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LBM20's Journal
LBM20's Journal
March 19, 2018

So who is for being a 50-state 3200-county party again instead of a decimated party?

If you think this is a good idea, please tell me how we do this by alienating ANYONE. We need ALL Dems, and many Independents, and even some moderate Republicans voting for some of our candidates. That means needing candidates and messaging that fit the particular districts. We need women and men, younger people and older people, people of color and people not of color, people of higher education and people of lesser education. EVERYONE! And yes, even Dems and Independents and moderate Republicans, MILLIONS of whom voted for Obama, who for complex reasons voted for Trump in 2016. They are NOT all "redneck racist assholes." It is not that shallow and simple. No one is excusing it. No one is defending it. But we need to understand it and not paint ANY group of Americans with one wide shallow brush.

So unless you enjoy having no political power and being politically annihilated at all levels and branches of government as we are now, then we better be a big tent party again.

And to people who voted for Trump and/or who have been voting mostly Republican, or who haven't been voting at all or didn't vote at all in 2016, but who have come to their senses and have returned to us by voting for people like Conor Lamb in these special elections, I say GOOD and THANKS!

And to all other loyal Dems who have been with us and stuck with us in all election cycles and have been voting in these special elections and helping the candidates in their campaigns, thanks to you even MORE. It is truly appreciated.

March 18, 2018

We just flipped a deep red district in PA, and we didn't do it by alienating ANY voters there.

Is everyone happy that we just flipped a deep red district in PA that voted for Trump by 19 points? I certainly hope so. I certainly hope no one would have wanted the Republican to win.

How did it happen? Well, it sure as heck didn't happen because the Dem candidate insulted and alienated people there who voted the wrong way in 2016. He ran as an INCLUSIVE economic populist and a social moderate with a laser beam focus on the bread and butter issues important to the people in the district. And he could not have won and sent shock waves into the Republican Party without having had many people who voted for Trump there in 2016 come back over to vote for him. And this is GOOD.

Many people voted for Trump in 2016 NOT because they were racist and wanted a racist in the White House but because he promised jobs and government reform and anti-establishment change. They were upset, frustrated, and wanted change. I am not condoning it. I am not apologizing for it. I myself of course voted for Hillary Clinton and wish everyone had. But I understand why many people, including some of own highly educated professional colleagues, and even some highly educated and good people who are my friends and extended family members (including a close friend who is married to a person of another race) and people in my own congressional district that supported Obama twice but then voted for Trump, did this. And it is NOT because they are racist or hate women or any of that stuff. This is complex, and there were other reasons.

Next, we also have to get those who didn't vote at all to come back. Conor Lamb got new voters too and people who had been disengaged. In 2016, too many people who voted for Obama, across the map, did not vote AT ALL. They stayed home entirely. And that too helped Trump get in. Should we be attacking them and alienating them now for staying home? Will that help us win in 2018? Of course not.

We need to value all voters in the party, rural and urban, white and non-white, progressive, moderate, and even more conservative. And we need candidates who fit their districts and can flip them back to us. We need to run smart compelling campaigns targeted to the districts. No ridiculous litmus tests. No ridiculous ideological purity. That has KILLED us all over the country.

I would like to wipe out the Republicans with a blue tsunami in November. And we won't do it by insulting and alienating ANYONE. It is not about "pandering" to anyone at the expense of anyone else. It is about speaking to the bread and butter issues and running the right candidates for the particular districts so we can save the party and save the country.

March 18, 2018

To rebuild the Democratic Party, which has been hollowed out, we need ALL Dems everywhere.

Between 2010 and 2016 the Dem Party got smashed to pieces all over the country. The party went too corporate and dropped the ball bigtime especially in middle America. It disconnected. It ran horrible campaigns without a good message. The DNC was a mess. We had Wasserman instead of a good full time leader there. Too many Dems stayed home or even voted for Republicans. Just a disaster. So we lost 1000 legislative seats, lost governorships bigtime, lost the congress, and lost the presidency to a complete moron.

The thing is, we have got to understand ALL of the reasons as to why it happened and change course in a big way. The opportunity in 2018 is there to win back much of what we have lost and wipe out the Republican Party in areas all over the map. We have already started to do it with state level special election wins and the Conor Lamb win in PA18, and many of those wins, especially the Lamb win, show us how to do it. We can't just have an anti Trump message. We also need to say what we are FOR.

We can not just be a coastal big city party. We need to be an EVERYWHERE party, and the issues that bind ALL Dems are the bread and butter economic issues. We all want good jobs with good wages and benefits, a secure retirement, unions, progressive taxation, education and training, healthcare, etc. But we have to be willing to understand that there are cultural differences between urban and rural America, so as with Conor Lamb, who just swung a red district 19 points which we should all celebrate, we need candidates who fit the districts. And that means candidates who support hunting, are willing to talk about their faith, are more moderate on abortion, and have a more moderate to independent bent. The plain fact is that MANY Dems and moderate Independents and even moderate Republicans pulled the lever for Trump not because they are racists, and not even because they liked Trump on a personal level, but because they simply wanted change, were desperate for change, and so voted on the change/reform message that he put out there. They want jobs and hope, and like it or not, as much of a repulsive moron as Trump is, he said things they wanted to hear about creating jobs and "draining the swamp."

Make no mistake. I am NOT "excusing" or "apologizing" for Dems and moderate Independents who voted for Trump. I wish they had all done as I did and voted for Hillary. I as much as anyone agree they made a big mistake doing it. But we must understand why they did it, and for anyone to use a wide but shallow brush to paint every single one of them as "racist redneck assholes" is just plain wrong. Barack Obama would say that is wrong. Van Jones would say that is wrong. Bernie Sanders would say that is wrong. And Hillary Clinton would say that is wrong. That epithet does not apply to ALL of them.

I also know there were other reasons Hillary lost: i.e. Russia meddling, the Comey letter, the third party candidates, etc. But I am most concerned with voters who have left us but whom we can win back, and voters who did not vote at all. We need to fix the party and reverse this.

If we are all rejoicing in the Conor Lamb win where we just swung a deep red gerrymandered district 19 points and have struck fear into the hearts of the Republicans, as we all should be rejoicing, this gives us so much insight into what we need to do. MANY Dems and Independents and even some moderate R's who voted for Trump came back to the Dem Party with Conor Lamb (and in a number of the special state level elections too). So we can and must run candidates who fit the districts and unite around the economic issues that bind us all and focus in the heartland especially on those issues. And we should not write off and alienate voters who voted for Trump out of economic despair and frustration. Many are now sick of the Trump circus and are returning to us. But we have to continue to focus on the bread and butter issues that will continue to win them back. And that is a good thing.

March 17, 2018

How I had a Trump voter shaking my hand. Hate Trump? Get him at the voting booth!

We must understand how this moron got elected. There were MANY reasons. Sure, many Trump voters were racist, prejudice against women, minorities, etc. There was also Russia, the Comey Letter, the effect of the third party candidates siphoning votes away from Hillary, Hillary's campaigning errors, etc. But it is simply wrong to say that everyone who voted for Trump was a rotten racist and now we should just write them off. There were millions who voted for Obama who switched to Trump. Certainly they were not all prejudiced. Voting decisions are complex. Many were willing to hold their nose and vote for Trump because they have lost their jobs, their towns are drying up, they are in the grip of the opioid crisis, etc. and for them America is not great because their everyday lives are not great. And the Dems went too corporate, lost their voice with too many in small towns and rural areas, and have not connected with them. But what have we seen in many of these special elections? Many of these Trump defectors are coming back, and the Conor Lamb win especially shows us how to get them back. Hate Trump? Beat him at the voting booth!

I recently sat in a local diner here in Maine and got talking to a guy on the stool next to me. He was around 60 and in the working middle class. We got onto political issues, but I never told him I was a Dem. I listened. He said he voted for Trump because he was angry at the government and wanted to send a strong message. He said he liked many liberals but just disagreed with them on the issues. He said he was a hunter and didn't like the "anti hunter crowd." I told him that regardless of party, the government belongs to us the people and needs to work for us the people and not the big special interests. I told him I hated all this big dark corporate money that comes in to buy off politicians. I told him it was wrong that rich people could hide their money offshore when we working folks had to pay all our taxes. I told him that on the economy we could do a lot in the rural areas like new wood products, alternative energy, new agricultural products, etc. He also added his ideas and agreed with all of mine, and I agreed with his as he talked about making new wood composites, etc. As to hunting, I told him that what people need to understand is that hunting is part of our heritage and means meat in the freezer for those who need it. Many deer die of starvation in our long cold winters, are killed by the coyotes, and hit by cars. The game biologists know how to manage the hurd, and we need some hunting to manage it and that I am deer hunter too and it goes back in family hundreds of years. I gave him a populist progressive economic message on taxation, economic development, and campaign finance reform, and a more conservative message on the tradition of deer hunting in rural Maine. Again, I never hinted I was a Democrat. He agreed completely with me, and shook my hand before he left and told me I had good head on my shoulders.

It is about how we talk to them. Ya gotta listen. Ya gotta frame things right in a way that connects to them and activates their inner progressive populist on the economic issues. And it is about having candidates who fit the districts. I don't know if this particular guy would vote for many Democrats, but with the right messaging and positions, like Conor Lamb used, we can certainly win back many of these Trump voters and we have proven it.

They are not all racists and bad people. Many are angry and frustrated and lodged a protest vote. They want economic security and change. They want a government that is on their side. And now many have buyers remorse with Trump and tired of the circus. But we need to do our job, run better campaigns in these rural areas and small towns, talk the bread and butter issues, connect better with them, and win them back and kick out the R's. This is the best way to slam Trump and his GOP enablers.

March 15, 2018

Many Trump voters voted for Obama. Many are not racist. Some are. Not all. That's just the fact.

We must remember the plain fact that millions of people who actually voted for Obama switched to Trump in 2016. They are not racist. Their mills and factories have closed. Their towns are drying up. They have no hope. They wanted change. True, many tend to be more socially conservative. But that doesn't make them racist.

And even many Republicans who voted for Trump did so because he was their nominee, so they did it. They aren't racist.

Yes, some Trump voters are outright racist. That is true too. But not all.

Polling had about 20% of Trump voters not even liking him. But they held their nose and voted for him because they were desperate for change and were angry at Washington. Or, again, he was their party nominee so they held their nose and did it.

It is these registered Dems, Independents, and even moderate Republicans who voted for Trump that we want to get to vote for Dems again, and that means we need Dems running in those areas who are like Conor Lamb. More moderate, more independent minded, who focus on local issues and bread and butter economic issues, and who are more moderate to conservative on the social issues. We need to be a strong broad based NATIONAL party again, not just a coastal party stuck in a permanent minority.

March 15, 2018

Conor Lamb is a social moderate/conservative and an economic progressive/populist, NOT "Republican."

Conor Lamb is no "Republican running as a Democrat" nor a blanket "conservative" at all. He is quite progressive/populist on economic issues and moderate on some key social issues. Yes, he does lean conservative on some of the social issues too, but this is how you win red and purple areas. And you also run with an independent bent, asserting a willingness to meet in the center and work with both parties. If you want to be a national party and win in purple and red districts, this is how you do it.

Remember, Lamb is for:

* Fixing and expanding the Affordable Care Act.
* Preserving and strengthening Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security.
* Getting dark money out of campaigns.
* Resources to deal with the opioid crisis.
* Investing in infrastructure.
* Investing in education and training.
* Progressive taxation that favors working people, not the rich.
* NOT overturning Roe v. Wade (though he is personally opposed to abortion).
* Strengthening labor unions.

These are just some of his progressive/populist credentials.

March 14, 2018

There are very few "conservative" Republicans left. Most are Right Wing Radicals.

Ike and Bush-1 were "conservatives." What we have now are Right Wingers. That is what we need to be saying. Enough with "conservative."

March 14, 2018

There was such a huge shift in PA18 because they had the right candidate. That's the lesson.

Sure, almost any Dem would have done better, but not nearly as well as Lamb unless he/she, like Lamb, was the right fit for the district. Lamb is a former marine, social moderate to conservative, and an economic populist. He is also an impressive and compelling figure. Young. Smart. Exudes honesty, integrity, and character. He talked the bread and butter issues in a big way, and defined himself as a candidate with an independent bent. He stayed close to the issues of concern to the district and away from national party politics.

So what this tells us is that we can't just expect to run anyone in these red and purple districts and expect to just win in the fall because of Trump. We need the right candidates. Those who fit the districts and run good solid compelling campaigns.

Ideological purity is a death knell. Ya gotta have a big tent to compete effectively everywhere in such a diverse country.

(Yes, a very strong groundgame is also very important. But if you aren't selling the right product, it doesn't matter how many doors you knock on. Also, people were motivated to work for this candidate because he fit so well and was so compelling. They knew they had a good shot with THIS candidate.)

March 6, 2018

RANKED CHOICE VOTING IS ON THE BALLOT FOR JUNE! Please help with this People's Veto Effort. Thanks!

We did it! The People's Veto to Restore Ranked Choice Voting (RCV) is on the ballot for June. It has been confirmed by the Sec. of State. We stood out in the freezing cold to collect signatures and made it happen! WE HAVE MADE HISTORY! For the first time ever, we will use RCV statewide. This is what Mainers do. DIRIGO! We LEAD!

What this means is that we will both use RCV in the June primaries (which makes TONS of sense with so many candidates on the ballots vying to be nominated), and we will also vote on the People's Veto question itself. A YES vote means it passes and we will be able to permanently use RCV for the seven elections not affected at all by the state constitution (primaries for all offices and general elections for the federal offices).

Now what will happen is a major voter education effort to make sure people fully understand RCV, which is quite simple. It is simply an instant runoff voting system used in many places around the nation and around the world. Also, we need to smash down the lies about RCV because those who want to keep the failed status quo for their own selfish political purposes are going to continue to spread those lies.

The main thing people can do to help is to spread the word to support the People's Veto in June because this isn't just about RCV but about telling the legislature and LePage NO MORE ATTACKING ALL OF OUR REFERENDUMS!! As you know many in the legislature, mainly Republicans, and LePage have been on a crusade to kill all of our progressive referendums, including Medicaid Expansion which passed with 59% of the vote. This is our chance to say loudly and clearly NO MORE!

So, please help with Letters to the Editor and other communications to help support the People's Veto to Restore RCV in June. We need to flood the papers all over the state with Letters to the Editor and OpEds in support of RCV.

Also, the campaign will need donations, volunteers, etc. Even small $5 donations help a lot. Go to this link to donate and sign up to volunteer: http://www.rcvmaine.com/

Thanks! Now let's get out there and save democracy in Maine!

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