On Saturday’s Meeting About Upcoming Elections

12 11 2007

Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.

Margaret Mead

In meeting with some folks on Saturday about progressive politics and next year’s upcoming election, I was taken with a couple of things. First of all, we had a lot to say to each other on a personal level. I also agree with Aunt B. when she says we needed a round table. The conversation drifted. And that was alright because we hadn’t seen each other in a few months, B. had just had surgery and she only has a flesh wound. We checked it out. It’s rather saucy.

There were a few things that had whirled through my mind after we met up after Mack asked me what the number one issue was in our minds. Several people answered but I didn’t. I had to think about this because I think many Americans vote on One Issue. Think about the solidarity of the Republican Party right now although I think it is a fragmented because they don’t have a uber strong candidate running for president is well, but this is, of course, the time of infighting in both partisan camps as the clamoring continues to be the presidential nominee next summer.

Back to the One Issue, it may have tendrils but it usually is back to the “one mind think of the issue that is the most important to me” for the voter, some folks vote about family, about national security, women’s rights, immigration, evangelical leadership, gay rights, denying gay rights and the list goes on.

I don’t think it comes down to one thing, per se, as a collective whole. But, it’s the word of mouth that gets people talking about one issue. People in northwest Tennessee are not talking about immigration or gay rights or urban development so much, they are talking about abortion and Christian Leadership and the viability of rural economic industrial recruitment. Lots of Blue Dog Democrats here, that will vote blue but want it with a conservative center. (I know, I know.)

Personally, I’m a Steve Cohen girl in what I dig in my politics, but then again, I hear a lot of chit-chat about others. I’m figuring I’m a minority around here in the ‘ville when it comes to mad Cohen love.

Who are folks talking about around here, you ask? Ron Paul, Bill Richardson and some John Edwards. Hillary, not so much and Barack Obama, very little. But this is just in the world I live in.

And every political election, no matter where the office is, a local election. The issues of rural voting trends are going to be different than urban voting trends. Ask Harold Ford Jr. this question and I’m sure he could fill you in about how rural America sealed his last campaign for senate (and his own folks in Memphis, who are very tired of the Ford dynasty).

Back to a small group of people, I got busy when I got home from Nashville yesterday and found a few places to go but I think the Republicans are a bit more organized right now online as I said last week and I think this is crucial. Their message is on task. We, as democrats, have has such a weird, disconcerting seven years that we have so many issues we want addressed. But we are getting there.

Their were seven of us on Saturday. Southern Beale, Mack, Aunt. B, Chris Wage, Lesley, Squirrel Queen and myself. The meeting stemmed from another cancelled meeting of progressive politics on Saturday but we decided to meet anyway because it needed to be done or at least we felt it did.

It takes a small group of people. That’s how grassroots movements are born and evolve. You meet because it needs to be done.

So, we talked about the issues that are bothering us. We talked about political blogs. And we need to do it again. And then again.

And next time, there will be nine of us, and then later on, 15. And other groups are getting together.

And we will not agree on everything, but we will agree on that we want a voice in a country that has tried to stifle voices and create static where the words of others have had trouble being heard.

But we found each other online. And, that’s something because we heard over the noise.

And this pleases me.




9 responses

12 11 2007
Southern Beale

I still think healthcare and the Iraq War are two unifying issues that are of concern to everyone because everyone feels them.

Last night I was talking to a woman I know whose son is a senior in high school. She said that last week she got three calls that showed up “Dept. of Defense” on her caller ID. She was absolutely freaked out. She finally pickid up the phone and it was a woman claiming to do a survey. The third question they asked was, “how many children under 18 do you have living in the house.” Well, that freaked this woman out even more. She refused to answer the question and she actually said the lady on the phone was pretty insistent, so she finally just hung up.

This is kind of thing is scaring the crap out of people with kids, no matter where they live. Military recruiters have become far more bold than they ever were in my day. My neice and nephew, who are in college now, were pestered at home to the point of harassment. This very much hits home for people.

12 11 2007
Southern Beale

By the way, it was nice meeting everyone!!!

12 11 2007

Well, I appreciate what you wrote, Coma, but I was asking about the issue that will be used as a wedge most effectively next year. My goal is to identify it, then frame an argument that could appeal to whatever percentage of likely voters calling themselves “undecided.” There is at least a huge pool of voters on both sides that can be swayed by intelligent presentations of key issues…..at least I hope.

12 11 2007
Mr. Mack

Sigh, i have to keep my daughter off my laptop.

12 11 2007

I agree that there are some key hot button issues that are still important in rural areas but aren’t getting the attention they once did at a national level. When I answered Mack’s question, I meant it as more of a “what issue will be the center of discussions on TV” kind of thing rather than what people really care about. I’m not so sure that Thelma Lou cares more about keeping the immigrants out of her community than protectin’ babies. I think the largest “single issue” is still abortion. Good strategists will look at how rural voter turnout is vs. urban/suburban and focus on the issues that are key to the largest bloc, stay on message and go from there. Unfortunately for me (personally), I don’t think the good strategists are working for the Democratic party. We need them. We also need people who can highlight the key issues in the Republican platform that can make them implode. The Republican Party has been speaking out of two sides of its mouth since the days of Reagan (and possibly earlier, but that’s as far back as my memory goes) and it has got to burn them at some point.

12 11 2007

I liked the conversation. Hope I wasn’t misleading in my post here. I think it’s good because it inspired conversation and we need more of this.
Squirrel Queen and I talked about it yesterday and we thought that Iraq and civil liberties of all people (immigration, gay rights, women’s rights) were topping off our list. I think the dialogue was extremely informative and we need to be talking about it.
I think Lesley has a very good point. Where are the democratic strategists? That may be something we need to be hammering.

Mack, it was ‘of the good’ I believe. I do think your question created new questions. Always good for food for thought. And, man, I know Supermousey is a genius but I was like “Whoa.”
I think we need to do this monthly. I think I can swing that financially in getting to Nashville but even if I’m not there I know that we can get it done. For me, it is a matter of having to travel, but for others, I think we have to keep beating the drum.
Southern Beale, it was awesome meeting you as well.

12 11 2007

I am sorry we missed you!!!

* HUGS *

13 11 2007
Andy Axel


Someone let me know about these things. I’m interested in participating, but not so much that I’m going to be spending much time at MCB finding out about them. Too much rah-rah libertafarian stuff to waddle through, and it really tries my patience.

You can find me at KnoxViews/TennViews or through the non-published email I’m leaving embedded in this message.


13 11 2007

Andy, I will send you an email next time we put one together. I’m really pleased you are interested. Also, check with Aunt B. and Mack as well as they are really on top of it.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: