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Archive for the ‘politics’ Category

Democrats are divided. If something doesn’t change, these geniuses are going to give President Trump a second term.  To be a political party in a diverse nation, you need flexibility or as Senator Ted Kennedy said a half a loaf is better than no loaf.  Progressives want the whole loaf or starve.

The well-intended Progressive Movement is just that..a movement.  Winning elections to them might be second to progressing their causes in general.  When the Bernie Sanders crew didn’t get their guy the nomination, some of them blew off the general election while others voted for Trump.

Recently, former Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper was booed by California Democrats for saying Socialism isn’t the answer.  Well, rural Black southerners who actually vote are Moderates who would say “Say What?” if you broke down socialism for them.  “Ok, I am at the factory in steel-toed shoes all day while fools are at home thinking about getting free stuff from the government but it isn’t free because those are my tax dollars.  No one wants to see hungry babies but these grown folks with their hands out could work HERE…we are hiring.  But they are too cool to get dirty at work.”

Dare I ask: Was Dr. Martin Luther King naïve?  In our journey up from slavery, we basically assume that Blacks just needed a fair opportunity to prosper.  M.L.K.’s dream turned into a nightmare when you understand that not everyone is doing their best.  Some White, Black, Yellow and Brown people are just lazy and shiftless.  Blacks of the civil rights movement were generally rooted in the family and church.  The freedoms we enjoy today unfortunately include the freedom to be weak and a self-made victim.  Dr. King is likely disappointed on the other side.

Barack Obama was equally naïve on some level.  When horrible things happened, he would say that’s not who we are.  Actually, Obama’s vision was who we should be (like Lincoln’s better angels.)  Trump exploits who we really are….warts and all.  He is the greatest opportunist in American history and shame on the GOP for giving him a platform.

If things don’t change quickly, this is how the election season will go.  The Progressive minority inside the Democrat Party will push presidential and congressional candidates from the Left.  The old Clinton/Gore and Obama/Biden working class/church attending Dems in the Midwest and South will reject that much liberalism.  The resulting ticket and slate of candidates will go down because pouting babies didn’t get their way.  Trump wins and we head toward global isolationism and possible war.

We should mention that the poor people Liberals want to help vote infrequently.

The following is hard for Progressives to understand: Southern rural Blacks never really trust the government.  We see the same local, state and federal governments that sanctioned our oppression.  If Trump wins again, we will be fine because your best life comes from being a better you; not governmental involvement.  I wrote a blog series once called The Best Interest Initiatives.  Moderate Blacks loved it.  If we had more Moderate talk inside the Democrat Party, we could pull enough suburban voters from the Republicans and Trump would lose.

https://projectlogicga.com/best-interests-initiative/

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To move forward as a community, we need to be concerned with more than who wins elections.  Politicians can’t save you from you. The most successful communities have strategic plans based on reality and achievement.  Because this blog post will ruffle some feathers, an italicized disclaimer should come first.  “In a free society like America, you can’t tell people what to do. People have a right to free association and free thought.”

Of course, there are consequences and results from free actions and that is where governmental involvement gets complicated.  You can be unemployed and have six babies but other citizens become involved if you need their tax dollars to feed these innocent kids.  You can have a faith belief that is against a woman’s right to choose but are you going to feed the resulting children for the next 18 years.

I wrote a blog post about P.E.C.S. recently: Politically, Economically, Culturally and Socially.  The idea is that politics is just one part of the overall wellness plan for a community.  We need to be careful about our economic actions, cultural choices and general societal mindset.  Basically, my community is a mess that is getting messier while other communities are moving forward.  Slavery and Jim Crow makes our situation unique but still, we must do better.

https://projectlogicga.com/2018/07/23/southern-black-muscle-p-e-c-s/

Are we actually moving backwards from the pre-integration Black communities?  While those communities were oppressed, most Blacks of those days were fully-focused on achievement and eager to capitalize on every rare opportunity.  The Black home isn’t as solid as it once was and our children are growing up with a range of influences.  Often, the hip hop culture has replaced the church as a major influencer.  Calm down, we all love the art medium of music and rap lyricists are poets.  But, for children without deep roots, the glamorization of street life from music could become a rough way of life. Are these kids preparing for S.T.E.M. careers or jobs in the trades?  Will they be ready to earn a living in the rapidly changing global economy or will they self-medicate and become adult wards of the state?

On the other side of town or in the rural areas, some in the majority community in the South are expressing radical bitterness.  Dr. Condoleezza Rice says that slavery is America’s birth defect.  Conversations about fairness and righting past wrongs have led to a siege mentality for some folks.  Remember, everyone has a right to his or her thoughts.  However, when your thoughts result in discrimination, problems can be legal and financial.

Economic development officials are discovering that local bitter views can stop national companies from bringing new jobs to some areas. Ouch.  Supposedly, B.M.W.’s decision to locate a plant in South Carolina over the Savannah, Georgia, area included drama over the Confederate flag.  Corporations and companies feel out areas and avoid places with simmering troubles.  They don’t want to live in such places and don’t want employee conflicts on the worksite.  We will live together as brothers or perish as fools.

I wrote a blog post about elected officials using technology-generated maps to analyze where voters live.  Governmental projects and services could reflect voting actions; the squeaky wheel gets the grease.  My palm hits my forehead when I think about the neediest areas being the areas with the lowest number of voters.  So, the government helped your family during struggles but you can’t find ten minutes to vote.

https://projectlogicga.com/2018/06/26/political-money-maps-vs-kids/

I don’t want to say “hate” groups but “bitter” groups and individuals from the Far Left and Far Right are being mapped by watch organizations.  Similar to elected officials giving better service to “voting” areas, extremist’s views could cost someone a paycheck or a community jobs.  Increasingly, the first question after an ugly incident is “where does he work?”  Social media can immediately target a company or business if they employee a vile person who offends a segment of the community that is a source of revenue or business.

We can reverse engineer bitter situations.  In the middle of the Civil Rights Movement, Atlanta’s business community earned the reputation as the city too busy to hate.  Of course, activists are often upset about valid issues but the ends don’t justify the means.  Hero to some is terrorist to others.  A community with a generally positive vibe attracts positive people and positive companies.  The lack of ugliness is a nice reflection on a community.  If your community keeps fighting the Civil War, you shouldn’t be surprised if a corporation views that as intolerant and takes their deep pockets elsewhere.

I also consider it “deep pockets” when a community has pockets of deep or woke people.  For example, Thomasville, Georgia, has a reputation of having intelligent Blacks or a cultured atmosphere in general.  It doesn’t hurt that Tallahassee is just across the state line.  Thomas County has a bitter past like any Georgia area but they have moved forward faster than most.  I won’t mention other area communities with as much wealthy as Thomasville but with a huge divide between the haves and the have-nots.

Our bitter roots are the root of continued problems because the plantation economy ended recently and without a fair reconciliation. You can call it inherited wealth while others view it as ill-gotten gains.  Much of the new hate/bitter speech we are experiencing is simply rooted in the majority fighting changing demographics.

But, we shouldn’t get it twisted.  Population statistics mean nothing if we can’t convert numbers into voters and voters into economic deep pockets.

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The Congress passes a Farm Bill every five or so years that authorizes the United States Department of Agriculture programs.  Most people’s eyes glaze over from boredom when a rural congressman is on the TV talking about crops and cows.  The Farm Bill should be of interest to one group of people: eaters.  There is a saying that “if you eat, you are involved in agriculture.”  Yes, everyone eats and a safe and affordable food supply shouldn’t be taken for granted.  If you forget the “touch, the feel” of natural cotton, you should ask someone over 50 years of age about disco dancing in polyester and other synthetic materials.

Consider this: the local school system is funded in part by property taxes.  In rural areas, property value of farm land is tied to Farm Bill programs.  Without that farm land tax revenue, the schools would be severely underfunded.  So, we should be patient when a combine tractor is slowing traffic on a country road.  Farming was always a battle for minorities in America and severely harsh in the South.  USDA traditionally didn’t help Black farm operations but after some costly class action lawsuits there are provisions of the Farm Bill that support socially disadvantage farmers and veteran farmers.

From seed to fork, we should thank everyone involved in the food supply chain: farmers, ranchers, fishermen, foragers, food processors, produce pickers, truck drivers and the grocery store stockers.  A glance at a few parts of the Farm Bill will give you a new prospective on the importance of agriculture in various aspects of our lives.  The 2019 Farm Bill covered $867 billion.  Agriculture is actually Georgia’s biggest industry.   Remember, deboning chicken in poultry plants is also a vital ag job in many communities.

Commodities:  The heart of the Farm Bill would be the programs that support and promote cotton, wheat, corn, rice and soybeans as staple crops as well as other fruits, vegetables, dairy, meats and aquaculture.  The USDA and Congress work with farm industry groups and other stakeholders to determine what if any policies help them.  While only one percent of Americans work in farming, modern machinery and technology could produce too much food and flood the market.  A balance must be created to keep supplies up but not drive prices for farmers down.

Food and Nutrition: Urban members of Congress support the Farm Bill because food programs like SNAP (formerly called Food Stamps), WIC, the School Lunch program and the Surplus Commodities programs are win/win.  Needy families receive food assistance and farmers have the federal government as a market.  The ripple effect is significant: kids can’t learn at school if they are hungry; undernourished children have expensive health problems and kids developing healthy eating habits is important.  At times, the USDA restricts food production while Americans are hungry.  Of course, the economic aspects of food production are complex and complicated but we should all stay informed on these matters.  In the riches countries in the world, people shouldn’t be hungry and farmers shouldn’t be struggling.

Trade: If the American farmer can produce more food, they welcome the opportunity to sell overseas to feed the world because Americans can’t consume all of the bounty that is produced.  Of course, federal farm policy isn’t all USDA and trade requires involvement from the U.S. Trade Representative and Commerce Department.

Foreign Aid/Affairs:  Agriculture gets exciting when you think that our farmers could change the world as much as our troops.  Farmers could ease war and conflict with bread rather than bullets in some situations.  Starving people need our corn, wheat and even peanut paste.  But long term, the research colleges and universities funded by the Farm Bill could teach North Africans better farm practices to avoid ruining their topsoil.  With better topsoil, drought would not devastate the region and thousands of refugees wouldn’t be pouring into an unwelcoming Europe.

Can our farm technology help Latin America develop better crops to trade, stabilize their nations and stem the flood of refugees at our southern border?  While we are at it, South America and Southeast Asia need new cash crops with our assistance because their drug related crops are killing us.

Rural Development: The federal government puts most of urban development under HUD and rural development under USDA.  The president and the secretary of agriculture could creatively consider almost anything to be rural development.  Rural housing, economic development, broadband internet, rural hospitals, community facilities and water and sewer infrastructure fall under this section.  Residents in America’s biggest cities should love rural development because urban sprawl is a beast.  Everyone can’t live in the city and city people often dream about retiring to their rural hometowns for a quiet life near family and friends.  USDA Rural Development across the South was ready when the film industry came looking for new locations.

Research: The Farm Bill promotes research on college campuses and research in the agriculture industry that makes better seeds, less chemicals and higher yields.  Ag scientists are reducing are dependence on fossil fuels by turning wheat straw, peanut shells, used cooking oil and even algae into fuel.   The research and extension services carried out at our land grant colleges and university are why Americans pay the lowest percentage of their income for food than any nation on the globe.

Conservation:  The agriculture industry must be good stewards of clean air, water and land.  The chemicals used in production don’t need to appear in the water supply or in foods.  Trees and grasslands are essential in photosynthesis and everyone likes breathing.

Summary: The 2018 Farm Bill or Law is nearly 1000 pages and therefore not easily summarized.  But, the programs the Farm Bill authorizes touch all of us.  We should also remember from high school government class that authorization of programs is “checked and balanced” by annual appropriations.  The process is similar to a small business having an operations manager who decides a new truck is needed, a budget manager checking to see if funds are in the budget and still another manager cutting the actual check.  All eaters should monitor every future Farm Bill.

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I just read my third Tom Friedman book.  The man is an outstanding columnist and citizen of the world.  When you see him on CNN or whatever, stop and drink in that knowledge and wisdom.  Thank You For Being Late covers many topics in the fast changing world but the basic idea is that the time spent thinking while waiting for someone can be a golden opportunity to gather thoughts.  Relating to politics and policy, we should stop a think about who we are and what we need rather than the dog and pony show of which candidate can do this or that.  If I got the book from the library then ordered online, you know it is good stuff—below are my notes and highlights.

 

Thank You For Being Late

Thomas L. Friedman

p. 6 And so now that we have made waiting obsolete, their attitude is “Who needs patience anymore.” But the ancients believed that there was wisdom in patience and that wisdom comes from patience.. Patience wasn’t just the absence of speed.  It was space for reflection and thought.p. 155 That said, people have bodies and souls, and when you feed one and not the other you always get in trouble. When people feel their identities and sense of home are being threatened, they will set aside economic interests and choose walls over Webs, and closed over open, in a second  – not everyone will make that choice, but many will.

p. 205 Today’s American dream is now more of a journey than a fixed destination – and one that increasingly feels like walking up a down escalator. You can do it. We all did it as kids – but you have to walk faster than the escalator, meaning that you need to work harder, regularly reinvent yourself, obtain at least some form of postsecondary education, make sure that you’re engaged in lifelong learning, and play by the new rules while also reinventing some of them.  Then you can be in the middle class.

p. 205 For more than a decade after the Internet emerged in the mid-1990s, there was much lamenting about the “digital divide.”  That really mattered because it limited what you could learn, how and where you could do business, and with whom you could collaborate.  Within the next decade that digital divide will largely disappear.  And when that happens only one divide will matter, says Marina Gorbis, executive director of the Institute for the Future, and that is “the motivational divide.”  The future will belong to those who have the self-motivation to take advantage of all the free and cheap tools and flows coming out of the supernova.

p. 206 The example I use is a billboard that used to be up on a highway here in Silicon Valley which asked a simple question: “How does it feel to know that there are at least one million people around the world who can do your job?” It would have been an absurd question to ask twenty or thirty years ago because it didn’t matter – I’m here and they are somewhere else.  Now it is increasingly a central question, and one might add, “How does it feel tknow there are at least one million robots who can do your job.”

p. 207 So where do we begin? The short answer, says Auguste, is that in the age of accelerations we need to rethink three key social contracts  – those between workers and employers, students and educational institutions, and citizens and governments.  That is the only way to create an environment in which every person is able to realize their full talent potential and human capital becomes a universal, inalienable asset.

p. 248 China may be America’s rival, but in today’s interdependent world, its collapse would be far more threatening to America than its rise. Probably the worst thing a rising China might do is bully all its neighbors into toeing its line, take over more islands in the South China Sea, or demand more economic concessions from foreign investors.  But a falling China could melt down the U.S. stock market and trigger a global recession, if not worse.

p. 277 In each successive generation, a smaller and smaller number of people is enabled to affect the lives of larger and larger numbers of people through the application of technology.  The effects may be intentional or unintentional, and they may be beneficial or they may not.

p. 288 I went to Amman Jordan. I talked to them about the contrast between the $13.5 million in U.S. scholarships and the $1.3 billion in military aid. “If America wants to spend money on training soldiers, she added, well “teachers are also soldiers, so why don’t you spend the money training us?  We’re the ones training the soldiers you’re spending the $1.3 billion on.”

p. 290 None of it is going to happen overnight, but we need to work with the forces of order that do still exist in the World of Disorder to start building a different trajectory, beginning with all the basics: basic education, basic infrastructure – roads, ports, electricity, telcom, mobile banking – basic agriculture, and basic governance. The goal, said Gates, is to get these frail stats to a level of stability where enough women and girls are getting educated and empowered for population growth to stabilize, where farmers can feed their families, and where you “start to get a reverse brain drain” as young people feel that they have a chance to connect to and contribute and benefit from today’s global flows by staying at home and not emigrating.

p. 293 Barbut has her own idea for an affordable modern-day Marshall Plan for Africa. “To restore a hectare of degrade land, it cost between one hundred and three hundred dollars,” she said, while a day in the refugee camp for one refugee in Italy cost the host government forty-two dollars.”  Her proposal: in the thirteen countries from Mali to Djibouti, fund a “Green Corps” of five thousand people- one per village in each country – give then basic training and seedlings for planting trees that can retain water and soil, and pay them each two hundred dollars a month to take care of their plantings. This is an idea that actually originated with African leaders.  It’s called “the Great Green Wall” : a ribbon of land restoration projects stretching across the entire southern edge of the Sahara, to hold the desert back – and help anchor people in the communities where they actually want to live.

p. 298 Megginson: Yes, change is the basic law of nature. But, the changes wrought by the passage of time affect individuals and institutions in different ways.  According to Darwin’s Origin of Species, it is not the most intellectual of the species that survives; it is not the strongest that survives; but the species that survives is the one that is able best to adapt and adjust to the changing environment in which it finds itself.  Applying this theoretical concept to us as individuals, we can state that the civilization that is able to survive is the one that is able to adapt to the changing physical, social, political, moral, and spiritual environment in which if finds itself.

p. 310 And to start with I would focus on five of these killer apps that have immediate application to governing today: 1. The ability of to adapt when confronted by strangers with superior economic and military might without being hobbled by humiliation. 2. The ability to embrace diversity. 3. The ability to assume ownership over the future and one’s own problems. 4. The ability to get the balance right between the federal and the local – that is, to understand that a healthy society, like a healthy tropical forest, is a network of healthy ecosystems on top of the ecosystems, each thriving on its own but nourished by the whole; maybe most import, 5. The ability to approach politics and problem-solving in the age of accelerations with a mind-set that is entrepreneurial, hybrid, and heterodox and nondogmatic – mixing and coevolving any ideas or ideologies that will create resilience and propulsion, no matter whose “side” they come from.

p. 310 The late senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan famously observed: “The central conservative truth is that it is culture, not politics, that determine the success of society. The central liberal truth is that politics can change a culture and save it from itself.”

p. 321 Al Qaeda and ISIS, using high-density fossil fuels, are trying to wipe out all that diversity and create a monoculture that is enormously susceptible to conspiracy theories and diseased ideas. This has left that region barren, weak and unhealthy for all its inhabitants. I would argue the same thing happened to the Republic Party in America.  The G.O.P. used to be an incredibly rich polyculture.  And for decades the party itself was a pluralistic amalgam of northern liberal Republicans and southern and western conservatives.  But in recent years, the TEA Party and other hyper conservative forces, also funded in large part by fossil fuel companies and oil billionaires, have tried to wipe out the Republican Party’s once rich polyculture and turn it into a monoculture that’s enormously susceptible to diseased ideas.

p. 327 Very often I meet mayors who have a much better grasp of the world, and the requirements for competitiveness, than their congressmen.

p. 349 One practical way to begin is to anchor as many people in healthy communities. Beyond laws and guardrails, police and courts, there is no better source of restraint than a strong community. Communities also do double duty.  They create a sense of belonging that generates the trust that has to underlie the Golden Rule, and also the invisible restraints on those who would still think of crossing redlines.

p. 361 ….says Grinstein, that “the basic architecture of a resilient and prosperous twenty-first-century society must be a network of healthy communities. National governments are just too cumbersome, distant, and, in too many cases, gridlocked to have the agility needed in the age of accelerations, he argues, and the single-family unit is too weak to stand alone in the face of the hurricane-force winds of change, especially since many families, particularly single-parent ones, are living so close to the edge- without savings, pensions, or homeownership.  A model twenty-first century community would be one that is focused on supporting the employability, productivity, inclusion and quality of life of its members at a time when more and more families need a local hand up to keep pace with the accelerating pace of change.

p. 408 Edmund Burke: When he hailed the community, or what he called the ‘little platoon,” as the key building block and generator of trust for a healthy society.

p. 436 Sondra Samuels: What makes me most hopeful is the ownership that African Americans in this community are taking – (their realization) that nobody is coming to save us. Partners are critical but we have to save ourselves – we have to change our community ourselves. I see families creating achievement plans and they are working their plans and they are showing up differently at their child’s school and they are enrolling in parenting education classes like crazy.

p. 438 The Minnesota way is that everyone should maintain their customs, but there are certain bedrock values – regarding how you treat women, the rule of law, other faiths, public institutions, and community spaces- that are nonnegotiable.

p. 440 But regardless of our cultural heritage, all of us have participate in American society. To do that successfully requires speaking English, gaining an education, and making a contribution.  Most people, particularly those who immigrate in search of a better life, just want to live in a peaceful place and raise their children to be productive citizens.  We should help them do that in every way possible.

p. 443 It’s amazing what happens when people gather around a dining room table, a build trust by focusing exclusively on what they can do to push the community forward. “Trust doesn’t just materialize,” Welsh concluded. “It takes work. It requires a whole bunch of people to keep at it – to keep showing up, and that doesn’t just happen magically.”

p. 448 …what I have found instead was that with every passing year American politics more and more resemble the Middle East that I had left. Democrats and Republicans were treating each other just as Sunnis and Shiites, Arabs and Persians, Israelis and Palestinians did – self-segregating, assuming the worst of each other, and lately, shockingly, never wanting one of their kids to marry one of “them.”  This is awful and has become totally debilitating at exactly the wrong time. We have so much work to do.  We need accelerated innovation in so many realms, and it can only happen with sustained collaboration and trust.

p. 452 …the most important personal, political, and philosophical lesson I took from the journey that is this book is that the more the world demands that we branch out, the more we each need to be anchored in a topsoil of trust that is the foundation of all healthy communities. We must be enriched by that topsoil, and we must enrich it in turn.

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In southern states, Democrat voters are BPM: Blacks, Progressives and Moderates.  We can’t win without all three sections.  Of course, some voters are combinations of two. I am a Black Moderate who acknowledges the views of Progressives.  BPM also stands for “Beats Per Minute” in music.  Georgia is a large, diverse state that has several different musical and political tempos. Democrats need to create a political symphonic piece with various tempos; a fusion of soul, rap, jazz, rock and whatever new stuff the kids call music.

Tempo is Italian for time/pace and the tempo of metro Atlanta, the next five cities and the rural areas is different.  Atlanta is Presto (very, very fast 168-200 bpm) while suburban Atlanta might be Allegro (fast, quickly and bright 120-165 bpm.)   The “Next Five” regional cities (Augusta, Macon, Columbus, Savannah and Albany) could feel Moderato (moderate speed 108-120 bpm) while rural areas range from Andante (at a walking pace 76-108 bpm) to Largo (40-60 bpm.)  We shouldn’t be crude by applying these tempos to certain nocturnal activities reminiscent of Elvis’s pelvis.

Actually, they showed Elvis from the waist up on the Ed Sullivan Show because conservatives considered the music and style he appropriated from my side of town to be disturbingly different.  The political tempo of change to Trump’s supporters is another subject.  They would take the same tempos mentioned for Democrats but have that pace taking America back to the country they want back.  If young Blacks knew the Jim Crow America of my preschool years, they would be voting for Democrats at a Presto pace.

In junior high band, we played a little symphonic piece that introduced a theme.  The theme is played at different tempos by different combinations of instruments.  At the finale, the whole band was playing the theme the together at the same tempo.  Democrats can’t beat Trump and the new GOP without acknowledging the different types of voters in our coalition, appreciating their various contributions and coming together in the end for a climactic election victory.

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I dislike labels but if I must, I declare myself to be a Hybrid Democrat.  I just made that term up.  We have gas powered, electric and hybrid cars.  A Hybrid Democrat is a voter who has elements of different segments of the Blue Team.  Personally, my views are socially moderate, fiscally conservative and extremely pro-rural, pro-black.

It’s my understanding that radical elements of the Blue Team like progressives are rubbing their hands together as they sinisterly aim to take over the Democrat Party.  The Tea Party did that to the Republican Party.

While I wish Bernie Sanders and the Democratic Socialists would go start their own party, I appreciate some of what they think– hear me out.  We know America isn’t right to everyone.  If I were a white guy, I would so love my American experience because as President Jefferson Davis wrote, America to Confederates has a ruling class and a servant class.  Of course, blacks were the servant class.  Are poor whites in the current servant class because the rich have them thinking that they are on the same team?

While cash reparations are not realistic, we must acknowledge that America got great because it had free and systematically low-cost Black labor until the 1970s.  Also, current rich white families in my community are still reaping the benefits of this unjustice in the form of inherited wealth and we know which families worked for which families.

The progressives are wildly radical to advocate wealth redistribution based on some folks being poor.  However, the rich have lobbied government since 1776 to ensure the abovementioned class system.  Look, if you are poor, it should be based on your actions.

Progressives seem to have a rose-colored glasses view of the poor: all poor people struggling as a result of a horrible system of oppression; all poor people are naturally good folks.  Who knows?  A quarter of poor people might not have a quarter because of their personal actions.  A quarter of rich people could be diabolical rats seeking to stay-paid off someone else’s labor.

As the only hybrid Democrat, I am concerned that laziness is fostered by too much free governmental assistance.  Also, I am puzzled by the alarmingly low voting numbers from the poorest segment of the community.   Liberals and progressives aren’t bold enough to speak frankly with low income people about the limited role of government and their part in their self-destruction.

Another vehicle comparison is the crossover.  The O.J. type Ford Bronco was basically a pickup truck with a built-in camper top and seats in the back.  The old station wagons and minivans moved kids around and brought home groceries but they were so not sexy.  The current SUV and CUV sit tall on the road like a pickup but have smooth rides like a car.  They weren’t built for logging crews, construction personnel or farm workers; let that register.

Suburban soccer moms needed flexibility in a crossover utility vehicle and the same families need political party flexibility.  It’s my understanding that Speaker Nancy Pelosi wants Democrats to stop voting for Republicans.  I voted for Ohio Governor John Kasich in the Republican presidential primary because Hillary had secured the nomination and I wanted the GOP nominee to be someone smart just in case the unimaginable happened.  Kasich was the lesser of evils (not evil at all) and the unimaginable did happen.  I was right.

The mission isn’t to battle other Americans in a political party fight.  The mission is a more perfect union.  The crossover moderates are current versions of Reagan Democrats or Republicans who voted for Obama.  The sensible center makes up the majority of American voters; blow us off at your peril.

In red congressional districts, Democrats are often hybrid or crossover.  Fox News would have you think moderate to conservative Democrats don’t exist and the far-left progressives say Democrats can’t be Blue Dog moderates.  The Democrats can’t win without flexibility in our ranks.

During 2019, we should listen to what is important to the voters.  Love him or hate him, Trump did just that and won the Oval with a long list of empty promises.  The Democrats can’t win by dispatching urban hip liberals to “teach” rural voters in pickup truck country what is important.

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If Georgia Democrats want to win in 2020, we must cultivate a coalition from Columbus to the Georgia coast now.  The Republicans constantly speak of Hillary Clinton using money and influence from the two national coasts as her foundation while ignoring “flyover America” or the heartland.  The job of the G.O.P. is to create drama among Americans for political gain.  But on some level, they are right.

From Baltimore to Boston and from San Diego to Seattle, so-called national Democrats are raising countless millions for campaigns and causes across America.  We know that money is the mother’s milk of politics.  However, donors want “ears” or influence for their support.  If you raise a ton of money from coastal elites to win an election, your first deference might be to them over the voters who are now your constituents.  A servant can’t have two masters.

Black folks love us some Barack Obama.  At times during his second term, he seemed to embrace issues based on being on the right side of history more so than the right side of the southern railroad tracks.  (If you don’t know about those tracks, don’t campaign outside metro Atlanta.)

The Progressive Movement in the form of the Stacey Abrams governor campaign made great strides with young voters in Georgia last year.  We feel an additional 100k voters can be had in the Georgia’s 8th, 1st and 2nd congressional districts if they are developed with nuance over time.  A national concern with Hillary and a state concern with Abrams is appreciating rural Democrats—Black and White.

The answer isn’t bringing more southerners into the Progressive Movement only.  The answer includes acknowledging a Sanford Bishop Moderate section of the Blue Team and working with us.  Southern moderates love rural living, support the military, support agriculture/rural development and support the role transportation plays in our economy with highways, the Atlanta airport and the Port of Savannah.  The changes the Progressives want in criminal justice reform, education/training and income fairness are right on time to many Moderates.

We have more in common than you think.  Look, the Country Club Republicans tolerated the rough TEA Party crowd to win elections.  Democrats need to tolerate each other to do the same.  For example, the Moderates would love to bring any Georgia U.S. Senate candidates up to speed on the Farm Bill.  That would be one dusty boots long weekend but at the end, we would have groomed the next member of the Senate Agriculture Committee.  That member would be important to Georgia farmers and producers and vital to people who need a save and affordable food supply around the world.  Actually, ag could solve problems around the world better than missiles but the costal elite don’t seem to know that.

Urban campaign staff seem a little awkward to some rural people.  They show up from who knows where to tell us what is important….to us. Really?   Smooth voter education/Get Out The Vote starts with listening and comfort level.  If you meet the right local community people early and develop a rapport, those local relationships will populate rallies and give candidates the opportunities to win the region over.  Hillary spent all of that money on T.V. ads but if she put a fraction of those funds into chicken leg quarters/Motown music events, she would be president today.

A candidate can’t just be Black and from a Black college.  Voters are too smart for that.  After all, Herman Cain is a successful Morehouse Man but Black voters were not feeling his political views.  On the other hand, urbane Morehouse alum Sanford Bishop was a quick study on crops and troops.

Finally, you can’t make rural voters love all of the liberal views of coastal elites—some but not all.  South Georgia voters know the massive efforts made to get out the urban vote in the past while rural us were an afterthought.  That can’t happen again.

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