We talked a lot about the national message, how it’s being crafted, and by whom. I feel that the rich and well-off are getting what they want, but you and I aren’t getting shit.
What’s the 2016 Democratic message?
We still have no idea, though we raised these concerns last time:
- Raise the Minimum Wage;
- Legalize Marijuana;
- Build Infrastructure;
- Tackle Student Debt;
- Environment – Change You Can See.
So those were some talking points and issues that can get people excited.
You know what’ll really get ‘em moving to the polls, however? Jobs.
People want jobs! They want good jobs, not this piddly shit we’re handing ‘em here in Missoula. I spoke out against the minimum wage service jobs that out-of-staters put on our highway exits before heading off to HQ several states away.
Who does this help?
Let’s talk about good jobs, the kind that pay well and that you can be proud to talk about with the relatives back home during the holidays. Sadly, Montana has few of those these days, and more ‘good jobs’ seem to go away than come.
I wish Democrats talked about this more, but they don’t think it’s necessary. I guess that’s because the top ‘leadership’ all have cushy government, taxpayer jobs. Yep, elected officials, making your dime. Ask many of them what they did before, and it’s a good bet it was another government job.
Is it any wonder that we’re not bringing good jobs here? Many Democrats have never had to create jobs, or even work in the private sector!
While more of the same might appeal to some, it sure doesn’t appeal to me. The Montana Democratic Convention is in Bozeman over August 14-15, and John Driscoll had a good letter in the Missoulian today about the terrible representation local counties have at that convention. I’m sure that letter will be ignored.
It’s a shame, because the local party really needs some revival. I dropped in on the Missoula County Democrats’ webpage today, and it’s a relic from before the 2014 elections. Hell, I think it’s even earlier than that.
So there’s work to be done. Right now the Montana Republicans are organized, and they have a plan. It’s called the 4 R Plan, and it’ll wreak havoc on us if we’re not careful. Thankfully I’ve come across a copy:
Can we boil them down a bit?
- Recruit: Enlist candidates while assisting local county committees on training them and recruiting more;
- Respond: Focus on issue politics, not personality politics, while at the same time listening to all ideas and giving continual updates on what the state party is doing, both its successes and failures;
- Raise: Have a fundraising plan that coordinates with local organizations to meet clearly defined goals, as well as the incorporation of a finance team to oversee these efforts;
- Reorganize: Have a strategic advisory team that knows how to give candidates modern tools to help them get elected, while at the same time focusing on strengths and weaknesses of the overall organization.
I wrote about most of this stuff in my book Social Media Politics: Using the Internet to Get Elected. I’m sure most of you won’t buy it, for whatever reasons, and that’s a shame. I sure hope someone at the Montana Democratic Party is coming up with a 2016 game plan for you.
I’d imagine Mike Hopkins will be a key player in that finance team that’s responsible for party fundraising efforts. He was elected the party’s treasurer yesterday. I met him once at a Target Range candidate forum back in 2014, and I think he has his head on straight. In other words, Montana Republicans will be raising a lot of money.
I have to ask, why is the Montana Democratic Party not doing any of this? Are all of the party donations going right to Bullock’s war chest? We need people updating blogs, doing social media, making flyers, and especially what Driscoll is talking about, getting local people organized. I think it’s a disgrace that the Democrats haven’t stepped in to fill the news void left by Johnson and Dennison at Lee Newspapers. That’s a missed opportunity to spread your message in a low-information environment. Since they won’t do it, I will. Someone has to.
- Recognize: We don’t need to recruit so much as recognize. We already have a lot of good Democrats out there, many of whom are doing good work. Let’s recognize them! Some are young Democrats, and some have been around for awhile. Oh, and enough of this DINO shit, alright?
- Respond: We’re going to listen to your concerns and respond to them in a concrete way, not like some stick in the mud that’s deaf in both ears. We’re not going to play blame games that move us back, but instead we’ll engage in concrete dialogue that propels us forward.
- Ready: While the Republicans are busy raising money among their rich donors, we’ll ready our forces, holding them in reserve for the coming battle. Of course, this means identifying the troops and arming them. Registering voters helps with that, as well as putting forth issues and ideas that excite them enough to come forward on their own.
- Release: We need to release our forces, their pent up anger and frustrations over what America has become, and use that to sweep into the 2017 legislature. People are pissed, damn it, and we need to harness the power of that and release it upon the Republicans, utterly obliterating them in the process. It'll be a sweep in ’16 alright, just not in the direction they think.
Those are ideas, and I hope the Montana Democratic Party thinks about them.
I have no idea who the Montana Democratic Party is, to be honest, and most people in this state are the same way. It sounds like some monolithic force on the land, like a new Anaconda Company. It’s imposing, off-putting, and cold. That’s what it seems like to all the people that aren’t voting!
Let’s change that, and figure out how to move this state forward instead of just staying stuck in the mud.