Thursday, November 17, 2016

SD Democrats: "Now Is The Time To Re-Evaluate Your Basic Assumptions."

     First time I saw that phrase was on the inside of a wooden outhouse at some divinely-forsaken USMC outpost in Vietnam, up by the Demilitarized Zone.  Its provocative challenge counter-balanced perfectly against that most banal of human activities.  Many are the times during subsequent years when it applied to my personal and political
Can SD Dems Go
From This . . .
endeavors--and it came roaring back to mind yesterday when I saw a piece in the Sioux Falls Argus Leader quoting Paula Hawks, the just-defeated Democratic candidate for South Dakota's seat in the U.S. House of Representatives.  

     Hawks was engaging in a public post-mortem over the bi-annual pummeling that SD Democrats had just endured.  She told the A-L that "I think what we've seen in the last year is that what we're doing isn't working.  We do need a shake-up."  The gist of the piece is that Hawks's view reflects the state party's internal disagreement over how many of its woes should be blamed on its current leadership.  As a Republican who wishes we had a more vigorous two-party climate in South Dakota government, I find myself cheering a lot for Dems that I admire, and I put Paula Hawks in the top tier of that list.  But on this issue of leadership I think Hawks is missing the underlying point.  Dems in South Dakota need to re-evaluate their basic assumptions, and they need to do it on three fronts.  
     First they have to settle on an identity.  Yes, they can be the agents of social change (and I'm with them on just about every aspect of that), but they simply must understand that their essential persona has always sprung from the roots of economic justice.  Remember "it's the economy, stupid?" 
     Next they need to tailor a coherent, statewide message that reflects that party identity.  Yes,
To This?
You Bet Your Whatever
there's room for cultural liberalism in their message, but they have to have an overriding economic argument that makes it possible for them to put the conversation into terms like education, healthcare, infrastructure, wages, tax reform and economic growth. That's the stuff that affects people's day to day lives.  For example, though moot now, I was very disheartened by the lack of urgency about Medicaid expansion in the message of Democrats throughout the state.  

     Finally, they must find the means to get their message across.  I've met Co-Party Chairs Ann Tornberg and Joe Lowe and can attest to their abilities and commitments.  They accomplish a lot without the mother's milk of politics--money. Fund raising should be a top priority, beginning now. South Dakota has 170 thousand registered Democrats.  That's a pretty sizable pool of potential donations.  
    Even though money is tight, there's no shortage of ideas and issues that SD Dems can put to work.  Once they resolve their identity crisis a lot of other things will fall into place.  


  1. Yep, they've got to stop soaring with the eagles and get back on the ground to peck at the rocks with the chickens.

  2. I did not vote for Hawks, did not vote at all for that position or for any Democrat.

    I instead reject her party's fixation on repealing the 2A. They made a bet, and they lost; Nationally, and it carried over to the local level. Review the debate video of Thune Vs ????. Asked about the 2A, the D responded with canned party line as though he was reading a cue card. Thing is, you can tell he really hasn't given that officially approved and provided DNC response enough thought to make it his own. How can one have a position if they can't express it? This is the D's version of "repeal and replace", there is nothing of value within, but it gins up the low information voters.

    I will not contribute to, nor vote for anyone of any party who makes silly, do-nothing laws a part of their platform. Any Party.

    How to get elected as a D in SD? Forget the DNC, they are corrupt and will throw you under the bus with their DC agenda as they did by cheating Bernie out of the nomination. When you interact with voters, actually listen. Don't pretend to listen or think about what you want to say next, but truly listen. They will tell you what they want if you listen, then try to meet those needs; honest effort will get you votes.


    PS: Your Bot tester covers the instructions of how to prove you are not a bot.