Over the past month I’ve had many conversations with Democratic leaders and politicos. Some of them are still clueless on why our Party keeps losing elections.
So, let me spell it out in simple terms.
Over forty years ago, my dad took me to a tobacco warehouse. I was a kid, but I still remember it like it was yesterday. During the auction, Lt. Governor Jimmy Green (Okay, I admit Jimmy had some problems) came around shaking hands and basically doing what politicians do. It’s kind of comical now thinking about it. But, the takeaway is that Green was going around talking to farmers about the price of seed and fertilizer.
Remember that: the price of seed and fertilizer.
Now, fast forward to 2016; the politics has changed but the issues are still the same. It’s the economy stupid.
It used to be that Democrats understood the working class and what it cost to run a household. They knew the price of gas, how much a gallon of milk cost, what it took to buy a car, a truck and a home. They knew what it took to feed a family and the stress involved.
Politicians would talk about those issues. They would talk about jobs and they would go to where the voters were and ask questions; just like Jimmy Green did 40+ years ago.
Let me spell it out:
The majority of North Carolina voters are not talking about bathrooms, same sex marriage and all the other social justice issues: they’re talking about keeping their jobs. They’re talking about how much it costs to raise their family and keep a roof over their heads.
To be honest, if you’ve got time to worry about where someone pees in a bathroom, you’ve got class privileges the rest of us can’t afford. And, if you’re not speaking about the issues middle class voters are talking about, someone else will: the GOP.
I’m not minimizing social justice concerns. I’m saying Democrats need to get their priorities in order. If your house is burning down, you need to focus on putting the fire out and getting out alive; not arguing over the living room furniture. You may argue over my analogy—but you get the point.
So, what now?
If you’re a Democrat, start championing the right causes the mass of the voters are talking about.
One example: bring back the tax-free back-to-school weekend (or at least try).
Of all the people I talk with—that is a major issue. Many in North Carolina are going to other states just to buy back-to-school clothes; computers and all the other things kids need year to year.
You may not be able to make a significant change with a GOP super majority, but at least you can be on the right side of the issues voters are talking about.
When voters understand you know the price of a gallon of milk, they’ll start to pay attention to you.
Here’s your clue:
Stop letting the LGBT (Equality NC & HRC) lead you by the nose. Focus on the middle class, making $40,000-60,000 a year with a mortgage, 2.5 kids and two car payments.
Talk about making their taxes lower. Talk about improving their lives and standard of living. Talk about bringing new jobs into rural communities.
Stop talking about glass ceiling and the “gay agenda.” Otherwise, you’ll be right here in 2020-2022 wondering why you still can’t win a damn election.
When you break down the economic data – it’s not hard to see trends and gaps. Not all of NC is feeling the economic benefit of Obama’s job growth. Secondly, the GOP in NC has fallen short in some areas. These are areas Dems can pick up.