So Democrats are meeting at "New Democracy" forum today today to discuss How To Win Back Rural AmericaSo Democrats are meeting at #NewDemocracy forum today today to discuss How To Win Back Rural America #IAPolitics thread: 1 of 39— John Deeth (@johndeeth) October 13, 2017
The answer to How To Win Back Rural America depends on why you think Democrats lost so badly in 2016
One of the Iowa Democrats fundamental problems is: we can't agree on why we lost
I believe Dems lost Old White Male Rural Working Class America on broad spectrum of culture issues not economics
We did not lose on Her Emails or Her Wall Street Speeches or Her policies
(And since Her is out of the ball game She's irrelevant to the future anyway, this is about future not 2016)
We also did not lose on Corporate Greed and the minimum wage and the twin boogeyman of NAFTA/TPP
We lost on immigration and race and religion and guns and the whole cluster of gender/sexual issues
That can be summed up more briefly but only by putting taboo words in the mouth of the hypothetical voter
However I will repeat my 4 word explanation of the whole election: I Hate That Bitch
So here's the problem: If we lost on cultural issues, then focusing *even more* on economics does not help
This also means we cannot appeal to Old White Male Working Class Rural America without abandoning principle
and we cannot appeal to Old White Male Rural America without abandoning the true base of the Democratic Party
The true base of the Democratic Party is urban and diverse and not very white
We cannot turn our backs on the most loyal Democrats in order to appeal to voters who we have lost already
The long term path back to majority runs through Texas and Georgia and Arizona and North Carolina and Florida
The long term path back to majority does not run through the Rust Belt and sadly does not run through Iowa
I'm not saying this because I'm giving up, on winning in Iowa, though it will be hard...
but because in the short to mid term, winning is more likely on the national level than in Iowa
The other problem is a problem of style - and this is directly about Sanders
Unlike Her, Sanders is still relevant as long as he acts like a candidate (which he will not be in the end)
Sanders speaks a 60s Left language, not a New Deal language, and that's an active turnoff to many older voters
Socialist Revolution sounds like Draft Dodgers and Bra Burners and They're Coming To Take My Guns
Socialist & Revolution are words that appeal to the Grad Student Proletariat not Old White Male Rural America
We can't artificially force a Class Struggle language onto a nation that doesn't think or speak that way.
Just because it makes YOU feel smart and because you ideologically believe it SHOULD work doesn't mean it WILL.
People mistakenly think Sanders Votes especially in places like WV = Votes For Socialist Revolution
But a Yuge chunk of Sanders Votes were simply I Hate That Bitch Votes
In a 2 way race @MartinOMalley would likely have scored 30% simply for being Not Hillary
Living in a blue academic island I may be in the worst possible place to understand Trumpism. #IAPolitics #NewDemocracy 30 pic.twitter.com/sIPY8CGQDT— John Deeth (@johndeeth) October 13, 2017
Living in a blue academic island I may be in the worst possible place to understand Trumpism.
I don't know the right answer and if I did I'd run for something and win. But I do know that...
...focusing even more on economics when we lost over cultural issues...
...and deliberately using rhetorically hostile language to explain those economics, is the wrong answer.
Not saying this to be "divisive" or because I don't believe in some or even most of the "progressive" specifics
(though Free College is a hard sell to working people who already think the College Kids are the rich kids...)
(...and who can barely dream of admission for themselves or their own kids)
I'm saying this because I want to win and we need to win
And I see a lot of people in the party, or more accurately on the fringes outside the party...
...who want to lead us down a path that I believe will end in more damage and even worse defeats.