Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Could Dems Learn Something from South Dakota?

In the ongoing battle to turn the Senate, one state Republicans had registered in the “easy win” column was South Dakota, where they believed replacing the retiring Dem. Tim Johnson would be as smooth as a cool, pastoral breeze shuttling across the hilly plains. Instead former Senator Larry Pressler decided to run as an Independent, potentially splitting the conservative vote, and Rick Weiland has run a progressive campaign that has garnered considerable support across the state.

Weiland is the kind of candidate seen less and less frequently in the party these days, beyond the populist appeal of Elizabeth Warren. He is attacking monied interests, supports Medicare-for-all, is pro immigration reform, wants to expand Social Security and protect the right to organize for workers. Could it be that Democrats should move away from their support of Wall Street and corporate interests and actually engage in a populist appeal to voters? Surveys have shown broad support for this agenda across America for several years now, but with two corporate parties, it is not surprising that neither does more than pay lip service to the interests of the 99 percent. If Democrats want to start winning elections on a more regular basis, including taking back the House of Representatives, holding onto the Senate and winning more often at the state level, a push toward a more populist, progressive platform may very well be a winning strategy (as opposed to the current plan of harassing supporters with 17 emails a day asking for money to stave off a “crisis” of nothing getting done if the GOP takes back the Senate; as if anything is getting done right now). And a more progressive and populist platform would, of course, be good for the vast majority of the public as well!

No comments: