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“Touchstone” issues will determine who wins future elections (IMHO).

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Poet Lariat Donating Member (275 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-29-05 01:19 PM
Original message
“Touchstone” issues will determine who wins future elections (IMHO).
(This of course stipulates to the fact that we have to eliminate BBV before any of this is possible. With that in mind…).

I saw a post by PDittie a couple of weeks ago in the Texas forum after Texas Proposition 2 (state ban on gay marriage) passed with a huge margin of 76% of the vote. See his post here: http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...

It brought to light an interesting phenomenon with voters that seems to cross all party lines..."Touchstone" issues. Issues that go right to the hearts and minds of the voters. Issues that directly affect the lives of the voters. Issues that won't be ignored by the voters…if they are aware of them.

http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/topstory/3451194.ht...
Chron.com
Nov. 10, 2005, 8:19AM
ELECTION 2005
Gay marriage ban crossed political lines, analysts say
By POLLY ROSS HUGHES and R.G. RATCLIFFE
Copyright 2005 Houston Chronicle Austin Bureau

AUSTIN - Blacks and Hispanics who traditionally vote Democratic strongly backed the state's gay marriage ban at the ballot box this week, sometimes outpolling Republicans, analysts said Wednesday.

That broad interest across political lines contributed to the highest participation in a constitutional amendment election since 1991, with roughly 18 percent of registered voters turning out for Tuesday's election.

Republican Gov. Rick Perry rallied his evangelical, socially conservative base on the issue, but political analysts said Proposition 2's success doesn't necessarily predict future success for individual politicians.

"I don't see how it can be useful for a party or a candidate because this so transcends all the political parties and the typical categorizations," said Kelly Shackelford, president of the conservative Free Market Foundation, which backed the amendment.
>snip<


Apparently, in Texas anyway, gay marriage is a “Touchstone” issue. This is how the Republican’s did it with the help of some Democrats. I’m not suggesting that we sell our souls to fight on the wrong side of any argument but I sense that there are enough viable Hot Button issues out there that would certainly lend themselves to “crossing party lines”. What touchstone issues come to mind when you read this that could mobilize not only the left but possibly a few from the right? I suggest that a few of them exist and are waiting for someone to capitalize on. I suggest that a populist voter uprising combined with a few Touchstone issues could win. Take for example our Elections process.

Do you think that if the majority of Republicans and Democrats alike were aware of the full scale of how our voting system is currently "rigged" that they would stand for it?

Do you think that if Americans were truly aware of how the Bush Administrations tax cuts over the last several years were taking directly from the poor and working in America and giving directly to the rich, that they would put up with it?

Many could argue (with justification) that these issues are known by the public and they simply don’t care or do not feel strongly enough about them to fight for them. I think, however, that if enough people really new, they simply wouldn't stand for any of this. I may be wrong. This may be a naïve approach. Remember, I’m new here. Many of you who have been here longer than I probably have their own ideas about what might work and what potential “Touchstone” issues are out there.

David Van Os is running for Attorney General in Texas. In his recent post “Dare to Fight. Dare to Win” he discusses an idea that could make an impact in Texas. This and his re-post “Texas as a microcosm – Dare to Fight Dare to Win” both made the greatest page. Could this possibly translate into a larger national movement?



http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...
>snip<
I am convinced that strong populist Democratic campaigns appealing directly to the Texas Democratic base will wake the slumbering parts of our base from the sleep they have been in since at least 1994.

You cannot show me that a hard-hitting, statewide Democratic populist campaign aimed at the base will not expand the Democratic vote statewide into a majority, when it hasn't even been attempted in such a long time. How could one know it won't make a difference if it is not given a chance? We've been using the "take no risks" warm fuzzy platitude messages over and over. Now it is time to do it the other way. It is time for the Texas Democratic Party to reclaim the political legacy of James Stephen Hogg, James V. Allred, Ralph Yarborough, and Jim Hightower.

It is time to discard the "avoid polarization at all costs" strategy, the "take no risks" strategy, the "appeal to everybody" strategy, and the "chase the middle" strategy. It is time to remember what Jim Hightower told us 20 years ago, "there's nothin' in the middle of the road but yellow stripes and dead armadillos." It is time to cease the followership strategies of scripting campaigns on the basis of what people thought yesterday in polls, and assert the leadership strategies of campaigning for what we know to be right based on our deepest convictions of what we want for tomorrow. It is time to stop worrying about whom we might offend if we speak truth to power, and start worrying about what value are our lives if we don't speak truth to power. It is time to cherish partisan Democrats and reject nonpartisan Nothingcrats. It is time to forget "right-left" analysis and install "right-wrong" analysis. It is time to replace the "liberal-conservative" spectrum with the "liberty-tyranny" spectrum. It is time to stop worrying about how to get money from big donors and start worrying about how to get more money into working people's paychecks. It is time to fight for better lives for voters instead of peddle promises to voters. It is time to treat public office as a duty, not a promotion. We must fight for the people, not in order to win their votes, but in order to win them justice. >snip<


Thanks to PDittie and David Van Os for providing the meat of my argument. These are not my ideas but I stand behind them. Any suggestions or comments would be appreciated.
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Poet Lariat Donating Member (275 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-29-05 01:31 PM
Response to Original message
1. Kicking my own post
I think this is important
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PDittie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-29-05 01:32 PM
Response to Original message
2. You could do a lot worse than to
spread the words of DVO (the next Attorney General of Texas).
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Poet Lariat Donating Member (275 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-29-05 01:35 PM
Response to Reply #2
3. Thanks PDittie
I'm a big fan David Van Os as well. I wanted to notify him about using his verbage but he can't receive PM's.
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orwell Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-29-05 01:45 PM
Response to Original message
4. This says it all...
"That broad interest across political lines contributed to the highest participation in a constitutional amendment election since 1991, with roughly 18 percent of registered voters turning out for Tuesday's election."

Pathetic...
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Poet Lariat Donating Member (275 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-29-05 01:51 PM
Response to Reply #4
5. I agree...Pathetic and Apathetic in the same breath
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Poet Lariat Donating Member (275 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-29-05 02:36 PM
Response to Original message
6. One last kick hoping this doesn't die.
Am I sounding pathetic yet? (He asks rhetorically)
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Poet Lariat Donating Member (275 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-29-05 03:16 PM
Response to Original message
7. I received a response that made we want to clarify something
I posted this on another page (GD)and would like to add here that this is not about using Gay marriage as an issue in any way, shape or form. It is only used to illustrate how powerful emotions can be channeled into the voting booth. What happened in Texas was a travesty for many couples who deserve better from the people in our state. We have a lot more work to do here, but it takes time.
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MagickMuffin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-29-05 03:55 PM
Response to Original message
8. While I agree with the premise,
I find it hard to amass a message for the masses.

Here's the reference I'm referring to, I have posted in the Texas forum, about an event on how to reframe issues. There was a seminar not to long ago, not one person responded to the post.

So, I guess my question would be "How do you get people interested?"

If people at DU don't respond to a post that offers advice and tips on how to redefine the agenda, what hope do we have for the rest of the masses.

I try not to get discouraged about not "fitting in" here, so I keep posting and maybe eventually something might pique someones interest.

There is a big movement in Texas, http://www.takingbacktexas.org /
They offer classes and seminars on how to reframe issues, fundraising skills, redefining the agenda, etc.

One of the biggest problems facing our country is laziness, and a lack of concern for anything looking remotely like politics. Time and time again I hear people say they hate politics, they won't get involved in politics. They think that being passive and not getting involved is not affecting them. But everything a politician does affects us all, whether they are involved are not, laws get passed and if we choose to be passive then we no longer have a voice to express our concerns. That is one reason the "fundies" are so successful, they pander to the choir, so to speak.



It is so much easier to listen to Rush, Hannity, O'Reilly, etc., then to take the time to inform themselves about the things that affect their lives.



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Poet Lariat Donating Member (275 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-29-05 04:16 PM
Response to Reply #8
9. Thanks MM for replying
I agree that apathy is hard to overcome. I also know that from my limited time here at DU, I don't sense that DU'ers are apathetic. I think there is a lot of information here to digest and many times, things very likely just fall through the cracks.

Your unique perspective is valuable and necessary not only here at DU but here in Texas. This is not about "fitting in" IMHO. It's about diversity of opinion and discourse toward our inherently common goals. Keep posting and the cream will eventually float to the top.
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MagickMuffin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-29-05 05:26 PM
Response to Reply #9
10. That is one thing that is hard to overcome
is HOW fast the threads move here @ DU.

At least on the Texas forum things don't move as quickly.

I appreciate your comments about getting Touchstone issues out there, however when the masses overlook so much information, it's hard to seek out the diamonds from the shards of glass.

But usually when you see the reflections of a rainbow you know you have stumbled upon the pure essences of light. Bringing discourse to the Light, and seeing the Darkness for what it is, is what we need in becoming the new Paul Revere's of the 21st century.



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