Democrats Forgot Their Donkeys

Far too many of them live in, and appeal to, an increasing restricted American political space–excerpts from a major opinion piece at the NY Times:

What Democrats Don’t Understand About Rural America

By Chloe Maxmin and Canyon Woodward

Ms. Maxmin, now 29, was the youngest woman to become a state senator in Maine’s history. Mr. Woodward ran her two campaigns. They are the authors of the forthcoming book “Dirt Road Revival,” from which this essay is adapted.

NOBLEBORO, Maine — We say this with love to our fellow Democrats: Over the past decade, you willfully abandoned rural communities. As the party turned its focus to the cities and suburbs, its outreach became out of touch and impersonal. To rural voters, the message was clear: You don’t matter.

Now, Republicans control dozens of state legislatures, and Democrats have only tenuous majorities in Congress at a time in history when we simply can’t afford to cede an inch. The party can’t wait to start correcting course. It may be too late to prevent a blowout in the fall, but the future of progressive politics — and indeed our democracy — demands that we revive our relationship with rural communities.

…Over the past decade, many Democrats seem to have stopped trying to persuade people who disagreed with them, counting instead on demographic shifts they believed would carry them to victory — if only they could turn out their core supporters. The choice to prioritize turnout in Democratic strongholds over persuasion of moderate voters has cost the party election after election…

…It’s about a nationwide pattern of neglect that goes back years…

…When Democrats talk only to their own supporters, they see but a small fraction of the changes roiling this country. Since 2008, residents of small towns have fallen behind cities on many major economic benchmarks, and they watched helplessly as more and more power and wealth were consolidated in cities. We saw up close the loss, hopelessness and frustration that reality has instilled.

The current Democratic strategy leads not just to bad policy but also to bad politics. Our democracy rewards the party that can win support over large areas. Ceding rural America leaves a narrow path to victory even in the best circumstances. When the landscape is more difficult, Democrats set themselves up for catastrophic defeat…

Something has to change. The Democrats need a profoundly different strategy if they are to restore their reputation as champions of working people, committed to improving their lives, undaunted by wealth and power…

…it’s not too late to make amends, to rebuild our relationship with the quiet roads of rural America. We have to hit the ground running, today, this cycle, and recommit ourselves to the kind of politics that reaches every corner of our country.

One really cannot see today’s Democrats actually doing much to follow the advice above. And, even if they made a try one, wonders whether much of rural and small town/city America would take them seriously these days.

Related posts:

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How Woke Can the Democrats Go?

The Biden Presidency, or, Democrats Going over the Cliff?

Mark Collins

Twitter: @Mark3ds

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