January 1, 2017

Word: How Democrats should talk

Jason Kander is Missouri’s Secretary of State and was a Democratic nominee for Senate in 2016.

Jason Kander, Huffington Post - In the past four years, I’ve run statewide in Missouri twice. I won once and lost once, always substantially outperforming the top of the Democratic ticket by wide margins in a pretty red state. When I lost in November, I received 225,000 more votes than our presidential ticket and held the incumbent to under 50 percent. I was able to do that because I made an argument for progressive ideas rather than apologizing for the letter next to my name on the ballot or running a conservative campaign.

I told audiences that black lives matter in Ferguson, but I did the same in rural areas. I stood up for an increase in the minimum wage no matter whether I was at a union hall or a local chamber of commerce. In each case, I’ve been unafraid to tell voters why lifting up people they don’t know lifts them up too. They may not all agree with me every time, but they know I mean it and they know I care about everyone, including them.

I whole-heartedly believe that progressive policies are best for the entire country. I whole-heartedly believe that having a Democrat in the White House is better for the lives of every single American no matter their wealth, their geography, their race or their religion. And, essentially, that’s the argument I made in my campaign. And I darn near won with that strategy in a red state that Donald Trump carried by 19 percent.

As Democrats consider the way forward as a party out of power, my humble suggestion is this: Let’s start by being unafraid to make our argument to everyone. I’m not interested in conceding a single voter to the Republicans. Let’s never again focus on getting enough voters to win. Let’s get back to trying to win every single vote. My experience as a progressive in a red state has taught me this: Voters will forgive you for disagreeing with them on something so long as they know you are genuine in your belief and that they are included in your vision for the country. Democrats need to get back to doing that again.


Anonymous said...

Problem with Kander is that he is just that, all talk and not much more. In other words, pretty much a typical Missouri Democrat of this modern era. His 'progressive' bona fides were certainly revealed by the campaign ads run during his challenge to Senator Blunt (there's a perfect politician's name for you, describes him to a 'T', but we digress). Memorable is the spot where Army Captain/Afghan vet Kander assembles an assault rifle on camera while blindfolded. Indeed, such was the essential thrust of his campaign. Kander had no problem joining his fellow Democrats in the state with their condemnations of Senator Sanders. He was right up there with Claire McCaskill---Madam Slick's loyal surrogate, in accusing Sanders of being " a candidate more interested in platitudes and dreams than in specifics and realities." Doing so, mind you, while demonstrating his (Kander's) fidelity to not only AIPAC but also Missouri's Christian Zionist base.

Jesus Christ, Sam, enough of this embarrassing service to the Democratic Party and their mendacious revisionism.
What ever happened to attempting to report something resembling the truth? The Democratic Party in Missouri, pretty much on the whole, couldn't move fast enough to distance themselves Sanders' populist agenda. They've been resistant to anything approaching those ideas for decades, now. Their typical rejoinder to constituents calling out the party for its neoliberal/DLC embrace would be to suggest writing a letter to the editor---anything, just go away. Missouri's drift away from 'bell-weather' status to deep red lunacy owes much to Democratic indifference. Regular working class folks have no advocate with them. Democrats of the region consider their main allegiance to the likes of Cargill, Tyson, Boeing, Monsanto, ADM, Lockheed, et al, and not to the tens of thousands of the once well paid members of the working class who's decent jobs long ago migrated to distant lands, a migration facilitated and encouraged by policies and trade deals implemented by the Democrats.

Anonymous said...

The Democrats are busy reconstructing Kander's image in an effort to fool a broader public unfamiliar with him into believing that Jason ought be considered another viable 'progressive' option to head the DNC should Ellison's efforts get shot down. Folks shouldn't fall for it, Kander comfortably fits the standard DLC 'centrist' mold as one most friendly to US foreign adventurism, eager support of Bibi's Israeli policies, etc.
Caveat emptor---how many more fast talking Barrys before folks catch on?