat Jan 26, 2013, 01:45 PM

235. This.

RW media tells them constantly the democrats are evil and the reason rhey're poor/held down/ridiculed/denied services/whatever. Just telling them the opposite does nothing but add background noise. They need be shown, not just told, that X helps them and is there because of the Democratic Party.

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Response to global1 (Original post)

Fri Jan 25, 2013, 10:12 AM

22. What does it mean to choose to be rural in the 21st Century?

Is that compatible with social and economic progress? I honestly don't know.

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Response to sadbear (Reply #22)

Fri Jan 25, 2013, 10:29 AM

30. Think

 

People who grow their own food are not dependent from robbing others for livelihood.

What does social and economic progress mean if not social and economic justice and sustainable adaptation to environment?

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Response to tama (Reply #30)

Fri Jan 25, 2013, 11:46 AM

83. Not robbing? What do you mean? nt

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Response to ZombieHorde (Reply #83)

Fri Jan 25, 2013, 12:00 PM

94. History of civilization

 

Kings and priests robbing aka "taxing" peasants. Empires destroying the carrying capacity of their ecosystem and robbing more land and ecosystems from others to ruin. The usual.

We didn't pay taxes before European crusaders came and we had to start give tenth to church. And then some and then some. It was not all perfect before, but we managed quite fine without urban kings and priests and their servants and soldiers taxing and bossing us. And now we are part of the Borg.

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Response to ZombieHorde (Reply #98)

Fri Jan 25, 2013, 01:20 PM

110. Yeah

 

It's become much more complicated. Some of which was commons and gift economy and caring community, gets now recycled through government programs. But bankers etc. rob the most and increasingly so through debt and money.

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Response to sadbear (Reply #22)

Fri Jan 25, 2013, 10:37 AM

35. That is a very interesting question .....

 

Choose to be rural? Not sure what that means. Does everyone have a choice? Are you saying it would be better (compatible?) for social and economic progress if rural people chose to move to the cities? Why? Where would food come from?

I'm really confused about what you are asking here, but interested. Please elucidate.

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Response to oldhippie (Reply #35)

Fri Jan 25, 2013, 11:00 AM

45. I do believe it is a choice.

And as such, I suspect the question of rural vs. urban is more of social and cultural distinction than a geographic one. (I'm sure there have been reams of papers written about this that I am totally unaware of.) And am I wrong to believe that rural doesn't automatically mean agricultural? Not all rural people are farmers or ranchers, are they?

What is it about some people who want to live in sparsely-populated, generally homogenous areas? Yes, I realize that for economic reasons, a lot of people have no choice, but that's becoming less and less so. I think that those who choose that lifestyle are inherently more conservative. (Yes, there are always exceptions.) They are more comfortable in a setting where the social or cultural rules are well-defined and rather rigid. Change is slow in rural areas. That setting is not very amenable to the kind of social (and economic) progress that the Democratic Party stands for and I don't know if there is anything the Democratic Party can do to make deep inroads with rural voters.

Certainly, I'm probably wrong. It's just my observation.

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Response to sadbear (Reply #45)

Fri Jan 25, 2013, 12:08 PM

97. My take.

I grew up in the country where I could ride my motorcycle in the woods and swim and fish in the river. At the time, I missed the ability to take the bus to the mall or theater or whatever.

When I grew up and married, we moved to North Seattle and worked in an engineering firm. I lived there for three years and one day, driving to the store, a car passed me and the driver waved. First time in three years. At that point I realized that living in the city was bullshit. I said screw it and accepted a job in my hometown. For me it was the right choice.

I think it's the frog in boiling water syndrome. People who grew up in "neighborhoods" get used to the idea of covenants and the fact that the neighbor has veto authority over the color of your house.

So yes, to an extent it may be a choice, but it is also a reality that people who grow up in one kind of environment will likely find the other intolerable.

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Response to lumberjack_jeff (Reply #97)

Sat Jan 26, 2013, 11:07 AM

215. I grew up in the country too.

I've lived in the city but I never felt completely comfortable there. The feeling of being "in public" the second I poked my toe out my door made me feel claustrophobic. The lack of interesting wildlife and the opportunity to observe nature was a loss I felt deeply. The noise from constant traffic drove me crazy. I missed the sound of wind in the trees, the singing of birds and crickets at night. Not being able to have a garden and a big yard for kids and dogs was stifling.

It has never been a question of the culture for me. In fact, socially, I prefer the diversity and open-mindedness of urban people (no offense to some of my neighbors.) Just saying, I agree that rural people are not all here for the culture, a lot of us are just used to living closer to nature.

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Response to lumberjack_jeff (Reply #97)

Mon Jan 28, 2013, 07:13 AM

368. some of us city dwellers have been country all along

We always wanted to live in the country but because of work and things, we were not able.

We are now. Country folk are much nicer. Like some have said, they don't want interference, but they got your back when you need them.

My grandson is a diabetic. His father had broken his pump on a visit with him. His mother, a single mom, could not come near to affording the 7 thousand they wanted to replace it. She fought and fought with medicaid. The school called me one day and told me that two or three people in the area had gotten together and were going to pay for the pump. WOW. We told them to hold off and were able to finally (after a year) get the insurance to cover it. But these strangers were going to help the kid out without even knowing him. A man in a wheelchair plows our roads and driveways when they get real bad. IT goes on and on.

We love being able to live in the country now.

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Response to sadbear (Reply #45)

Fri Jan 25, 2013, 03:03 PM

116. In that sense

 

Why did some people - and what kind of people?! - leave Africa and then spread everywhere? I've wondered about that. We Finns are traditionally considered quiet people who seek peace and solitude away from other people. Who need lot of space and can be easily considered "antisocial".

But there are also studies. Rural agricultural life is very much based on more or less zero sum game. If someone claims more land than others, that's away from others. The idea of living within means is ingrained and explains much of the "conservative" more slower pace of change, and also the closer community. Everybody know everybody (and family feuds can continue for centuries...). But on the other hand if you look anthropologically and geographically, there is lot more rural variation and different ways of life all over the globe, and compared to that cities tend to be pretty much same everywhere, monoculture.

Urban life is more individualistic, or rather anonymous, as you can disappear in the crowd and nobody knows you and you can feel more free from continuous social control of knowing that everything you do, everybody else in the community knows. And the idea of infinite growth has encouradged ideas of infinite possibilities and much of artistic etc. creativity in the urban melting pots of various cultures.

But on the grand scale, as Age of Oil is coming to end, and no "next big thin" in horizon, it is cities and urban way of life that are in trouble and need ways to ground themselves and find balance with nature.



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Response to sadbear (Reply #45)

Sun Jan 27, 2013, 07:22 PM

322. I choose to be rural because

I don't like crowds. I don't like the eye pollution of the city. I grew up in the country and I feel claustrophobic in traffic, apartments, large crowds. I get sensory overload from too much noise and too much stuff to look at.

I like the wide open spaces around me. I don't want to listen to other people's noise. I don't give rat's ass about social or cultural rules being well-defined. I'm somewhat of a loner. I don't join groups and only deal with people if and when I want to or absolutely have to. I have a close circle of friends and that's how I like it. Also, by living rural, I can have 1 1/2 acres and a 1500 square foot house for a lot less than living in a suburb or city. I like listening to the birds, watching the squirrels play and deer feeding in my back yard. The neighbors are cordial but we mind our own business unless someone asks for or needs help.

It's not rocket science. Some people are rural people and others are urban people. People are different and have different wants and needs.

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Response to ohheckyeah (Reply #322)

Sun Jan 27, 2013, 07:52 PM

323. Like I said, there are exceptions.

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Response to sadbear (Reply #323)

Sun Jan 27, 2013, 08:28 PM

324. I really do think

there is a complete lack of understanding of why most people live rural. I don't think many or even most of us are inherently more conservative at all. I definitely don't think we are people who need or want social or cultural rules that are well-defined and rather rigid. We just prefer nature to concrete; wide open spaces to confined spaces; peace and quiet to the hustle and bustle.

If Democrats and liberals want to make inroads then quit telling us who and what we are. Quit telling us what we need or want. Quit speculating and ask US. Quit treating us like nothing but potential votes and instead like humans whose choices about where we live are every bit as valid as yours and other urban dwellers. And if you can't engage us in conversation and listen, I suspect there are many, like myself, who would just prefer you left us alone.

How would you like it if I speculated that most urban dwellers were people who couldn't stand to be alone because they lacked something inside themselves? That they were so simple minded they couldn't live apart from the clan? That they are incapable of planning ahead and thus need everything readily available? That they are so shallow that they have to be entertained by restaurants, bars and movie theaters just down the street. Wouldn't you be insulted? I really, really don't understand the appeal of the city to people. I don't get it but don't sit around speculating about why. I'm glad because if everyone wanted to live rural there would be no more rural. It's like picking apart the reason some people prefer blue and some green.

Believe it or not, most rural dwellers aren't toothless and sitting on the porch playing dueling banjos.



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Response to ohheckyeah (Reply #324)

Sun Jan 27, 2013, 09:22 PM

331. I don't understand how that explains the overwhelming number

of rural voters who vote republican. I mean, there are A LOT of rural voters who vote Democratic, those who value the environment like Democrats do, those who support social justice the way Democrats do, those who support economic justice the way Democrats do. Are the rest of the vast majority of rural voters not voting Democratic because they won't quit telling you who you are and what you need? Is that all it takes? I mean Democrats do treat urban dwellers the same way, and they still vote Democratic. What's the difference?

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Response to sadbear (Reply #331)

Sun Jan 27, 2013, 09:34 PM

333. As someone pointed out in another post,

rural dwellers are showing up less at the polls.....they know that neither party gives a shit about them. For the ones that do vote Republican I would say it's the Republican's (erroneous) message of less government intervention. At least Republicans aren't viewed as having disdain for rural people. The answers in this thread are a good clue as to why rural dwellers don't like a lot of Democrats. The condescension has been overwhelming.

Here's one example. When we talk about air pollution the first things liberals talk about is raising gas taxes. We can't afford higher gas prices when we have to drive 20 miles to the store. Liberals' answer to that is to move into the city. No thanks. Republicans preach against the gas tax and they've hooked some people.

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Response to ohheckyeah (Reply #333)

Sun Jan 27, 2013, 09:38 PM

334. So most rural voters are so stupid that they think

republicans don't have disdain for them and Democrats do? (You said it, not me.) Or do you really think republicans don't view rural people as just another voting block?

Let's get serious. That's not the reason.

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Response to sadbear (Reply #334)

Sun Jan 27, 2013, 09:39 PM

335. No we aren't stupid and Republicans don't make the disdain so obvious.

Read what I added to my last post about gas taxes. It's one example and a big one.

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Response to ohheckyeah (Reply #335)

Sun Jan 27, 2013, 09:45 PM

337. C'mon now, that's just silly.

If the tax goes up on everyone, it's fair. An exception has to be made because you choose to live 20 miles away from the store? People who live in the cities have expenses associated with it that rural people don't have to deal with. Is that fair? Of course it is.

It's all a trade off. But it sounds like you want all of the positive things about living in the country, but none of the negative things. Gas is expensive. For everyone.

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Response to sadbear (Reply #337)

Sun Jan 27, 2013, 09:48 PM

339. No, what you said is silly.

It's reality - that's the kinds of things that piss rural dwellers off. You asked, I answered. This isn't about me and what I think on a personal level. It's what I know to be true.

You're part of the problem. You ask a question and then say the answer is silly. That's why a lot of rural dwellers don't like liberals.



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Response to ohheckyeah (Reply #339)

Sun Jan 27, 2013, 09:53 PM

340. The answer is silly.

If what you say is true, then rural want the best of both worlds, and this is totally unreasonable. I guess that's why they love them some republicans -- republicans promise them the best of both worlds. Sorry, Democrats don't do that.

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Response to sadbear (Reply #340)

Sun Jan 27, 2013, 10:00 PM

342. It's a matter of perspective and opinion.

City dwellers typically make more money than rural dwellers. A gas tax hits rural dwellers harder for a number of reasons. Is that fair? You seem to think so, rural dwellers don't.

Are you seriously suggesting Democrats don't make promises they can't possibly keep? Let's keep it real. I'm a Democrat and a liberal but I have no delusions that Democrats are perfect and always honest.

I'd be interested to know what your expenses are that are particular to urban dwellers.

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Response to ohheckyeah (Reply #342)

Sun Jan 27, 2013, 10:02 PM

343. No, I'm suggesting that Democrats are ALWAYS better than republicans.

Even for rural people.

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Response to sadbear (Reply #343)

Sun Jan 27, 2013, 10:14 PM

349. And that is your opinion from your perspective.

That's the problem.....you don't seem to understand other people have a different perspective. That's what rural people understand and dislike, the idea that liberals think they know what's best for everybody.

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Response to ohheckyeah (Reply #349)

Sun Jan 27, 2013, 10:36 PM

353. Yes, other people have different perspective. They're called republicans.

They may vote DINO if the republican candidate is deeply flawed, but it's who they are. I can understand voters who don't vote, but again, rural voters overwhelmingly vote republican. That reflects their values, not ours'. If they prefer what republicans stand for over what Democrats stand for, I don't see why Democrats should corrupt our values to change that.

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Response to sadbear (Reply #353)

Sun Jan 27, 2013, 11:58 PM

362. LOL...

no they aren't all republicans. No, you should never change and never try to understand other perspectives because you know what's right for everyone and what everyone needs.

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Response to ohheckyeah (Reply #335)

Sun Jan 27, 2013, 10:08 PM

346. "Republicans don't make the disdain so obvious." Home run.

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Response to ohheckyeah (Reply #324)

Mon Jan 28, 2013, 06:57 AM

366. You live on an acre and a half

You aren't that alone.

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Response to global1 (Original post)

Fri Jan 25, 2013, 10:14 AM

23. Stop making assuptions is the main thing.

Otherwise, jobs.

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Response to global1 (Original post)

Fri Jan 25, 2013, 10:26 AM

28. Tell them the truth in a way they understand it.

 

There is a difference between country-folk and city-folk. You need to speak their language. Also, a majority of rural people have generations of family members who have always been republicans and know nothing else. They have been told that democrats are the party of lazy evil no-goods who are unpatriotic and will eat your children (that last part I made up.) But you get the picture, they know nothing else.

I would bet they have no idea all the good that the democrats have done over the last century compared to what the republicans have accomplished. Maybe they need to hear that.

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Response to butterflygirl (Reply #28)

Sun Jan 27, 2013, 08:32 PM

325. We do speak English...

we are capable of understanding without pictures. Hell, most of us even know how to use Google.

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Response to global1 (Original post)

Fri Jan 25, 2013, 10:31 AM

31. Start kicking republicon asses up one side of the back forty and down the other

We relate to the back forty, you know the back forty acres of your property (-:

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Response to global1 (Original post)

Fri Jan 25, 2013, 10:35 AM

32. Send out activists to just LISTEN to rural people

Peel back the AM radio brainwashing, and find out what their real concerns are.

If the Dems were meeting their needs, they would not be so open to the AM radio demagogues.

Then figure out how those needs can be met in a Democratic style. Start on the local level. Have grassroots candidates who understand the local situation and who can attract enthusiastic volunteers run for local offices, and don't have the Dem establishment suppress them on the mistaken notion that they're "too far left" because they don't match the Beltway yuppie version of the Democratic party.

Once you have locally successful candidates who are clearly different from the Republicans, that will build trust among the local people and give those candidates the experience they need to be credible candidates for higher offices.

Above all, do not write off the rural areas. They used to be Democratic, even Socialist in some cases.

On second thought, maybe the Socialists will wise up about rural areas before the Democrats do.

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Response to Lydia Leftcoast (Reply #32)

Fri Jan 25, 2013, 10:53 AM

43. You can't have it both ways

You can't say get dems in there who will build trust among the electorate, when at the same time you cry foul that those very same people will not vote for gun control.

Anyone who votes for gun control that is from a rural district will not be there the next cycle.

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Response to Lurker Deluxe (Reply #43)

Fri Jan 25, 2013, 10:57 AM

44. Maybe they care about guns so much because their other needs are not being met

Did you ever think of that?

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Response to Lydia Leftcoast (Reply #44)

Fri Jan 25, 2013, 11:27 AM

59. It's not about needs, it's about culture

hunting is a very traditional pastime. These areas tend to be very low crime, so making them go through additional hoops to buy a gun seems an unnecessary intrusion.

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Response to SpartanDem (Reply #59)

Fri Jan 25, 2013, 11:30 AM

66. One thing the Dems need to make clear is that no one is talking about hunting rifles.

I spent seven years in a small town. I know about the hunting culture and about needing to keep predators away from the sheep.

But the kinds of guns that are going to be banned would rip your prey to shreds.

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Response to Lydia Leftcoast (Reply #66)

Fri Jan 25, 2013, 12:02 PM

95. Making a semi-automatic rifle sound like a minigun isn't going to help

A lot of rural voters will see right through that sort of talk and rightfully dismiss it. If there's going to be a discussion on gun laws, it has to be conducted with less hyperbole and more facts on both sides.

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Response to Lydia Leftcoast (Reply #66)

Fri Jan 25, 2013, 12:20 PM

100. Saying you are not talking about hunting rifles is not enough

Last edited Mon Jan 28, 2013, 11:07 AM - Edit history (1)

I have family that lives in rural areas, and if you say you are not going to take their hunting rifles they will believe you. However, as soon as you start talking about telling them that you get to define what a hunting rifle is or what firearms they need you lose their attention.

It's not just about the hunting culture, it's also about a culture that wants to decide for themselves what they need and want. When the media and gun control crowd gets up and talks about Assault Rifles being a threat to peoples safety rural people laugh and turn them off. The perception that Assault Rifles are the root of the problem is NOT shared by the entire country, and very much against what most people in rural areas believe and know.

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Response to thetonka (Reply #100)

Fri Jan 25, 2013, 02:59 PM

114. And yet, almost all the school and other mass shootings have taken place in rural or suburban areas

not in cities.

Ponder that for a moment.

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Response to Lydia Leftcoast (Reply #114)

Fri Jan 25, 2013, 04:12 PM

122. It's not that simple

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Response to thetonka (Reply #100)

Sat Jan 26, 2013, 07:27 AM

202. +1000

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Response to Lydia Leftcoast (Reply #66)

Fri Jan 25, 2013, 12:53 PM

106. Except variants of those have been used for hunting for decades

Functionally there is no difference between the AR 15 and the M1 shown below. Now I will point out that M1 is limited to 8 rounds, but they're both semi auto and people have hunted with guns like the M1 for decades without so much as a second thought and without turning the prey into shreds. The presumption that "military style" guns are more powerful is a fallacy based on how it looks, they are no more or less powerful than guns that have been used in hunting for decades. The biggest difference is in the amount of ammo you can carry, you can't go around with 30 or more rounds rounds with an M1.

So, if you're a hunter about guns it seems kind of silly to say that their grandfather's M1 is ok, but their AR 15 should be banned. This is why while I'm very supportive of limiting large clips, universal background checks and registration, I think the AWB is junk. It simply deals with cosmetics. So if you're Democrat running in a rural area that going to be pretty knowledgeable about guns, you're seem silly wanting to ban a gun on it's design.

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Response to SpartanDem (Reply #106)

Fri Jan 25, 2013, 04:21 PM

123. There are companies that sell 30 round clips for the M1 Carbine

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Response to thetonka (Reply #123)

Fri Jan 25, 2013, 09:22 PM

149. I think he meant the Garand

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Response to Lydia Leftcoast (Reply #32)

Sun Jan 27, 2013, 01:51 AM

290. The Beltway yuppies and Wall Street types are big reasons why so many rural people...

..are now Republican.

Why vote for a party of urban, arrogant, out-of-touch yuppies, when you can vote for a party of rural (or at least semi-rural) farmers, businesspeople, gun owners, and Christians? We may hate the GOP as Democrats and progressives, but they have hit a nerve with the countryside.

Rural voters do not have a good choice in today's political world. We must distinguish ourselves as Democrats from the Republicans on all issues, while appealing to the values and ethics of rural people.

More importantly-we have to be genuinely interested in rural culture, and not in a patronizing or condescending way.

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Response to YoungDemCA (Reply #290)

Mon Jan 28, 2013, 06:57 AM

365. "Rural voters do not have a good choice in today's political world."

They can join the club. Most voters have shitty choices in today's political world.

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Response to global1 (Original post)

Fri Jan 25, 2013, 10:35 AM

33. Could start by

 

understanding and respecting the fact that our way of life is much different than those of you in urban areas, and that because of this, our beliefs and values are different.
Urban areas need and desire a collective sort of rules and laws that we do not, so forcing them unto us creates resentment which causes many to vote for the other side.

Another big thing would be to stop pretending that anyone who has a differing opinion is unintelligent or misinformed. That we would agree with you on everything if progressive opinions were on the 'talking box' 24 hours a day.

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Response to global1 (Original post)

Fri Jan 25, 2013, 10:37 AM

36. For starters, drop many gun-control proposals

Rural voters would be more inclined to support an expanded background check program than they would another semi-auto ban. The horse is already out of the barn for this election cycle, I'm afraid, but that would be one important place to start.

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Response to derby378 (Reply #36)

Fri Jan 25, 2013, 11:33 AM

67. There really are Two America's on this subject...

Rural voters don't understand why city folks are so afraid of guns. Urban voters think country folks gun lunatics.

Nearly everything in Obama's 23 Executive Orders should be acceptable to rural gun owners, were it not for the NRA whooping up a lot of paranoia Gun bans are a different issue, though.

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Response to Jeff In Milwaukee (Reply #67)

Fri Jan 25, 2013, 11:58 AM

92. From what I've seen in the executive orders, they're fine

I have a couple of relatively minor quibbles, but otherwise, those 23 orders seem proper and just. I don't think most gun owners in America, urban or rural, will even notice them.

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Response to derby378 (Reply #92)

Fri Jan 25, 2013, 01:13 PM

108. If I were Obama's principle political advisor...

Full Disclosure: If I were Obama's principle political advisor, he's probably still be a community organizer. But that being said...

I would say pursue those items with overwhelmingly strong public support. Recent Polling from pollingreport.com:

Require criminal background checks for all purchases - 91% favor
Increase spending on mental health services - 82% favor
Increase funding for police, first responders and school officials to respond to an attack - 79%
Increase criminal penalties for people who pass the required background check, but buy a who but a gun for someone else who has not passed a background check - 75% favor

There's your agenda, Mr. President. Pursue this and double dog dare the NRA and the Tea Party to oppose you.

Note: A new assault weapons ban and ban on high capacity magazines are at 60% approval or less. As much as I would like to see it personally, I think it would be better politics to use the most popular measures as a cudgel to beat the GOP. Because you KNOW they're going to oppose it. They're going to oppose everything.

Then we'll see what happens in 2014.

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Response to Jeff In Milwaukee (Reply #108)

Fri Jan 25, 2013, 02:10 PM

113. I think you nailed it on the head

From this point on, politics has to be about the practical, and everything you listed on the "75% or above" list is doable and Constitutional.

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Response to Jeff In Milwaukee (Reply #67)

Fri Jan 25, 2013, 04:24 PM

124. And as soon as you say "gun nut" you lose the vote and the attention

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Response to thetonka (Reply #124)

Fri Jan 25, 2013, 09:32 PM

150. As with the term "gun grabber"

Lacking any easy method of communicating across their differences, both sides resort to stereotypes and name-calling.

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Response to Jeff In Milwaukee (Reply #150)

Mon Jan 28, 2013, 11:09 AM

374. Exactly, and the conversation quickly degrades and ends.

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Response to global1 (Original post)

Fri Jan 25, 2013, 10:38 AM

37. devote resources to rural areas

in wisconsin tradition is to have offices in milw and madison and the rest of the state fends for itself
has gotten is better
supposedly will have an entire state strategy this time
will wait and see

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Response to global1 (Original post)

Fri Jan 25, 2013, 10:38 AM

38. Make 1894 Winchester standard on every pickup

Change their own motor oil? Do their own home repairs?

I think most rural voters would care most that when searching for solutions to urban problems that we remembered that rural folks have to live with those laws too. And what works at 5000 people per square mile might not be so nice at 5. When the store is 20mi away and the regardless of what breaks one has to count on themselves to fix it.

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Response to global1 (Original post)

Fri Jan 25, 2013, 10:42 AM

39. Single-payer healthcare.

Nobody likes health insurers, and in order to get voters you have to offer them something that benefits them.

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Response to JVS (Reply #39)

Fri Jan 25, 2013, 11:39 AM

72. K&R!

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Response to global1 (Original post)

Fri Jan 25, 2013, 10:51 AM

42. Pocketbook issues...

The state with the largest percentage of its population living in 'rural' areas is...Vermont... where 82.6% of the population lives in rural areas or cities with fewer than 50,000 residents

By some definitions, only 16% of Americans live in rural areas...but a closer look reveals it's more like 28.8%

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Response to global1 (Original post)

Fri Jan 25, 2013, 11:16 AM

50. Bonus question for all you high information voters; What is the state motto of Wyoming?

The condescension toward rural voters is beginning to piss me off.

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Response to lumberjack_jeff (Reply #50)

Fri Jan 25, 2013, 11:27 AM

60. Looked it up

 


Equal Rights

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Response to lumberjack_jeff (Reply #50)

Fri Jan 25, 2013, 11:39 AM

73. Does Wyoming offer civil marriage for GLBTQ citizens?

Is it illegal to discriminate against GLBTQ citizens there for employment or housing?

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Response to geek tragedy (Reply #73)

Fri Jan 25, 2013, 11:55 AM

91. Much like Rhode Island in this regard.

Of course, since many of my fellow progressives don't want to spend any effort at all to win votes in rural areas, it'll be up to Republicans to make it happen.

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Response to lumberjack_jeff (Reply #91)

Fri Jan 25, 2013, 11:59 AM

93. Rhode Island offers civil unions for same sex couples, explicitly

recognizes same-sex marriages performed in other states, offers benefits to same-sex partners of state employees, and forbids discrimination on the basis of orientation or gender identity in employment and housing.

How about Wyoming?

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Response to global1 (Original post)

Fri Jan 25, 2013, 11:17 AM

51. I'd recommend they not.

No reason to, from a numbers perspective.

The number of rural voters is shrinking, and their turnout rate is declining at the same time.

I don't think there's any hidden gold to mine, from the standpoint of getting elected.

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Response to Robb (Reply #51)

Fri Jan 25, 2013, 11:37 AM

71. How cynical is that? "Southern strategy" 2014.

It has little to recommend it over Nixon's.

-1

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Response to lumberjack_jeff (Reply #71)

Fri Jan 25, 2013, 12:20 PM

99. "Rural" is not "the south."

"Rural" is 16% of all voters, and shrinking. "Rural" also is terrible at turnout, and is getting worse.

Elections are won with votes.

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Response to Robb (Reply #51)

Fri Jan 25, 2013, 11:46 AM

84. Many rural districts are evenly divided.

 

The rural county in northern Wisconsin where we lived last year was carried by Obama by 3 votes. (My wife and I provided the electoral cushion). A little attention with an effective message could make a difference.

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Response to global1 (Original post)

Fri Jan 25, 2013, 11:21 AM

53. JOBS!

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Response to global1 (Original post)

Fri Jan 25, 2013, 11:26 AM

58. I think we should start with suburbs and small towns

Suburbs tend to be Republican for no good reason. They usually have their own congressional districts.

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Response to global1 (Original post)

Fri Jan 25, 2013, 11:28 AM

61. It is all about economics with rural voters

We are not going to out-God or out-crazy the Republicans - ever.

In Texas, we have faced this problem for some time. The most effective inroads have been to focus on one absolute truth: If you make less than $150,000 per year (thus bringing 99.5% of rural Americans to the plate), the Republican Party could care less about you. The Republicans offer: Crappy jobs, no services (closing rural post offices!), worse roads, no healthcare. Rural areas were one of the last bastions of family clusters (Grandma and Grandpa living out their days with the kids and grandkids), but even that has changed. Enoough time has passed that the illusion of prosperity under Republican rule in rural areas is shown as an absolute falsehood.

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Response to global1 (Original post)

Fri Jan 25, 2013, 11:29 AM

62. My take on this...

I live in an area that was rural but is now suburban. The folks here were more into the Democrats when the Dems were stronger in support of unions (okay, when unions were stronger period).
In 2008 my county went for Obama, this year it did not.
The only thing I can think of is GUNS. People out here work hard and don't have a lot of time for research. The Republicans tell them Obama is coming after their guns and they believe it. They don't really know that they can still hunt and that is NOT the guns in question.
Right now I have several friends posting on Facebook that they don't want the government coming after their guns. I am sure they do not have the kinds of guns that the government wants to limit. They just hear "guns" and think of their hunting rifles.
I don't know how to convince them that the Democrats aren't after their guns.

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Response to logosoco (Reply #62)

Fri Jan 25, 2013, 11:42 AM

78. Guns are marketed as a wedge issue

 

to rural voters. Dems. have ineffectively countered the propaganda. Russ Feingold won a few elections by saying to the people in the school district where I taught; "Gun ownership is guaranteed by the second amendment to the constitution. I'm not going to repeal the second amendment."

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Response to global1 (Original post)

Fri Jan 25, 2013, 11:29 AM

63. #1 Ask rural people themselves what they want & need. #2 Use the 50-state strategy.

That's all I've got. My knowledge of rural populations is limited to reading about them, frankly, as I am a lifelong suburbanite. And I know it.

What's important is that Democratic Party strategists need to identify the gaps in their own knowledge and amend them without judgment or bias. Life experiences differ by region, not just ethnicity, and if we want to peel off some of the rural and small-town voters from the GOP and bring them into the Democratic Party, we need to be sure we really mean it about having a big tent. When DU's sample of the Dems cannot tolerate Blue Dog Democrats, we have a problem, not the GOP.

Just sayin'.

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Response to global1 (Original post)

Fri Jan 25, 2013, 11:30 AM

65. Free guns and bibles

yup

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Response to global1 (Original post)

Fri Jan 25, 2013, 11:33 AM

68. Tom Harkin

 

Tim Walz, John Tester, Ron Kind, others? have strong records with rural voters. Communicating respect for who rural people are and pointing out how Dem. economic and social policy can reinforce their values seems like a successful strategy.

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Response to global1 (Original post)

Fri Jan 25, 2013, 11:35 AM

69. Run an old, white candidate who loves guns and hates abortion and teh gay.

Rural America has always been a cultural anchor rather than a cultural engine.

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Response to geek tragedy (Reply #69)

Sun Jan 27, 2013, 01:53 AM

291. Posts like this are one of the biggest reasons Democrats lose rural America

Seriously...what kind of post is this?

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Response to YoungDemCA (Reply #291)

Sun Jan 27, 2013, 12:55 PM

313. Have you looked at who rural America sends to Congress?

Ben Nelson was a liberal by rural voter standards.

Look at Nebraska, Kansas, etc. rural voters are solidly Republican.

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Response to global1 (Original post)

Fri Jan 25, 2013, 11:40 AM

74. I lived in rural CA for a long time. One thing

is that they never hear anything other than right wing media. Radio, newspapers and TV always has a conservative message there. Also many people there are fundamentalists. They tend to stick to their own and their days are filled with things like taking care of animals and crops if there is a farm. They don't have the leisure time folks in urban settings have. I use to get home from work at 6:00 PM and by the time I got the animals fed and taken care of it was 9:00 PM. I'd eat and go to bed get up at 4:30 AM and repeat what I did the day before. On the weekend there were other chores to tend to.
That kind of life makes you appreciate routines. Disipline is needed to make yourself do what needs to be done.
So change is not accepted readily and people tend to conform to a lifestyle out of need to protect the community. Outsiders are not trusted at first.
Progressives are outsiders and with a attitude that rural life has nothing to offer progressives and that rural folks need to adopt progressive values they turn away from the left.
If you want to make inroads to rural America you need to learn to appreciate their lifestyle and customs.

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Response to upaloopa (Reply #74)

Fri Jan 25, 2013, 12:04 PM

96. Excellent points

Thanks -- I really wonder how many of our tolerant liberal progressives can hear you.

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Response to upaloopa (Reply #74)

Fri Jan 25, 2013, 03:03 PM

117. Yes, and above all, don't ridicule them

I marvel at posters who talk about "inbred hicks" and then wonder why rural people don't vote for Democrats. (The top people in the Party are smart enough not to say "inbred hicks," but the attitude shows.)

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Response to Lydia Leftcoast (Reply #117)

Sun Jan 27, 2013, 01:54 AM

292. "Those stupid, inbred hicks! How come they don't vote for us?"

"Don't they know their own self-interest?"

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Response to global1 (Original post)

Fri Jan 25, 2013, 11:40 AM

75. First: build an infrastructure there

Then run candidates, especially ones that appeal to the contested area (Heath Shuler, for example). No more ceding seats - not a one. Run candidates in every single district. Even if it's a landslide, make the Republican earn the seat.

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Response to global1 (Original post)

Fri Jan 25, 2013, 11:41 AM

76. Go Truman.

Remind these voters how many of them would fit into the Republican definition of "taker."

Remind the elderly. Remind the veterans. Remind the single parents. Remind the unemployed and the underemployed.

Remind them that it has been the Democrats who have fought to ensure that they wouldn't be cast by the wayside because of hard economic times.

Remind them that the Republicans don't give a damn about them and never will.

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Response to global1 (Original post)

Fri Jan 25, 2013, 11:43 AM

79. tell them to wise up

 

And stop clinging to backwards notions about politics. It is the twenty first century, not 1950s or before.

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Response to global1 (Original post)

Fri Jan 25, 2013, 11:43 AM

81. Passenger rail service. nt

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Response to global1 (Original post)

Fri Jan 25, 2013, 11:48 AM

85. I live in rural PA. The only thing that would work is change party. Rural would vote for a skunk

if it had an R after it's name. 3 county commissioners here 'lost' 3 million dollars and property taxes had to be doubled to cover the loss and they were still re-elected because they were Republican.

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Response to appleannie1 (Reply #85)

Fri Jan 25, 2013, 12:41 PM

104. Yep

you can't be who you aren't.

Just stick to your values and make a good argument.

They might respect you a bit, but they will still vote R most likely.

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Response to global1 (Original post)

Fri Jan 25, 2013, 11:51 AM

87. As a Liberal and Progressive rural Voter I say give the people a clear choice

 

between a Liberal Progressive Democrat and a Republican as of now the choice is Republican vs Republican so there is no choice or difference between the 2 candidates.

People need to see a clear difference between the canidates.

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Response to Lesmoderesstupides (Reply #87)

Fri Jan 25, 2013, 03:01 PM

115. Yes, if Democrats think they have to act like Republicans to get elected, they'll lose,

and their loss will be a self-fulfilling prophecy.

A Dem candidate who spoke to the actual needs of rural people would be an astounding development.

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Response to Lydia Leftcoast (Reply #115)

Fri Jan 25, 2013, 07:11 PM

145. It only takes one bad apple and sadly there are too many with D's after their name

 

right now gladly doing the bidding of the corporations they need to go or they should at least become Republicans or independents but not Democrats.

FDR could not even imagine what this party has become.

America needs another Henry Wallace.

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Response to Lesmoderesstupides (Reply #87)

Sat Jan 26, 2013, 07:06 AM

196. +1!

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Response to global1 (Original post)

Fri Jan 25, 2013, 11:51 AM

89. Get them turned onto alternative energy

That's one reason I became a Democrat and more towards Liberal ideals. As soon as I converted my Ford Escort to run on electricity I found myself defending alternative energy from the Republicans who keep trying to block alt fuel efforts. Being a Republican I was pretty much shooting myself in the foot being in the same party that votes against my interests. So it's one reason I changed.

But if you sell the idea of alternative energy such as solar, wind and geothermal to people that have the land to use it, they'll more then likely start seeing the Liberal side of things. Or at least get them to think more moderately and environmentally.

What will happen is they'll get their solar panels put up but find out their Republican representative is voting against some solar grant, legislation, credit for netmetering or something. It will get them thinking, "Why do they keep voting against alternative energy?" Mostly, it's because their Congress people are backing the coal industry.

Yea, get them to think about alternative energy. It's fun making your own electricity. I have a 5.8 kW Solar array on my roof.

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Response to rightsideout (Reply #89)

Mon Jan 28, 2013, 10:17 AM

373. For real. I've actually witnessed climate change changing rural voters.

As opposed to urban dwellers who live in steel forests. Those directly connected to the land, who can witness the changes in weather, in temperatures, in the land they love dying. They may not have believed politicians but they do believe their own lying eyes. And to my great surprise and joy, some place that love of the land above the love of money or political affiliations.

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Response to global1 (Original post)

Fri Jan 25, 2013, 12:40 PM

103. Promote a 21st century version of the TVA (from the 1930's)

which would be 2-fold:
1) Alternative energy
and
2) Single-payer healthcare

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Response to global1 (Original post)

Fri Jan 25, 2013, 12:46 PM

105. HIGH SPEED INTERNET

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Response to B Calm (Reply #105)

Sat Jan 26, 2013, 05:06 AM

169. Better cell coverage would probably be a bigger seller than fast internet

Most city dwellers would be shocked to know how poor cellular coverage is in most of the country. Cell companies tend to focus their coverage on urban and suburban areas, and on the highway corridors that connect them. There are still VAST swaths of this country with no (or abysmally poor) cell coverage, and where the cell coverage completely lacks any kind of functional data support.

A national plan for a coast to coast LTE rollout would be very popular in rural areas. It would also be a great economic stimulator...a lot of people in those areas don't bother to buy smartphones and don't have much impact on the digital economy simply because they lack sufficient cell signal to use them without a HUGE amount of frustration.

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Response to Xithras (Reply #169)

Sat Jan 26, 2013, 05:20 AM

173. The first thing this old truck driver

is going to do on April 1 (the first day of my retirement) is to throw that damn cell phone away!

Over the last five years, cell phone coverage continues to get better, but I can't say that about high speed internet.

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Response to B Calm (Reply #105)

Sat Jan 26, 2013, 11:31 AM

218. Yes! Access to lots of diverse information.

Someone upthread mentioned that there isn't much but AM (rightwing-hate) radio in many rural areas. That is so true, or at least has been until recently. Access to the internet and instant information on any topic, applications for cell phones where you can tune in to any radio show in the world or stream video...I believe this is one thing that will help make a difference.

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Response to global1 (Original post)

Fri Jan 25, 2013, 01:02 PM

107. Massive reform in agricultural subsidies, or even better, free farmers to farm.

 

The Party lost the rural vote when it decided to side with Big Money at the expense of the farmers.

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Response to global1 (Original post)

Fri Jan 25, 2013, 01:18 PM

109. Reading this thread

In reading this thread it shows me how many people have absolutely no clue at all about "rural" towns and the life the people in them have.

I was born and raised in upstate NY on a dairy farm in village of Cattaraugus in Cattaraugus County NY. My family moved to Houston when I was not old enough to influence that decision and although I have been back to see family that remains their way of life is just as foreign to me as mine is to them.

Build infastructure? LOL! The main road that leads through the village is, to this day, red brick. When we moved here in the late 70's it was a culture shock, the crowding, the pace, the things people in the city deal with every single day. Those things simply do not exist in places like Cattaraugus.

Teach critical thinking? LOL! When that truck is stuck in the snow drift or the tractor will not start because it's 10 below I wonder how many of you "critical thinkers" would even have a clue on what to do?

Alternitive energy? ROFL! Most homes have no central air, and the majority are heated with wood or coal fired boilers. Oil lamps, candles, and cords of stacked wood are the things that people there make sure they have in plenty ... not windmills.

Well people certainly live "in poverty" there are no homeless people and no one goes hungry. There is food everywhere, milk by the bucket, and no lack of fresh anything. There is no McDonalds ...

If you have never lived somewhere like that you will never understand, and when you think that you are somehow better, smarter, or enlightened is why they will have nothing to do with you. People there vote R because the R's preach "no government intervention" which is what they believe in. That is how they live.

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Response to Lurker Deluxe (Reply #109)

Fri Jan 25, 2013, 04:43 PM

129. Sure! There can be alt energy in rural areas. Part of my friend's solar array in Roanoke VA

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Response to rightsideout (Reply #129)

Fri Jan 25, 2013, 05:07 PM

134. Guess that is a definition

Cities with just shy of 100k people and over 2k per square mile are not what I would consider rural. And the part of the "largest municipality" in the area.

Also has voted solid Dem, with one exception, for 20 years.

Not sure that fits the conversation here.

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Response to Lurker Deluxe (Reply #134)

Sat Jan 26, 2013, 03:34 AM

158. To be frank

 

Of course there is lot of alt energy projects also in genuine rural and agricultural areas. But being practical people, they don't go much after latest and newest fad, but want systems that actually work. Lot's of very innovative and creative people too.

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Response to rightsideout (Reply #129)

Sat Jan 26, 2013, 03:57 PM

252. Most of the Roanoke, VA area isn't exactly rural.

There are some rural areas but most aren't that cut off from the rest of the world. Those of us who do live rural in the area would just like electrical co-ops that can keep the damn electricity on during a rainstorm. Most of us don't have the funds for the setup you show.

High-speed internet would be greatly appreciated.

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Response to Lurker Deluxe (Reply #109)

Sat Jan 26, 2013, 05:20 AM

174. "no government intervention" except cities like NY are subsidizing their way of life.

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Response to Lurker Deluxe (Reply #109)

Sat Jan 26, 2013, 08:50 AM

208. If there is no homeless population in Cattaraugus County, you should inform these services that

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Response to global1 (Original post)

Fri Jan 25, 2013, 01:22 PM

111. My question is the cultural divide just too much?

I tend to think until rural and urban areas close their values gap on issues like gay marriage I don't there is much we can do.

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Response to SpartanDem (Reply #111)

Sat Jan 26, 2013, 03:51 AM

160. Values change

 

also among rural population. Just slower than among urban population, hence the "gap".

The question is, do you make that gap into divisive wedge, and forget all about social and economic justice and common good for both rural and urban folks. Not forgetting immigrant workers and their subhuman treatment.

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Response to SpartanDem (Reply #111)

Sat Jan 26, 2013, 11:39 AM

219. Being a rural progressive

I do believe there is a divide about these kinds of issues but it's just a matter of exposure. If you never met a gay person, only heard your conservative uncles, your minister, etc., imply that they're all perverts, it's hard to have a different perspective. My mind opened when I went out and traveled the world, lived in cities for awhile and met people of from all walks of life. Once you do this, you realize people everywhere really aren't all that different and scary. Maybe gay people should start visiting their rural cousins more, lol. But I'm only using gays as an example. Exposure to more lifestyles and cultures is what opens people's minds. If they won't (or can't) go out into the world, maybe we need to bring the world to them somehow.

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Response to OnionPatch (Reply #219)

Sat Jan 26, 2013, 12:12 PM

223. Or take them to the world

Take the town on a trip to a big city. Who doesn't love a field trip?

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Response to SpartanDem (Reply #223)

Sun Jan 27, 2013, 03:20 AM

295. It would be more helpful

To take adult city dwellers to rural areas and demonstrate that condescending and elitist attitudes towards rural America aren't helping the cause.

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Response to global1 (Original post)

Fri Jan 25, 2013, 03:05 PM

118. Packer ban. Packer ban. Packer ban. Packer ban.

Did I mention the packer ban?

This was on Obama's platform in the primaries. Enact a packer ban and we will have every rancher's vote for the next generation.

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Response to global1 (Original post)

Fri Jan 25, 2013, 03:07 PM

119. Focus on economics, stop trying to ban guns, cease supporting controlling individual behavior,

actually asking for and contesting the TeaPubliKlans for their votes (too many run unopposed), stop putting down their jobs, and consistency in message as opposed to floating values in pursuit of a false center.

In other words, shit leadership and affluent suburbanites have no interest in.

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Response to global1 (Original post)

Fri Jan 25, 2013, 03:15 PM

120. Ask Bernie Sanders!

He constantly has townhall meetings in every area of rural Vermont. The Dems could learn quite a bit from him.

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Response to Wind Dancer (Reply #120)

Fri Jan 25, 2013, 06:53 PM

144. good one.

 

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Response to Wind Dancer (Reply #120)

Sat Jan 26, 2013, 07:06 AM

197. +1!

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Response to global1 (Original post)

Fri Jan 25, 2013, 03:56 PM

121. Can't write them off, but they (in general) are the GOP target

Actions over words is the best tactic. In other words, they need to see democratic policies working in their favor. That probably won't be enough, but sending a union-backed politician from NY or Boston into the midwest with a freshly starched pair of overalls and a prop straw to chew on isn't going to work either.

The biggest problem is education levels. Rural living doesn't require as much education in general as urban living. The GOP/Libertarian message is simple, and it sounds really good if you ignore nuances, etc. The reason education favors liberals/democrats is that complex problems require complex solutions and more critical thinking skills and quite frankly, liberal policies/solutions are almost always complex, counter intuitive, and often long-term. GOP "solutions" may be dead wrong, but they often sound good, make quick sense.

Here's a classic example: school taxes. Why take my money to pay for schools when I have no kids at home? For a republican, the answer is "don't! Parents should pay for their own kids."

That is very "common sense" but it doesn't/won't work for a society. The liberal answer is undeniably much better for everyone, but it is pretty complicated..."society benefits greatly when every child has the opportunity, through education, to become a productive member of society." The problem here is of course the democratic answer doesn't even touch on the economics of what is purely a fiscal question and even if you go into the fiscal aspects, you are talking long-term benefits and they are talking hard specific $$$ from their last tax bill.

Of course the liberal answer makes sense fiscally too, but you've got to bring in a variety of other factors (some of which start their own debates) such as the cost/danger of having hordes of uneducated youth roaming the streets. How poorly or non-educated young people are unlikely to get good jobs to pay taxes that can fund things like police...etc.

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Response to Spike89 (Reply #121)

Fri Jan 25, 2013, 04:26 PM

125. So, same thing.

So, you say the same thing. Because they are uneducated, and they live in the woods so they really do not need an education like the people in the city do.

Please.

You want to talk about the difference between the "school tax" issue? In a small community that school building is just fine, they did not build a 2.4M basketball court/football stadium. They do not pay for the rubbish that the city schools spend their money on. The amount of overhead alone is what drives the spending in school finance, not teacher salaries and actual learning tools. When something needs to be done in a small community the groups gathers and decides what to do, how much to spend, on how to pay for it. The resentment comes from the small community having to change their school to match what some school with 3000 kids has because it is mandated by the state/feds.

Just out of curiosity though, what is it in the city that requires more "education" than the rural setting?

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Response to Lurker Deluxe (Reply #125)

Fri Jan 25, 2013, 05:24 PM

136. Wasn't talking about quality of education at all

I was simply pointing out that rural populations tend to have fewer years of education. I do live in a semi-rural area, but it is also a college town. Although I know some farmers and loggers with advanced college degrees, most don't have much school beyond high school.

I did not bring up the school tax issue to discuss the differences between urban and rural schools, simply to illustrate the difference between the republican message and the democratic message wherever that discussion takes place. (they argue about taxes in cities as well as in the country). That's another discussion entirely.

Again, I live in a semi-rural area and I've got no interest in playing the "dumb hicks vs. city slicker" game. The fact is that statistics overwhelmingly show that the more years of college you have, the more likely you are to vote Democratic. It is also a fact that the average number of years completed in college is higher among populations in urban areas. That is why urban areas vote for Democrats and rural areas tend to go Republican.

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Response to Spike89 (Reply #121)

Sat Jan 26, 2013, 03:44 AM

159. It requires different education

 

The difference is not quantitative but qualitative. People who have not been born into agrarian way of life and drank it from mothers milk, have great difficulties learning it in other ways. Many escapees of urban life do manage, however, and that too is beautiful thing.

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Response to global1 (Original post)

Fri Jan 25, 2013, 04:29 PM

127. remind them that the democrats are the only party to guarantee social security

otherwise they can work into their nineties....

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Response to spanone (Reply #127)

Sat Jan 26, 2013, 03:27 AM

157. That won't work

 

They see social security as local caring community. And many are workaholics who wish to and do die while chopping wood etc.

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Response to tama (Reply #157)

Sat Jan 26, 2013, 05:28 AM

177. why are they in such denial about all the government handouts they get?

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Response to bettyellen (Reply #177)

Sat Jan 26, 2013, 05:45 AM

180. Are they? nt

 

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Response to tama (Reply #180)

Sat Jan 26, 2013, 05:56 AM

181. over and over again the myth of "self sufficiency" and concern about taxes, when blue cities pay

their bills is pretty unsettling. the delusion that anyone else- particularly urban poor is taking their money is quite jarring.
they need to get over the myth that they are taking care of their own. false pride and bad information seems to be all too prevalent

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Response to bettyellen (Reply #181)

Sat Jan 26, 2013, 06:08 AM

184. There may be

 

also false pride (/wishful thinking) to some extent, but is purely a myth, on the other hand?

Monetary relations don't certainly tell the whole truth, as they have little to do with real economy.

Big cities are hierarchic structures with bankers on top, and practically all urban people are dependent from money. But what if you take of money blinders for a sec and think how real economy works, flows of matter and energy?

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Response to tama (Reply #184)

Sat Jan 26, 2013, 06:20 AM

188. their big concerns are about the govt taking their taxes, but they're actually getting handouts

so yeah, it is purely a myth, no "flows of matter and energy" will replace the subsidies they are getting from city dwellers. no one votes based on flows of matter.
people do vote their pocketbooks, and they have a big obsession with taxes out in rural areas.
does their media dupe them so easily because they know its a narrative they want to believe?

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Response to bettyellen (Reply #188)

Sat Jan 26, 2013, 06:30 AM

190. I don't

 

I don't vote my pocketbook.

But I hear that you already know better than everybody else how everybody is, and don't need to listen anyone.

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Response to bettyellen (Reply #181)

Sat Jan 26, 2013, 11:42 AM

220. Social security is popular because it's not a handout, but insurance.

If you pay your premiums, you are entitled to the benenefit when and if you experience the event for which you are indemnified.

Making social security more like welfare harms the system.

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Response to lumberjack_jeff (Reply #220)

Sat Jan 26, 2013, 12:25 PM

224. Tama said something about SS not being something we shld bother talking about.

Self sufficiency, and all that, being a point of pride, and an illusion that's clung to. I guess we can't remind red states how they suck up money from the blue ones.
I'm beginning to think there's pretty large regional differences- especially since there are less small farms. Are taxes less of a rallying cry in the north, do you think?

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Response to bettyellen (Reply #224)

Sat Jan 26, 2013, 03:29 PM

245. Rural folks understand the distinction between "handouts" and "insurance". n/t

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Response to lumberjack_jeff (Reply #245)

Sun Jan 27, 2013, 08:56 AM

301. those obsessed with "redistubution of wealth" in the US are the largest beneficiaries

of same, just wondering how they wrap their heads around that one.

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Response to spanone (Reply #127)

Sat Jan 26, 2013, 03:54 PM

251. Frankly, I'm not even sure that's true

The Cat Food Commission was bipartisan...

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Response to global1 (Original post)

Fri Jan 25, 2013, 04:33 PM

128. The thing that Democrats can do to appeal to rural voters is

to start being real Democrats again. A great many citizens have given up on politics because they don't see any difference between the parties and they don't believe that either party represents their interests.

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Response to global1 (Original post)

Fri Jan 25, 2013, 04:45 PM

130. democrats are seen as the party for colored folk, gay folk and feminists

i think a better question would be how to we get rural whites to accept these people as deserving of human rights and opportunites

also to be fair, suburban areas are not democratic meccas either. the difference is in cities vs not cities. not really rural vs urban

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Response to La Lioness Priyanka (Reply #130)

Sat Jan 26, 2013, 03:58 AM

162. Even more

 

How to get both urban and rural pales and pinks to accept brown immigrant workers as deserving human rights and opportunities.

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Response to tama (Reply #162)

Sat Jan 26, 2013, 05:36 AM

178. we're actually pretty accepting of "brown immigrant workers" here in the big cities, but thanks!

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Response to bettyellen (Reply #178)

Sat Jan 26, 2013, 05:58 AM

182. Capitalist profit logic

 

is same everywhere, and it prefers defenseless illegal immigrants to unionized citizen labor because the latter is much more expensive. There are house servants and sweat shops in big cities too, also in homes of liberal voters and owned by liberal voting capitalists.

What I don't know, is there urban-rural divide in respect to immigrant policies and granting human rights and citizenship for those working in America? Have you seen any studies?

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Response to tama (Reply #182)

Sat Jan 26, 2013, 06:00 AM

183. or just the reality of being a melting pot. we actually take meetings with brown people here!!!

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Response to bettyellen (Reply #183)

Sat Jan 26, 2013, 06:23 AM

189. Many kinds of meetings

 

Including meetings to arrest them and send them jail (for drugs, mostly), or away from US via jail (for not having legal papers). I'm sure you are aware of the structural racism of US legal system and jail population. Which Obama administration has done practically nothing to change, standing steadfast with broken and inhumane and racist drug war.

"It's not US - just them stupid racist rural hicks!" does not go very far in if trying to discuss the structural causes of injustice and actually starting to do something - or stop doing what causes injustice.

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Response to tama (Reply #189)

Sat Jan 26, 2013, 12:39 PM

230. well, i wasn't talking about nationwide institutional racism in the prisons, but rather diversity

and opportunity available to immigrants who live in cities. We have that, we live it.
And I have to say, rural America needs to get over their fear of brown people, LGBT and women having a seat at the table, and somehow learn to stop fearing diversity.

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Response to bettyellen (Reply #183)

Sat Jan 26, 2013, 09:03 AM

210. Stop and Frisk is not a 'meeting'...NYPD practices:

"from 2002 to 2011, black and Latino residents made up close to 90 percent of people stopped, and about 88 percent of stops – more than 3.8 million – were of innocent New Yorkers. Even in neighborhoods that are predominantly white, black and Latino New Yorkers face the disproportionate brunt. For example, in 2011, Black and Latino New Yorkers made up 24 percent of the population in Park Slope, but 79 percent of stops. This, on its face, is discriminatory."
http://www.nyclu.org/node/1598

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Response to Bluenorthwest (Reply #210)

Sat Jan 26, 2013, 12:35 PM

227. Bloomberg has had an awful effect on the NYPD, I agree. But I'm sorry- rural cops would likely

do the same. It's just a rarer occurrence, because they don't reside there. And every resident would stop and stare you down. Heck, they do it to me, too. It is not friendly to outsiders. Many here have said the same.
And the reality is, in most larger cities, we live in a very diverse world with people of all colors and economic status, side by side. It ain't perfect, but it's a damned sight more progressive than the insular and homogenous rural parts of the country. There is a ton more acceptance and opportunity in the cities, and I'm sorry rural America cannot appreciate that, or fears that. But it's our reality, and I'm proud of it.

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Response to global1 (Original post)

Fri Jan 25, 2013, 04:50 PM

131. Trying to bring the assault weapons ban back has kind of killed that idea n/t

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Response to global1 (Original post)

Fri Jan 25, 2013, 04:56 PM

132. Start with reminding them that the GOP congress left town without passing a farm bill

"Packer ban" has been mentioned elsewhere in the thread. http://www.worc.org/packer-ban/

More aggressively push ag exports to the EU. End the Cuban trade embargo.

Whenever we have to go after an herbicide, pesticide, or GMO seed, or decide we're going to reintroduce predators (like wolves) to the wild, we hit them in the pocketbook. Be aware of that, and remember to try to give them something to balance the loss in these instances.

Grant generous student loan forgiveness to doctors and dentists who will set up practices in rural towns.

Remember that any town with a slaughter facility, poultry plant, rendering plant, or food processing facility will most likely have a sizable Latino (most likely Mexican/Guatamalan) population. Give these folks a path to citizenship. Help these schools meet the increased costs of education inherent with immigrant populations.

Continue the ethanol subsidy.

Remember that a livestock rancher does "need" guns as tools.

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Response to OmahaBlueDog (Reply #132)

Sat Jan 26, 2013, 04:08 AM

163. Please don't

 

"More aggressively push ag exports to the EU." Or elsewhere.

Fuck Monsanto and generally subsidies system to factory farms and neocolonialist global structures. More local and healthier food, sustainable agriculture. Human scale policies, not corporate scale. That's what the little guys want everywhere, in US and elsewhere.

Rethink also the ethanol subsidy. Biofuel policies as currently done ain't working, EU and others have found out and accepted.

And thanks for remembering the immigrant question!!! <3

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Response to tama (Reply #163)

Sat Jan 26, 2013, 11:01 PM

281. My response is to cite many other responses I've made

Please don't "More aggressively push ag exports to the EU." Or elsewhere.


Just to be clear: I'm not pushing anything. I was asked how Dems could reach out to farmers. That said, have you seen the balance of trade lately? I have to say, as a Midwesterner, that I like seeing the box cars of pork headed for West Coast ports and the Chinese soybean contracts.

F*** Monsanto and generally subsidies system to factory farms and neocolonialist global structures. More local and healthier food, sustainable agriculture. Human scale policies, not corporate scale. That's what the little guys want everywhere, in US and elsewhere.


In this post: http://www.democraticunderground.com/?com=view_post&forum=1002&pid=2265993 I wrote the following in response to a question about how farmers like "Big Agra."

They like Big Agra -- especially if they are corn farmers. Corn farming is simple (I won't call it easy). Round-Up and GMO seed have made for big harvests. Modern farm machinery makes it easy for 2-3 people to farm anywhere from 500 to 2000 acres. Ethanol has created a huge guaranteed market for that corn, so $5-7 a bushel looks to be around for the foreseeable future. High corn prices help soybean farmers, because so many farmers are growing corn, that it reduces acreage planted in beans and creates price support..and the beans help the land for planting in corn the following year. And the same mechanical advantages apply for beans as well -- 2-3 guys farming 500-2000 acres...They dislike the Government and particularly despise the EPA and the Interior Department... They shake their head when, on one hand, they are told to "go organic" and, OTOH, get citied by EPA and state DNRs for too much coliform bacteria in streams on their property when there is excess manure on their property. They are nervous that the government is coming to take their Round-Up along with their guns. Unless one is in honey production, one generally thinks GMO seed is swell.


More local and healthier food, sustainable agriculture. Human scale policies, not corporate scale. That's what the little guys want everywhere, in US and elsewhere.


No - that's what people who see the downsides of corporate agriculture, or who are fans of organic want. The little guys -- everywhere, but especially in the US -- want a pipeline of consistenly profitable commodities that they can sell to hit certain price points at WalMart, Target, Kroger, and other major grocery chains. There is a percentage of people that want and will pay for sustainable and organic. There are a bigger percentage that just want to get themselves and/or their families fed for the least amount of money possible.

Rethink also the ethanol subsidy. Biofuel policies as currently done ain't working, EU and others have found out and accepted.


The ethanol subsidy will probably go away eventually, but I'd advise against holding your breath. As I wrote in the post I cited above:

Ethanol has created a huge guaranteed market for that corn, so $5-7 a bushel looks to be around for the foreseeable future... What about the ranchers? Back in 2006, they HATED the ethanol plants. That was before they discovered that cattle love WDGs (the bi-product of ethanol distilling), and gain fast eating it. Faster gaining cattle mean faster cycles through the feedlots and more trips to the packing house...Pretty much everyone is happy with things as they are.


And thanks for remembering the immigrant question!!! <3


Thanks for the thanks. I'll point to two other posts on this topic. The first is in this thread: http://www.democraticunderground.com/?com=view_post&forum=1002&pid=2266148

About the fear...one of the more interesting phenomena in the Midwest is the growth of pockets of non-white population. Let me explain. In many Midwest towns, you'll see strictly white people; in others, you'll see a mix of whites and Native Americans. This is not terrily different than it's been for 150 years. However, as packing plants and food processors and renderers have moved out of big urban areas, an interesting thing has started to happen. Towns like Fremont, NE and Denison, IA and Gibbon, NE have developed substantial Latino populations, and in some cases Somali populations. They are sometimes uncdocumented (less common now than 5 years ago) but most often are on work visas. It's caused a lot of resentment. Partly this is fueled by simply being unlike the people who've grown up in these towns. However, it's also fueled by resentment. English speakers complain they can't get promoted to crew lead jobs because they don't speak Spanish. "Why" they ask" should I have to learn their language?" This is what has caused much of the anti-immigration backlash in places like Fremont, NE.
Note, I edited the original wording slightly

So that leads to my second post, which is from several months ago. It's a NYT article on the effects of the now infamous immigration raid in Postville, IA at Agriprocessors. It is a perfect example of poor thinking and tragic, unintended consequences resulting from poorly thought-through laws. http://www.democraticunderground.com/101635515

NYT: Postville, Iowa, Is Up for Grabs
By MAGGIE JONES
Around 10 on a clear May morning in 2008, two black helicopters circled over Postville, Iowa, a town of two square miles and fewer than 3,000 residents. Then a line of S.U.V.’s drove past Postville’s main street and its worn brick storefronts. More than 10 white buses with darkened windows and the words “Homeland Security” on their sides were on their way to the other side of town. Postville’s four-man police force had no forewarning of what was about to happen. Neither did the mayor.

The procession of S.U.V.’s, buses and state-trooper cars were descending on Agriprocessors, the largest producer of kosher meat in the United States and Postville’s biggest employer, which occupies 60 acres on the edge of town. Several silos clustered together like old, overgrown tin cans behind the plant’s chain-link fence. Low-slung, rusted metal buildings — one with a 10-foot menorah mounted on its top — contained hundreds of workers, chickens and cattle.

The early shift at Agri, as Postville residents call it, had been under way for several hours when dozens of agents from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, dressed in black flak vests, stormed the plant’s buildings. Workers shouted, “La migra, la migra” (immigration police), dropped their butcher and boning knives and fled from their jobs at the cutting and grinding machines. A group of women ran to a bathroom and locked themselves in the stalls before I.C.E. agents forced them out. A couple of men scaled Agri’s fence and hid in the cornfield across the street, where they remained until the next morning. Others climbed onto the roof near the smokestack of the chicken-processing building. From there, one man called a friend from his cellphone: “Take care of my children,” he pleaded.

Fermin Loyes Lopez, a 27-year-old father from Guatemala who had been living in Postville for five years, found his wife, Rosa Zamora Santos, who worked the same shift, cutting chicken meat off breast bones. One of their daughters, a toddler, was with a baby sitter; the other, a 5-year-old, was in kindergarten. After a quick call to the baby sitter, Lopez counseled his wife: “Tell them the truth,” he said, referring to the I.C.E. agents, just before he was arrested. “Tell them your real name. Tell them we have children.”


Read more at: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/07/15/magazine/postville-iowa-is-up-for-grabs.html?_r=2&pagewanted=all

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Response to OmahaBlueDog (Reply #281)

Sun Jan 27, 2013, 06:02 AM

298. Yup

 

I've seen the US trade balance. Main "export" is immaterial intellectual property "rights". Connect the dots Aaron Swartz etc. made into warning examples for defying that abstract lunacy. Fossil fuel imports go down in volume, year by year since 2008, up in cost.

Thanks for informative post, I can understand the logic, but in larger context it doesn't make it wise. The NYT article was very enlightening, thanks for the link. Few point's I'd like to add to what you say:

* EU consumers don't want GMO, period. It's just waste of time and energy to keep on pushing, and creates just more bad feelings towards US.

* "Organic" is complex concept in legal and bureaucratic and commercial terms, but simple in nature: take care of land and land takes care of you. From point of view of cost effectiveness, it "loses" only in most narrow context, current consumer prices which have much more to do with structures of commerce, supply and demand, red tape, subsidies systems etc. Production costs or "organic" in narrow context of current producer point of view, where we can leave many of long term etc. structural costs "hidden", vary from product to product, but at large not higher than industrialized farming. And as energy costs (fertilizers, transport, etc.) are going up, the trend is clear and organic is becoming more and more competitive from producer point of view. On widest systemic level only organic makes any real sense and industrial farming is pure lunacy.

But people have to cope with present state of system and it's conditions, and the vicious cycle of self-destruction is not easy to brake and change in benign ways, before it brakes down more cruel way. What this means for political parties, it would be ideal if they started from holistic comprehension and worked detailed changes from there in process oriented and dynamic fashion. But bipartisan politics in US being ever really intelligent seems too much to hope for.

Capitalist land reform of making life difficult for small farms and killing them of continues as usual, but such control can never be absolute, and rural ways of life keep on resisting and reinventing themselves... by living. In US Amish rural way of life is the most notable great "Other" in partisan political discussions, as most of them don't vote or have nothing to do with parties and political offices. But they thrive and multiply with power of community and common sense organic farming. They don't only feed themselves, but also many others (which also allows them to acquire more and more land in capitalistic market). Where official agropolicies keep failing and creating just more problems and misery, the Amish success story creates a huge contrast. So huge that it is often easier to just shut out from thoughts and forget, than to really think and accept the implications.

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Response to global1 (Original post)

Fri Jan 25, 2013, 05:08 PM

135. Make rural schools better.

And hopefully get some education going.

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Response to Zoeisright (Reply #135)

Fri Jan 25, 2013, 10:06 PM

154. Rural schools are pretty good, as far as I know. Better than many urban schools. nt

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Response to Zoeisright (Reply #135)

Sun Jan 27, 2013, 11:13 AM

304. Your insight is amazing.

This rural teacher humbly bows to your superior understanding.

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Response to global1 (Original post)

Fri Jan 25, 2013, 06:30 PM

141. Populism

Good old All American populism appeals across the country. People know when they're being screwed. They just may not know by whom.

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Response to global1 (Original post)

Fri Jan 25, 2013, 07:40 PM

146. They need to read "Deer Hunting with Jesus"

and talk to actual rural people instead of just guessing how they think.

All else is doomed to failure.

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Response to Lydia Leftcoast (Reply #146)

Sat Jan 26, 2013, 04:13 AM

164. The problem

 

with partisan forum like this, is that we are here usually so busy dehumanizing and demonizing the political "Other", that we forget to listen, see things from the other point of view, and lose touch with important aspects of common good.

These are good threads to remember some of that.

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Response to global1 (Original post)

Fri Jan 25, 2013, 07:41 PM

147. I don't know how much I qualify as an expert on the rural mindset, but.......

I was born in a small Mississippi town and spent the first 7 years there in the 1950s and still have relatives that do live there, so maybe.. BTW, I agree with the folks that say you can't think of them as dumb hicks and get anywhere. Or even be correct about that preconception. My uncles and both sides were college graduates, one an engineer that worked for NASA in the 60s. Before he went back home to raise cattle.

There have been a couple of answers here that I liked. The Kentuckian and AnnaBanana's specifically. Personally I think that you have to go back to what worked in the 1930s and that's a left wing economic populism. To all the wedge issues you just answer, "I'll follow whatever the law is" and let it go and then return to pounding the economic populist theme. Dig up some of the Kingfish's speeches and update them and see what happens. Huey Long was to the LEFT of Roosevelt and he was elected in a rural state until he was assassinated. I'd imagine that what worked then would probably work today.

Oh yeah, the poster upthread who talked about Bernie Sanders was a good answer too. Apparently Vermont is the MOST rural state in the country and it CONTINUES TO ELECT AN AVOWED SOCIALIST (albeit a very moderate Dem Socialist) TO STATEWIDE OFFICE. I'd say Bernie would have a lot to teach us about this.

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Response to socialist_n_TN (Reply #147)

Sat Jan 26, 2013, 04:21 AM

166. Yup

 

What urban people don't easily get is that many rural folks may hate the word socialist (as they have been taught), but in fact their way of life is much more socialist than anything that urban people can imagine.

Bernie seems to prove that point very well. The problem of Dems connecting with rural people is that they are not socialist enough, but pushing corrupt corporate interests against the needs of the little guy.

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Response to global1 (Original post)

Fri Jan 25, 2013, 10:03 PM

151. Women. I think there's a shot at getting some of the rural female vote.

Because of the reproductive rights and equal pay issues.

The ads and message would have to be very delicate, but very strong, and very targeted...and let them feel not guilty for voting the Dem Party ticket (which is to say...not beat them up for being religious or having guns for defense or being homemakers or whatever).

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Response to global1 (Original post)

Fri Jan 25, 2013, 10:06 PM

152. Real Simple...

Make a concerted effort to improve their lives, while at the same time hammer the question, "Just what the hell have the repugnicunts done for you?" The simple answer of course, is jack shit. Also, to even get the process going the Dems must be a presence in their lives; at least as much as those fundy preachers. All of these means going beyond the rhetoric, and once again, actually doing something beyond incremental bullshit. Our wonderful Dem congress seems to have a problem with this, as they can't even be counted on to make a simple procedural change that would keep repugnicunts from blocking the legislation this country needs now. Why are they so afraid to change the status quo? Could it be that in their own way, they're just as plugged in to the status quo as the repugnicunts are?

Perhaps real change won't be possible until people come to the realization that "the Democrats are all we have to work with" just ain't good enough. Maybe those rural folks have made this realization already, and are way ahead of the curve. Give them something substantially and immediately beneficial to their lives, and convincing them to kick the republicunts to the will become immeasurably easier.

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Response to Shade7M (Reply #152)

Sat Jan 26, 2013, 03:57 AM

161. Dude...seriously, they are never going to vote Dem as long as threaten to take their guns away

The GOP won't take their guns away. The GOP will fight against the gays. The GOP will support religion.

That's what the Republicans offer them.

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Response to global1 (Original post)

Sat Jan 26, 2013, 04:15 AM

165. Democratic Party sponsoring rodeos

 

hard to appeal to a group who finds Donkey Basketball entertaining.

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Response to Pretzel_Warrior (Reply #165)

Sat Jan 26, 2013, 11:23 PM

284. By the way, at most larger state and county fairs, the local Democratic party generally does have a

To that end, I will cite this ancient post

http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.php?az=view_all&address=132x7068778

Sun Sep-14-08

Purely anecdotal evidence from Northwest Iowa

First, apologies in advance to those offended by this being far to the lighter side of the heady material usually discussed in GDP.

My family went to the Clay County (Spencer, Iowa) Fair this weekend. This is the largest County Fair in the Midwest. Like any self-respecting county fair, both major parties were represented at booths. Initially, I was discouraged when, walking through the carnival midway, I observed 3 people holding McSame yard signs versus one person sporting an Obama sticker. However, as the day went on, I'd see more and more people with Obama stickers. Of course, I saw McSame stickers, too -- but one would expect this in Iowa-5 (Steve King's district). Upon seeing a man and all his kids festooned in McSame stickers, I asked the next person sporting an Obama sticker where the Democratic Booth was. I'd be damned if my family wasn't going to represent after seeing that. The booth featured free Obama stickers (in two varieties), as well as button @ $2 each, as well as stickers for Harkin and some local candidates. $6 later, the grownups and the 11yo all had "Vote For Change-Obama" buttons, and the 4yo had an identical sticker. Bottom line: Among those wearing their preference, we appeared to represent well.

Our reason for being at the fair was because our girls wanted to see Corbin Bleu. For those without young girls, Mr. Bleu stars in the "High School Musical" franchise, and another made for Disney movie called "Jump In", and records pop music. During one point on the show, Corbin talked about being 19, and how this would be his first time voting, and asked how many others would be voting for the first time, and talked (without mentioning a candidate) about how important it was for his generation to get out and vote. However, during the encore, when he performed a song called "Marchin'", he left no doubt where his allegiances lay, as he danced around the stage in his "Barack N Roll" shirt.

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Response to global1 (Original post)

Sat Jan 26, 2013, 04:43 AM

167. In my experience, two things would swing rural voters left:

1) First, foremost, and above all else, most rural dwellers simply want to be left alone. Want to get a farmer wound up? Start talking to them about government interference and paperwork. I have LONG advocated the implementation of some sort of farmer advocate program. Basically, government employees whose ONLY job is to represent rural residents when they need to deal with the government. If a farmer wants to clear a field that needs approval from a handful of government agencies, that farmer should only need to contact ONE person to do it. Farmers and rural residents tend to have a LOT of contact with different agencies when doing their work, and a huge percentage simply dislike government because their experience with it is a bit nightmarish. I recently overheard a conversation by a farmer who had to deal with FOURTEEN different government agencies in order to replace a drainage lift-pump on his land. When it rained heavily, one end of his land had a tendency to flood. Decades earlier a previous owner had installed a pump to remove this water, and pump it across a low levee into a neighboring wetland. When it came time to replace the pump, the buraucracy was a nightmare as everyone from the Army Corps of Engineers to the EPA chimed in. It took over a year for one farmer to replace one pump on one farm. The replacement itself took a day. The paperwork took more than a year, and they had him running back and forth between agencies for various sign-offs and approvals.

Many rural residents percieve the government as a burden because most of their interaction with the government occurs in situations like this one. Simplifying THAT would go a long way toward convincing rural residents that the government exists to work with them, and not just against them. They have work to do, and just want to be left alone to do it.

2) As others have mentioned, there really does need to be more of an opposition voice on the radio in many of these rural areas. Wherever you go in rural areas and visit people, you'll generally find the radio on. Whether it's in the cab of a truck or a tractor, or playing on a portable while they're working outside, most people run the radio fairly constantly. Rural radio stations are dominated by conservative talkers, so rural residents are consistently bombarded with right wing talking points. I've found that MOST can be swung back to the middle after a reasonable conversation, but the majority of rural dwellers aren't exposed to anything other than right wing drivel and never get that chance.

We need to get some real Democratic voices on the radio, permanently and coast to coast, in order to offer a contrasting viewpoint. I'm not talking about "equal time" rules that simply give the left a chance to refute Limbaugh, but full time progressive radio programming to offer a 24 hour alternative to the 24 hour conservative media firehose they're already drinking from.

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Response to Xithras (Reply #167)

Sat Jan 26, 2013, 05:14 AM

172. +1. I don't think so many urban dwellers really get how 'nightmarish' some of this stuff can be.

 

I have a friend who wanted to replace a bridge over a creek that had washed out in a flood. It's a small creek & he had a wooden bridge over it. He couldn't just rebuild the old bridge & the bridge required would have cost a fortune -- maybe he was exaggerating, but the way he described it it was like a miniature version of the golden gate bridge & the cost was prohibitive.

So he no longer has a bridge.

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Response to HiPointDem (Reply #172)

Sat Jan 26, 2013, 06:10 AM

185. Ouch.

I once had something similar happen when I was trying to remove a couple of hazardous oak trees on my old property line. I wanted to take them down so nobody would get hurt, but the property line bordered a river which made things "complicated". I ended up so frustrated that I just abandoned the idea. The tree came down on its own one night, and it didn't even have the decency to ask the ACoE for permission first!

Most of our environmental and regulatory laws exist for good reason, but rural residents tend to be exposed to them a LOT more often than urban residents, and navigating those laws and bureaucracies can be a huge problem for a lot of farmers and rural homeowners. That breeds dislike and resentment, which feeds into the Republican anti-government meme.

Not only that, but it makes rural residents STRONGLY question the governments ability to run anything efficiently. Urban residents may not connect the issues, but for a lot of rural residents the thinking goes something like this: "If I can't even work with the government to cut down a dangerous tree, or rebuild a simple farm bridge, or replace a water pump, how am I supposed to trust them to handle my health care or my retirement?"

When a persons contacts with the government are overwhelmingly negative, how do you convince them that the government is there to help them? We need to change the perception of government, by changing the tone of those interactions, if we want to get anywhere and push back the Republican grip on rural voters.

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Response to Xithras (Reply #185)

Sat Jan 26, 2013, 06:43 AM

192. Not just perception of government

 

but much more so how it actually works - on which perceptions are founded.

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Response to Xithras (Reply #185)

Sat Jan 26, 2013, 07:49 AM

205. Talk to the average urban resident and see if their contacts with the government are so positive

I think you'll find plenty of complaints from urban residents regarding inefficiencies of government and resentment of apparently arbitrary rules.

Maybe the urbanites are not complaining about the the same rules the rural folks are complaining about but complaining about government has been universal ever since government began.

God knows we do plenty of complaining about government here on DU.



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Response to Fumesucker (Reply #205)

Sat Jan 26, 2013, 10:29 AM

214. But urban residents depend more on public goods

parks, public transportation, libraries. They get the bulk infrastructure spending I think that balances out the way they view government

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Response to SpartanDem (Reply #214)

Sat Jan 26, 2013, 04:01 PM

253. Right.

Urban residents tend to see the benefits of government more, because the benefits of government investment and spending are easier to see in urban areas than in rural areas.

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Response to Xithras (Reply #167)

Sat Jan 26, 2013, 06:40 AM

191. Thanks

 

Where I live - EU country - many farmers are actually moving away from "organic". Not in practice, in practice they continue to work with land instead of against it, as is common sense, and they follow and participate in discussions on net and elsewhere about good practices they can learn from and apply. Just on paper, because they are just fed up with the red tape and control mania, to which organic certification just adds to and is not cost effective.

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Response to Xithras (Reply #167)

Sun Jan 27, 2013, 02:22 PM

314. ^^^ and this one

1) Good post.

2)
I recently overheard a conversation by a farmer who had to deal with FOURTEEN different government agencies in order to replace a drainage lift-pump on his land. When it rained heavily, one end of his land had a tendency to flood. Decades earlier a previous owner had installed a pump to remove this water, and pump it across a low levee into a neighboring wetland. When it came time to replace the pump, the buraucracy was a nightmare as everyone from the Army Corps of Engineers to the EPA chimed in. It took over a year for one farmer to replace one pump on one farm. The replacement itself took a day. The paperwork took more than a year, and they had him running back and forth between agencies for various sign-offs and approvals.


This story is an excellent description of why the farmers hate the Feds (Dems in particular).

3)
As others have mentioned, there really does need to be more of an opposition voice on the radio in many of these rural areas. Wherever you go in rural areas and visit people, you'll generally find the radio on. Whether it's in the cab of a truck or a tractor, or playing on a portable while they're working outside, most people run the radio fairly constantly. Rural radio stations are dominated by conservative talkers, so rural residents are consistently bombarded with right wing talking points. I've found that MOST can be swung back to the middle after a reasonable conversation, but the majority of rural dwellers aren't exposed to anything other than right wing drivel and never get that chance.


Ed Schultz got his start in Fargo broadcasting to NoDak, SoDak, and Western MN. Hardly a hotbed of liberalism, and he did well.

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Response to global1 (Original post)

Sat Jan 26, 2013, 05:06 AM

170. (1) Quit bashing rural people & rural culture (2) Listen to the issues that are important to rural

 

people (3) Systematically counter right-wing propaganda designed to appeal to rural people

It's not that hard. The democratic party hasn't done it because they don't think they need the votes. Instead, they've used wedge issues to appeal to urban liberals in a way that actually denigrated rural people -- not necessary.

It's the mirror image of the republican strategy, actually -- which used wedge issues designed to appeal to rural voters & simultaneously denigrate urban liberals.

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Response to HiPointDem (Reply #170)

Sat Jan 26, 2013, 02:16 PM

240. yes, there's cultural considerations, but access to factual information is the biggie

I live in the country. A lot of my neighbors are seniors, but their is a growing number of young families, and the common theme is safety, security and a peaceful environment where kids can play outside. Although there is no hunting in the area, everyone I know has a gun and speaks wistfully of doing so.

Beyond that, everyone is an avid fan of the feamongering rightwing hate radio, listening for several hours a day and then turning on FOX to complete their daily brainwashing. There is literally no other source of cheap access to information. Basic cable carries FOX, but MSNBC or Current, and even progressive radio are premium packages. The bill to expand rural Internet access was killed, and the rightwing has so thoroughly demonized PBS as a mouthpiece of the evil "librul agenda", it does not have an audience.

It would take a huge, coordinated effort and massive funding to establish a Democratic rural outreach campaign to counter the already deeply entrenched rightwing propaganda stations. Republicans have built a large fan base with a decade-long effort to flood the airwaves and saturate the market with their messaging while Dems lost the opportunity.

I honestly don't know how Dems can counter that... or if they even have the will to engage.

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Response to procon (Reply #240)

Sat Jan 26, 2013, 02:26 PM

241. that's not the case in all rural areas. nd the fact remains, even if there were a 'liberal fox,'

 

if it based rural people it would be ignored.

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Response to global1 (Original post)

Sat Jan 26, 2013, 05:26 AM

176. Steps

Step 1. Stop insulting them!
Nothing turns someone away from your point of view quicker than personal insults. That doesn't mean you have to bow to them either, neutral and respectful speech goes a long way. You will also find they are a lot less more likely to return the favor in kind. Then you can start a dialog.

Step 2. Accept the fact that those who disagree with are not necessarily stupid nor evil. If you were to view their positions from the perspective of their system of priorities more often than not their political position will make sense even if you disagree with it from your own perspective.

Step 3. Once you realize #2, you have now identified what you need to work on changing. If you want to bring someone around who's views are based on a different set of priorities then you have to work to show them why some priorities that they have considered less important you think should be weighted higher or what factors are important to determining priorities that they might have given little consideration. Step3 is also an area where you need to keep Step 1 in the back of your mind.


Ironically this is also what the opposing team would need to do if they wanted to make inroads into our voting base. Luckily I don't think they have the will to do it.

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Response to global1 (Original post)

Sat Jan 26, 2013, 06:18 AM

186. Being from a rural state and having grown up in a small town here I have some insights for you:

1) Do not be afraid to SUPPORT legal and safe hunting and target shooting (while it is ok to say you don't want guns in the hands of psychotics and that we need some common sense laws). I will tell you right now, this gun issue is HUGE with rural people, like it or not, the Repukes have used it as a wedge issue, and we have to be smart about it. I am a very partisan Dem who also own guns, hunts, and target shoots as many of us do, and we talk about THAT as much as we do about smart common sense controls for SAFETY. We don't talk about it like it is a zero sum game. It is part of the CULTURE of rural America, and we can not allow it to be a wedge issue, just as Brian Schweitzer did not allow it to be in Montana.

2) If you are religious, do not be afraid to say so. Like it or not, this is another reality of rural culture.

3) JOBS JOBS JOBS ! Have a good rural jobs plan. That means investing in education, infrastructure development, rural communication and broadband development, small farm aid and development, tourism/recreation development as many people want to visit and recreate in rural areas, etc.

Democrats actually used to do MUCH better in rural areas, but the R's co-opted them with "guns, gays, and god". It was FDR who did so much to help rural area development. We have to understand and appreciate the cultural differences between rural and urban places and show rural folks that we want to work with them to develop their economies, we want to invest in their schools and their infrastructure, and that just giving tax cuts to millionaires is not helping rural areas.

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Response to RBInMaine (Reply #186)

Sat Jan 26, 2013, 11:16 PM

282. ^^^ This one

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Response to global1 (Original post)

Sat Jan 26, 2013, 06:19 AM

187. I've now read this entire thread

I didn't keep score but several apparently knowledgeable posters said the Democrats need to move hard to the left economically in order to attract rural voters, someone mentioned Huey Long and Bernie Sanders.

OK, so how do we increase the appeal of the Democrats to urban and suburban voters?

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Response to Fumesucker (Reply #187)

Sat Jan 26, 2013, 06:55 AM

193. Easy

 

Move harder to anti-authoritarian left. Stop drug war. Democratize money creation and end bankster rule. Support local food projects also in suburbia. Etc.

Live in peace with yourself and rest of humanity.

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Response to global1 (Original post)

Sat Jan 26, 2013, 07:03 AM

195. Simple...

...have them read their bibles. Particularly the parts that describe the life Jesus.

Paige (atheist)

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Response to WiffenPoof (Reply #195)

Sat Jan 26, 2013, 07:21 AM

200. Doesn't that work both ways?

 

Asking how Christian - or just generally humane and compassionate - is e.g. the way immigrant labor is treated, both in industry and agriculture?

And why our society in general is based so much on fear and injustice instead of compassion and mutual aid?

Doesn't that mean also that political parties and way of doing politics need to change as well?

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Response to tama (Reply #200)

Sat Jan 26, 2013, 07:34 AM

203. If I Understand...

...your response correctly, then the answer is "of course".

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Response to WiffenPoof (Reply #203)

Sat Jan 26, 2013, 08:02 AM

206. There's revealing article (and book)

 

from former Baptist preacher, now atheist/agnostic. The root of the problem of evangelicals is actually pretty same as with e.g. with Trotskyite splinter groups: authoritarian dogmatism.

People are looking for answers, and many authoritarians are offering theirs and taking advantage of the situation for personal power and gain. Age old problem.

Take that aspect away from religions (and other belief systems (money!)), or look behind it to see what is the deeper message if there is such, and if it is loving and compassionate, connect with that on human to human basis.

I believe that would be constructive way to approach the so called religious right. And I believe many seculars and liberals etc. are doing that in their daily life. And that that is helping much more than outrage and put downs on internet forums. Those emotions feed different and less helpful brain mechanisms.

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Response to tama (Reply #206)

Sat Jan 26, 2013, 01:37 PM

234. How Intreging

I will look up the term now. However, any expansion of this (as in resources) is much appreciated.

I can not recall even the slightest attraction to religion or to what religion is supposedly based on. I suppose I am hard-wired that way. I am somewhat mystified by people who have such strong beliefs in what is for me an obvious self-delusion based upon some strong need for a sense of security. I don't mean to sound elitist...however, I find the idea of no religion as almost comforting as much as I find it self-evident.

Any additional information is appreciated.

Paige

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Response to WiffenPoof (Reply #234)

Sat Jan 26, 2013, 04:16 PM

258. Belief systems

 

Lot's of them. And lot's of them superficially conflicting. But they all start as grounded, ways of life in local ecosystem, stories of people, what to do and especially not to do to keep on living, adapting to ecosystem, and interacting dynamically to make life better.

Many get lost and trapped in literal interpretations of myths that have lost the living connection. The seed of authoritarian sociopath and psychopath is inside each of us. Shit happens and we make the best of it, try to adapt and cope.

But fear makes us mostly just more stupid and less adaptive, love expands awareness and makes us more intelligent. Stupid has it's purpose too, as we are empirical creatures and learn from experience, including and especially mistakes. The seed of love is present also in all religions, their rites and traditions and ways of doing and being, behind the superficial belief systems.

God is just a word, and not necessary in any way. But as long as people think and ponder that word pro and against as object of belief and non-belief, let it be known that it's not "it". God is verb.

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Response to global1 (Original post)

Sat Jan 26, 2013, 07:13 AM

199. Water. Clean drinking water.

The native tribes are working on that right now.

Rural voters want JOBS. They believe mining companies when promised jobs with no destruction.

Dems can expose the threat to rural lifestyle by corporate tentacles.

That's what the tea party started out as. Isn't it?

Link to the basic sane principle (if you find it) and you bring along a bunch of them.

My rural family are good people. They just don't see what Dems have done for them.

And they don't trust the urban reps cuz they think they're all corrupt shills.

It's hard to get through to them but the way to go is through shared values and the danger posed by the people they support.

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Response to global1 (Original post)

Sat Jan 26, 2013, 09:00 AM

209. Be way more 2A friendly.

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Response to global1 (Original post)

Sat Jan 26, 2013, 09:10 AM

211. These things:

1. Stop assuming superiority, looking down Democratic noses, and painting rural citizens with a broad brush of ignorance, racism, god, and guns. Do those things exist? Sure. They exist in the city and the suburbs, too.

Edited to add: Just read the responses in the thread that generated this one, and read the responses in this one. You'll see plenty of examples of what I'm referring to.

2. Acknowledge the reality: rural issues, rural needs, are different. Stop trying to force urban solutions that don't fit on rural communities. Differentiate. Listen to what people are saying, and craft policies and solutions that fit.

That's how. Stop writing us off. Stop patronizing us. Stop stereotyping us. Listen to us, and show up to work with us.



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Response to LWolf (Reply #211)

Sat Jan 26, 2013, 04:09 PM

255. Exactly!

Of course, the voices of those of us who actually live rural get drowned out by those who think they know better even though they've never lived rural.

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Response to global1 (Original post)

Sat Jan 26, 2013, 11:54 AM

221. Better policies for small farms

I've read a lot of good ideas in this thread and find this interesting since I live rurally.

I'm not a farmer but talking to my rural neighbors and friends, I hear from them (even the more progressive ones) that many of our policies and regulations are extremely slanted toward big agriculture and really harm small farmers. (For example, a woman who used to sell pies from her farm stand would now have to invest ~$20,000 for an industrial grade kitchen, separate from her home to do this.) If Dems want to garner more votes from rural people, they could start by reviewing much of our farm regulations and policies and changing the way they apply to small farms and rural businesses. The rightwing meme "Dems are for over-regulation" rings true and gets a lot of mileage out here.

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Response to global1 (Original post)

Sat Jan 26, 2013, 12:05 PM

222. Three Short Answers:

 

1. Shut the hell up about gun control

2. Stop demonizing them

3. Do SOMETHING for them

And actually, number three applies across the board. The DNC better start remembering who they work for (hint: It's not the billionaires) or they too will be out on their asses.

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Response to global1 (Original post)

Sat Jan 26, 2013, 12:40 PM

231. It's what the blue dog Dems do, and DU despises them.

Shit damn, people. You cannot have it both ways.

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Response to Buzz Clik (Reply #231)

Sat Jan 26, 2013, 01:50 PM

236. No, we're not talking about being a corporate lapdog

which is all the Blue Dogs do.

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Response to Lydia Leftcoast (Reply #236)

Sat Jan 26, 2013, 01:51 PM

237. It seems that there is more than one definition of blue dog Democrats.

You and I are not using the same one.

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Response to Buzz Clik (Reply #237)

Sat Jan 26, 2013, 02:03 PM

238. Max Baucus? Come on! Corporate shill all the way

Remember the reason we don't have a public option? Because the Blue Dogs shot it down, and Obama for some reason felt it was more important to kowtow to those corporate lackeys than to please the much more numerous progressive caucus.

No, I was thinking more along the lines of Peter DeFazio, who gets re-elected in a mostly rural Oregon district, despite being about as left as Democrats get on economic issues, just because he always votes against gun control.

Or James Oberstar, former Congressman from the Iron Range of Minnesota, who lasted an awfully long time by being left on foreign policy (opposed the Central America interventions) and economics (strongly pro-labor) while always voting against abortion.

Paul Wellstone managed to be popular with farmers, veterans, Native Americans, urban African-Americans, and white ex-hippies while being on the left edge of the Democratic Party. And if you think that Minnesota is always left, then I have two words for you: Michelle Bachmann.

I don't define Democrats just by behavioral issues, because those that run as "pro-business, anti-government, strong defense" Democrats come awfully close to being in bed with the Libertarians, who are all for personal choice in everyday life but think business can do no wrong and government is bad except when it's funding the military.

But if a Democrat is thoroughly populist in their economics, then I can give them some leeway on behavioral issues.

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Response to Lydia Leftcoast (Reply #238)

Sat Jan 26, 2013, 02:14 PM

239. Ok. Let's look at our common ground, define terms, and see where it goes.

To me, a blue dog Dem is one who lives in a blue state/district but managed to get elected. That person cannot consistently support every progressive cause and expect to get re-elected. So, they find ways to support the important stuff and throw bones to their Republican constituents.

You define a blue dog Dem as one who has sold out. Baucus and his cronies destroyed the health care initiative for everyone. In my mind, only a few of these Dems were truly blue dog.

In 2004 with Kerry and in 2008 with Hillary Clinton, the attempt was made to appeal to rural voters by trying to embrace some aspect of their lives. Kerry pictured hunting, Clinton campaigning from the bed of a pickup truck. That isn't it. The Republican, rural voters are not looking for someone to feel comfortable with their lifestyle or hobbies, they want someone who understands issues. What do you do when you have a dirt poor country Republican who hates public assistance of all kinds? No idea.

However, one guy figured it out: Bill Clinton. Maybe we can get some advice from him.

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Response to Buzz Clik (Reply #239)

Sat Jan 26, 2013, 08:04 PM

271. Kerry and H. Clinton only managed to look stupid trying to be "just plain folks"

because they AREN'T. Unlike Bill, who grew up in poverty in the South, they grew up in wealth. They looked as if they were pandering.

I had a bad feeling about Kerry when I saw CSPAN coverage of him talking to veterans in Iowa. He seemed unusually uncomfortable.

I think the reason that DeFazio, Oberstar, and Wellstone were successful was that they were genuine. What you saw was what you got.

According to people I know who have met him in person, Obama is very charismatic. I don't like a lot of his policies (I'm on the left edge of the Democratic Party), but he undoubtedly has the ability to make people like him.

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Response to global1 (Original post)

Sat Jan 26, 2013, 12:57 PM

232. Democrats don't need to do anything

It's a media problem. Out in the "sticks", they're bombarded with conservative media, and there's no liberal media to counteract it.

Democrats would need to make a change if there was something in the Democratic platform that was very bad for rural voters. But there isn't. Rural voters would actually be much better off with Democratic leaders. Even the Democratic party's actual position on gun control would be good for them. It's just demagogued by conservative media into "they're gonna take yer guns!".

So the problem is we need to get "liberal" media out to the sticks, so that they hear more than one side of the argument.

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Response to jeff47 (Reply #232)

Sun Jan 27, 2013, 08:48 PM

327. LOL

What are those satellite dishes on most every rural house you see? They do pick up more than Fox News you know.

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Response to ohheckyeah (Reply #327)

Sun Jan 27, 2013, 08:52 PM

328. K, please name the liberal counterpart on satellite TV to Fox News.

Oh wait, there isn't a liberal equivalent. Just a bunch of right-wing tools claiming CNN or MSNBC is.

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Response to jeff47 (Reply #328)

Sun Jan 27, 2013, 09:02 PM

329. There isn't a liberal equivalent

on cable either. We get the same channels the urban dwellers get.

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Response to ohheckyeah (Reply #329)

Sun Jan 27, 2013, 09:21 PM

330. Urban dwellers are getting information from sources other that TV and Radio

Such sources aren't done in rural areas because of the low population density.

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Response to jeff47 (Reply #330)

Sun Jan 27, 2013, 09:30 PM

332. Like what?

Like libraries which we also have? And museums which are nearby? What sources? We don't live in caves.

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Response to ohheckyeah (Reply #332)

Sun Jan 27, 2013, 10:03 PM

344. Alternative newspapers, gatherings of various types

If Density's too low for USA today delivery, you're not gonna get anything else.

Would you drive a couple hours each way, regularly, just to talk about issues?

And so on.

The Internet can make up for a lot of this, in that physical location doesn't matter as much. But Internet access isn't very good in the truly rural areas - they've got those satellite dishes because they can't get cable, much less DSL or LTE. Having only dial-up access means they are not likely to spent a ton of time on the Internet.

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Response to jeff47 (Reply #344)

Sun Jan 27, 2013, 10:08 PM

347. There is delivery of magazines and newspapers.

We do have telephones so there is no need to drive to talk about issues and we do talk about issues. I've been in extremely rural, poor areas where people live in little better than shacks but they have satellite television. I get PBS, Current TV, National Geographic, History, Science, etc. etc. etc.

I don't find that my internet time went up when I got cable internet except that now I work on the internet.

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Response to ohheckyeah (Reply #347)

Sun Jan 27, 2013, 10:31 PM

351. I'm not talking about a one-on-one conversation

I'm talking about a gathering like Drinking Liberally, where a group of people get together weekly. To make that work, you need a good number of people showing up every week. Rural runs into the problem of not a lot of people close to each other, which makes such a gathering impractical.

As for magazine delivery, a problem there is how do you find the first one you want to subscribe to? Low density means they aren't advertising their existence to you. Yet somehow someone from "the sticks" will have to find the first one.

Again, Internet can make up for a lot of this, but requires better infrastructure to use heavily.

Not saying it's impossible to do. I'm saying for Democrats to get more rural voters, we'd have to overcome these issues.

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Response to jeff47 (Reply #351)

Sun Jan 27, 2013, 10:38 PM

354. So, getting together weekly with a group of people is the only acceptable way

to have a discussion about issues? How do we find magazines? Ever heard of Publisher Clearing House. There are lots of people who live rural who get together at the locally owned little restaurants weekly. Guess what, they talk to each other, even about issues. I have a feeling you never lived rural. I've lived in the city - numerous cities and worked in Washington, D.C. I didn't find people to have weekly discussions any more often than rural people do.

Seriously, this is just getting ridiculous.

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Response to ohheckyeah (Reply #354)

Sun Jan 27, 2013, 10:52 PM

355. Do I have to link the definition of "example"?

There are lots of people who live rural who get together at the locally owned little restaurants weekly.

Usually in groups of less than 10. And how many of that <10 are liberals? And how many of them brought any new ideas to the conversation, as opposed to re-hashing conventional wisdom?

I have a feeling you never lived rural.

You'd be wrong. But don't let that get in the way of trying to find a way to attack city folk.

Rural life has it's good parts and bad parts. Just like city life. Talking about the bad parts of either doesn't make one way of life better or worse.

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Response to jeff47 (Reply #355)

Sun Jan 27, 2013, 11:50 PM

360. How many conservatives in your

Drinking Liberally group?

I'm not attacking city folk - I'm pointing out that there isn't one way of doing things.

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Response to jeff47 (Reply #330)

Sun Jan 27, 2013, 09:54 PM

341. Could you possibly be more condescending?

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Response to cordelia (Reply #341)

Sun Jan 27, 2013, 10:06 PM

345. Reality has an urban bias, apparently.

You gonna drive two hours each way, regularly, to just hang out with a dozen Democrats so you can talk about issues of the day?

Being rural limits distribution of USA Today, much less alternative papers. And Internet access isn't very good in truly rural areas - the other poster mentioned satellite dishes because they can't get cable. DSL or LTE ain't happening. Dial-up only access tends to limit using the Internet as an information source.

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Response to jeff47 (Reply #345)

Sun Jan 27, 2013, 10:18 PM

350. " Dial-up only access tends to limit using the Internet as an information source."

Not really. We're used to a slower life and a slower way of doing things. We don't have the luxury of picking up the phone and having dinner delivered, but that doesn't mean we don't eat. We just spend more time cooking.

No, reality is not just YOUR reality. It does, however, seem to have a tendency to be condescending.

"You gonna drive two hours each way, regularly, to just hang out with a dozen Democrats so you can talk about issues of the day?"

There is this invention called a telephone.

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Response to ohheckyeah (Reply #350)

Sun Jan 27, 2013, 10:35 PM

352. Your telephone use is a one-on-one conversation.

I'm speaking of groups like Drinking Liberally that meet weekly. Low population density means you're going to have to drive a long way, and you're going to end up with not a lot of people there.

How does someone find their first liberal contact in an environment wrapped up in Limbaugh? It's a lot harder than in an urban environment. That's what Democrats would have to overcome in order to attract more rural voters.

No, reality is not just YOUR reality. It does, however, seem to have a tendency to be condescending.

And rural residents also have to get over discussion of the shortcomings of their environment. Those shortcomings don't make rural living bad or worse. It makes it different. Urban life has it's own shortcomings.

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Response to jeff47 (Reply #352)

Sun Jan 27, 2013, 11:56 PM

361. We find liberal contact through

things like our local Democratic Party headquarters. We find other liberals at the library or just at the local restaurant. We introduce each other to other liberals. We go to events in the nearest city like art shows. Just because we live rural doesn't mean we're hermits and uneducated.

Of course rural living has problems, but being unable to find information or people to exchange ideas with isn't really one of them. Getting high speed internet is a problem. Having reliable electricity is another. Gas being at over $3.00 a gallon when you have to drive 40 miles round trip just to go to the grocery store. Losing your water when the electricity goes out is another. Roads that need desperately to be repaired because they are dangerous is another. There are lots of downsides to living rural, just not necessarily the ones liberals seem to think.

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