Monday, March 14, 2011

Georgia Democrats: Time to be Born Again!

Georgia Democrats, well Democrats in General have “lost the ability to connect with people’s value systems, and they’re going to have to work to get that back. The party needed to get comfortable expressing religion in a meaningful way & Democrats have failed to speak to their faith and to relate to people that they share their faith..

Unless Democrats change the way they relate to religious & value voters, value learning to meaningfully address religious issues and candidates’ personal faith no way the cannot hope to recapture the religious vote from the Republicans.

There's a legitimate concern that evangelicals have no interest in being taken advantage of by any party. Its really hard to tell because a republican can walk into a room, start rambling off talking points & each evangelical voter would go to the polls & pull the lever for that candidate because he says I'm pro-life or believe in the sanctity of marriage. When a democrat does that, they are not met with the same benefit of a doubt like a republican. It's really just a matter of Democrats showing some respect. They don't need to go into meetings thinking they're going to change minds. They need to be willing to say, "We're here to just listen to what's on your mind we're all operating from a position of good faith." That's all!

Democrats need to shift their language. For example, you say that Democrats need to emphasize abortion reduction. There's still a sense that one cannot win a Democratic primary by backing away from Democratic orthodoxy on abortion. They could try to reach common ground on ways to reduce abortion rates, but no democrat has talked about this in any primary I've followed. It leaves them open to questions in the general election.

I know there are really genuine disagreements between people of good faith, not whether we should care for the poor, but who should do that, the government or the private sector. It's been clear to me that the scope of what we face is too large for individuals to tackle on their own. As a good Baptist, I was taught that we are all flawed because we are human. Humans are inherently sinful and if you leave it up to individuals to give their money to others, in many cases, they will not. What concerns me, as a person of faith, is to see the term evangelical treated as a political label. It's a theological label. Certainly, the book was meant as an explanation of how we got to this point, where people conflated evangelicalism with political conservatism. I stopped thinking of myself as an evangelical because, well, I'm not a political conservative, so therefore I must not be an evangelical.

I was shy as a child still somewhat to this day), but what I have learned is, I need to go into Democratic circles, call myself an evangelical, and put up with the questions that come with it to get beyond the caricature of evangelicals and explain who we really are.

But I really do believe that Georgia Democrats can woo religious voters. To do so, they will need to modulate their rhetoric about hot-button social issues, have their candidates come across as religious not secular, and be able to identify religious leaders.

Dems cannot be afraid to express themselves when it comes to religion. They must be tolerant of those democrats in the party who are religious & who openly talk about it in front of the more secular members of the party.

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