A month after republican's landslide mid-term elections, many Democrats have come to the conclusion that a ''sea change'' may be occurring in Georgia politics and that their party must be rebuilt if it is to be competitive again in statewide elections. Deep schisms, however, have developed within the party on how that should be done - on how the party can appeal & bring a percentage of white voters back to the party in rural, and conservative-leaning suburbs of every region of the state without alienating such important elements of the party as labor unions, the poor, minorities, urban interests and women's activist groups.
This is the picture that emerges in emails I've gotten from around the state. The Democratic Party of Georgia must hew to its traditional concern for the diverse party interests but at the same time rise above the particular needs of those constituencies and ''seek to lead a state, not a collection of divided and contending groups.''
Democrats have to change the way they practice politics. For instance, they have to learn again how to count. Why Democrats write off parts, regions of the state is beyond me. It is morally wrong to do so. All Georgians deserve equal representation. "To be a Democrat in Georgia at this moment means constant courage and bravery.
Let's face it: The Democratic Party got into some bad relationships. It doesn't need a new message (more fine tuning), so much as a whole new conversation with the people of this great state. Historically, Democrats have always been out of sync with the white working class on social issues, most notably on race. Nonetheless, white workers voted Democratic for decades because they saw the likes of Sanders (Carl), Busbee (George), Miller (Zell), etc as taking their side on the central question of economic security and jobs. When Democrats sound like Far-Right Republicans on economic issues, they lose because they are not as credible as social conservatives.
So what will it take to rebuild the Georgia Democratic Party? The answer to that will come Jan 29 at Houston County when the party elects its new Chairman between Darryl A Hicks, a Taylor County Native, or Michael "Mike" Berlon, a resident of Gwinnett County.
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