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Getting our House in Order
September 8, 2001
by Tom Plachta

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Gentlefolk:

It is becoming increasingly obvious to me that the Greens may be correct. Here, apparently, is what MY party believes:

1. We need do nothing to (choose one: appease, shore up, listen to the correct advice) of the progressive wing of the party.

2. The progressive wing of the party will blindly support Dems no matter what they do.

3. To win elections, we must have moderate and conservative votes, which means:

• drilling everywhere for oil
• approving liars, idiots, fascists, murderers, buggerers, thieves (ooops - that's from Blazing Saddles) appointed by the Repugs to seats on the federal courts, federal agencies, you name it.

4. AND MOST OF ALL, NO MATTER WHAT ISSUES SHRUB HANDS US ON A SILVER PLATTER, DO NOT DISCUSS THEM OR HIM AT ALL!

I certainly agree that the Democratic Party needs to have a broad base. That wins elections. It defines a liberal party, one that takes account of all views (even Zell Miller's). A political party (other than, apparently, the GOP) needs to make compromises. That is something we all agree with.

It sure looks now like the Dems are not compromising, but compromised.

Clearly, the GOP set out nearly 3 decades ago to drive people from the voting booths. From a republic where healthy (and universal) political discussion was the rule for centuries (even before the revolutionary war), many people now hate politics. They don't vote, or "vote small" (Greens, Libertarian, etc.). There is no doubt in my mind this was a well thought out and successful strategy. The only folks who want to listen to political opinion are right-wingers. Do we hear most of the public saying "Say, I'd prefer to listen to a well balanced cross section of points of view"? No! Anti-repugs cannot STAND to listen to Faux, CNN, MSNBC, because they dislike the hatred spewed there.

We can bring these people back to the voting booth for Dems, if we simply address their issues (which by the way, WE ARE ALSO RIGHT ABOUT!):

• Greens
• Libertarians
• African Americans
• soccer moms
• Hispanics
• farmers
• progressives
• capitalists (no, real capitalists, the kind who actually compete with others, unlike major corporations who often have no relationship to this country other than removing money from it.

To us, our party says, "we can take you for granted." There are apparently no issues which we progressives can convince our own party are important:

Not the environment
Not the fed judiciary
Not helping our fellow people, at home and abroad
Not choice
Not millions in prison
Not ending a failed War On Black-haired people (oops - Drugs)

I think we need to forget about letter writing campaigns to the mass media, and conservatives of all stripes. We need to start writing to Dems, saying simply:

Dear Dem:

Pick three issues that are important to progressives, and push them, and tell us you are pushing them. We understand you have to appeal to a broad spectrum of people - that is why we are Dems.

BUT - if you don't, then piss off. If we want people raping the environment, getting rid of the 1st, 5th, 6th (and yes the real 2nd) amendments, helping the rich, screwing the poor, WE HAVE THE REPUGS. Why do we need you?

Sincerely,

Your party's base

I feel great visiting DU and other sites. It is sad to realize that the collection of info we receive is really scattered very thinly across the "view screens" of most folks. We see an editorial here, a letter there, a disagreement elsewhere, all from widely scattered sources. But Mary & Joe Six-pack do not. Only our elected officials have the access to the media to bring our views home. So, let's get our own house in order first!

 
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