Red States, Blue States, and the Coming Sharecropper Society

Red States, Blue States, and the Coming Sharecropper Society

Red States, Blue States, and the Coming Sharecropper Society

Red States, Blue States, and the Coming Sharecropper Society

Excerpt

Democrats have been frustrated not only by the lack of a clear message by the party leadership in the 2000, 2002, and 2004 campaigns but also by the lack of courage in articulating such a message. This book started as an answer to that persistent weakness, particularly for those of us in the California Democratic Party who, in campaign after campaign, have seen national candidates and their consultants paralyzed by polling data and focus groups, and acting as if they were afraid of their own shadow—doing their best not to offend anyone. In the process they ended up not only alienating everyone but looking weak and confused, to boot. We have seen them position their campaigns in this direction or that, trying to gain the support of disparate voting blocs. We have seen them attempt to appear strong on defense, when in fact their convictionless mush made them look the opposite—regardless of what they said or did. We have seen them attempt to position themselves on an issue such as “choice,” or express their religious beliefs, and throw around the word “values” like a new found toy; most of these attempts have not been very convincing. And while all of this was going on, we saw the activist base that we depend on abandoning the Democratic Party, in many cases because they were fed up with manufactured campaigns promoted without conviction. On top of this the ground-level activists felt that they already had been abandoned for big money–big media campaigns.

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