Friday, April 29, 2011

2012: Democrats Are Still Wanted/Need in Rural Georgia!

But in order to be successful, the key will be attracting Whites, who once was democrats, now call themselves republican

Currently the strong majority of Georgia Democrats are Moderate to Liberal. Some of the urban areas are not as Liberal as some might lead you to believe (Columbus, Valdosta for example) but the Liberal faction of the Georgia Democratic Party is the mainstream of the party and they have the strings at the moment. In Rural Georgia, they are moderate/conservative or just plain conservative.

But Democrats face a problem down here: they have to get past the wine-and-cheese stereotype that Democrats carry in rural Georgia. 'They have allowed their opponents to define them as people with no normal values. 'They don't like guns, they don't pray, they don't believe in Christ.

Theoretically, the Democratic message should play well in small-town Georgia at a time when the economy lags. The party of Jefferson and Jackson, which not long ago owned the back roads and general stores, is seen in much of the state as disconnected from ,if not contemptuous of the people who spend their weekends hunting, at church or watching stock cars.

A rural strategy here should be centered on issues that aren't usually the focal point of Democratic campaigns, like taking vocational education and broadband technology to remote areas, job creation thru agriculture, etc.

Democrats biggest problem is with White Males who hail from small town Georgia. 'Rural white guys think democrats are all a bunch of punks, weaklings, softies, wimps, that take after their more ultra-liberal base that control the party........ I can go on & on.

Working-class white Georgians who turned away from the Democrats appear to have done so in part because their views shifted to the right on some issues, in part because they perceived the Democrats as shifting to their left on some issues, in part because some issues on which they were never aligned with the party's positions increased in importance to them, and in part because they lost confidence in the Democrats' ability to deliver on key issues.

The party needs to say to white men, 'We're not ignoring you. But if you look at the Healthcare Bill that was pushed by President Obama, Pelosi & others left-wingers, many whites say or think that its a bill designed to help the Poor Folks, in other words giving poor, well let me word that better, low-income individuals a "Handout". And plus conservative republicans have rekindled the notion that Democrats want to raise taxes to create social programs for minorities "at the expense of hard-working whites." That has been a winning strategy for the GOP going back over 40 years. And that is what the Heathcare Law called "Obamacare" is view by many who are opposed to it.

Rural Georgians have long felt like second-class citizens. With their small numbers now reduced their political clout has waned & their way of life is largely misunderstood by those who grew up in urban and suburban America.

Values in the Democratic Platform are the same as in rural Georgia. The message is clear that Democrats believe in helping your neighbor, in pay-as-you go economic policies, debt reduction, self-reliance, excellent public education, a fair tax system and honest wages for honest work.

Their message is one of outrage on the undeclared war on the middle class. This past legislative session saw the Georgia Republican's Agenda, hitting smaller, rural areas particularly hard, for example the revamped Hope Scholarship Program that will make it even tougher for rural students to obtain a Hope Scholarship among other things & a Tax Reform package that will come back up when the legislature reconvenes this summer that will put extra tax burdens on blue-collar, hard working rural Georgians.

Rural Georgia can make a difference in an election. A democrat won't be able to win in some conservative areas in a State Senate or State House district, but if he/she showed up and campaigned that he/she would raise his/her percentage points. That would help that candidate get elected. I feel that this example is a valid consideration in winning elections. In a very conservative rural area, the people in that area may need to adjust their thinking of who best represents them. It’s not about winning or losing. It is about how you can raise the Democratic vote in your conservative area.

But here in rural Georgia, we've had good, strong candidates run for office. Some should have won, but with the lack of infrastructure & organization from the Democratic Party Machine in Atlanta, it becomes impossible for a candidate to mount a strong race by him/herself. And when you throw in republicans nationalizing local races with campaign literature tying a local democrat with national figures like Nancy Pelosi, Charlie Rangel, people they have or never will meet, nor agree with politically, that just make it even harder to win in a conservative area of the state.

To close this out, The Democratic decline can be attributed to the Democrats loss of rural, white voters, generally conservative. There is no way around that fact. There is simply no significant pocket of white liberals who could join with blacks to create a Democratic majority. And as the Rural White Democrats shrink within the Democratic Party, the influence of the Black Caucus rises. What that means is that you get a more liberal face on the Democratic Party, and the cycle of driving conservatives away continues and it usually accelerates.

The Georgia Democrats have a strong message to rural Georgia stating that the Republicans are putting special interests ahead of Georgia’s families. That message should resonate with rural voters, not just white, but black as well. But like I said earlier, a non-traditional democratic strategy platform is the way to win in these parks. Different areas have different problems. Run LOCAL & local only!

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This is a Rural Blog that provides views & insights from a Conservative Georgia Democrat

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