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Populism: A Strategy For Democrats.

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Superman Returns Donating Member (804 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-25-06 03:01 PM
Original message
Populism: A Strategy For Democrats.
Id like to dedicate this thread to the need of Democrats to win small town/rural voters again by embracing populism. These are the same people who are voting against their interests either because of Republican scare tactics or "moral values." However, we can win them back by standing up for the little guy, against the corporations, the oil companies, and the elite who screw America left and right. Many "Middle Americans" are suffering higher debts, higher bills, higher costs, etc... I generally think they are pissed. The DLC method is the wrong path when swooping up voters like these. What we need is to act tough, talk plain, be blunt, and use populist rhetoric to cast the GOP as an elite. Its very important we turn the word "elite" back on Republicans who have the word in a Orwellian fashion. (Its amazing that Republicans cast themselves as underdogs when they control all government).

I think the future of this country lies with the Warners and the Schweitzers and the Clarks, maybe the Edwards. I like Kerry, Hillary is ok, but I think these two play to the stereotypes Republicans have portrayed Dems as: rich, elite, northeastern, liberal. What we need is a people v. the powerful movement. I think at the end of the day, many traditional conservatives who like smaller government and balanced budgers are growing impatient with Bush and want new leadership. I also think many traditonal conservatives have more in common with us than we think. When we talk about "moral value" issues, I think it would smarter to cast it as more of a "laizze faire" issue, in which we believe the government should not get involved with people's personal lives. I have more to say, but thats what I have for now.
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9119495 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-25-06 03:08 PM
Response to Original message
1. The problem with populism
is that you generally need to embrace the will of the masses--which means you'd be pushed to support prayer in schools, no same-sex marriages, anti-immigration, etc.

Populism, I thought, always had promise, but in the late 1800s it became increasingly dominated by a fundamentalist Christian type thinking represented well by William Jennings Bryan. He was for the little guy in both cities and rural areas...but also for that other nasty stuff like religious wackoism and eventually anti-evolution stuff.

It might be powerful if it could be controlled, but I think that is the problem with Populism--it can't be controlled by anyone other than the masses.
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Superman Returns Donating Member (804 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-25-06 03:28 PM
Response to Reply #1
5. I somwhat agree
But when I talk of populism, I really am not saying to embrace popular opinion for the sake of being popular. I know that could lead to anti-minority opinion sentiment, and the possible infusion of religious rhetoric, anti-immigration, and dedication to "symbolic issues". My version of populism is embracing a people v. powerful tone along with an image that resonates more with the common man or woman. Thats why I think Warner and Schweitzer have more of a chance and should be utilized as such. What I think more importantly is using populism to attack the corporate dominance of our governement and flip the word "elitist" back on the Repugs.
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DemPopulist Donating Member (446 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-25-06 04:24 PM
Response to Reply #1
7. The anti-evolution stuff was not a part of his political persona
That came way later, in the Scopes trial of the 1920s. His campaigns were completely about economic populism, as social/religious issues weren't really a part of politics the way they are now.
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Greyhound Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-25-06 03:12 PM
Response to Original message
2. Good points.
Let me put on my prognostication cap... ah there, wait a minute, hang on...

I see two possibilities in the future; one, this post will be ignored and drop like Homer Simpson trying to stage dive, or two, you will be treated to the monotone chorus of why the DLC/DCCC/whatever anagram beginning with 'D' is the way to win over the mythical swing voters.

Let's see, shall we? :popcorn:
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blm Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-25-06 03:12 PM
Response to Original message
3. I disagree - Most Americans voted for Gore and Kerry - Dem STRATEGISTS
Edited on Fri Aug-25-06 03:12 PM by blm
act as if they didn't. Why? Because there is no money in working to expose the GOP control of most media and the GOP control of most voting machines.

Strategists telling candidates to move to the right, or to the center, or to use hotter rhetoric or better soundbites will get their mortgages in DC paid while the realists in the party who want the media and the voting machines exposed as GOP tools against democracy will work AND continue to worry about their mortgage payment.
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AX10 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-25-06 03:24 PM
Response to Original message
4. Schweitzer and Clark are the future of the party. Warner might be.
But remember, Al Gore recieved more votes than Dubya in 2000. If we had a Bush vs. Kerry election today, Kerry would win a respectable victory.
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texastoast Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-25-06 03:32 PM
Response to Original message
6. Populism was part of early America
Along with liberalism and conservatism.

We need a blend of it all again in a good balance.
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DemPopulist Donating Member (446 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-25-06 04:29 PM
Response to Original message
8. I wouldn't call Clark or Warner populists
Edwards and Schweitzer are, definitely. Warner's pretty much a 1990's-style New Democrat, complete with venture capitalist background. Clark is more liberal but not really defined by his stances on domestic issues.

I agree with most of the rest of your post - naturally! :P
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