Democrats have always thought of themselves as an inclusionary Party, the Big Tent. It is with the Party’s effort to hear all that made it such a confusing combination of members – so many with different interests. The recent focus on their urban members and questions of equality of all types makes the Party interesting but somehow, they have forgotten that the questions most important to large sections of the great middle of the country deal with survival now and in the future. Just because the Democrats support and focus on moral issues (as they should) there is no reason they shouldn’t also focus a large section of their energies helping the working man and woman and the nuclear family, all of whom have generally slipped from interest in the Party. Bernie Sanders understood this and that is how a Socialist could poll well in Oklahoma and Nebraska.
The Donald has rage, not the rage of the hard-working poor and middle-class, but it is the only rage matching the rage of the forgotten middle of the country and that is what they like about him even when they are leery about his programs.
Perhaps I was too harsh on Oprah yesterday and maybe she could understand the mid-America neglect. Maybe she understands economics and politics and is a brilliant manager. Maybe she can do the job, I don’t know. But the anger in the country has become irrational, as irrational as the Donald.
“Here in this not even 10-minute interaction, I thought, was the nub of the Bustos report—and the challenge it presents to party leaders who will be asked to grapple with its primary recommendation that Democrats focus on economic matters and steer clear of confrontation on contentious social issues. In theory, it seems obvious the party would do what it must to secure the loyalty of additional voters; in practice, though, this sort of overture means peace-making with people like Burns, through the face-to-face pragmatism of people like Goodin, some of whose views bump up inconveniently against the agendas of interest groups and the platform and mores of the party as a whole. Is Burns worth wooing back? And is Goodin a walking relic—or a key cog in the future of the party? Either way, as Goodin argued in his introductory address to the legislature, this should not constitute grounds for disqualification as a Democrat. “I have fired a gun a time or two, and I am familiar with the Scriptures,” he said. “Some might think that makes me an outcast in my own party. Nothing could be further from the truth. Our caucus is a caucus that values all points of view. There’s enough space for a farm boy like me, as well as woolly liberals.”
In a nutshell, this is the advice of Bustos’ report: Widen the definition of Democrat.
“This is the face of what the party is going to have to accept if you want to be in the majority,” Johnson told me.
“If we call ourselves a big tent party,” Bustos said, “then we should act like it.” https://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2018/01/11/terry-goodin-rural-democrats-indiana-216273