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View Diary: Kossacks Must Share the Democratic Party with Factory Workers (285 comments)

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  •  Yep. Here's the diary (3.84)

    and the quote from a comment within:

    "I'll happily buy from communist China if it puts a NC textile worker out of a job. The communist Chinese aren't nearly as big a threat to me than right-wing nutjobs who vote for folks like Jesse Helms.

    Don't have healthcare? Boo hoo and fuck off. Maybe that Pentacostal preacher can lay on hands and cure your cancer. Let Jesus provide, my wallet is closed."

    Now, to be fair to the community, the commenter was hit with a zero or two (one from me), but yes, this disconnect DOES exist within the party and the DKos community.

    There is nothing wrong with America that cannot be cured with what is right with America. -- Bill Clinton

    by ThirstyGator on Fri Jun 24, 2005 at 02:27:47 PM PDT

    [ Parent ]

    •  Thanks for the link and correction (4.00)
      I remembered that you had railed against it, but I couldn't remember the original diary it was in.  It was one of those cases where I arrived too late to the party to contribute meaningfully, so I think I foured you and moved on.

      But yeah, sometimes that stuff can be insidious.  I doubt the poster would consider him/herself to be anti-worker, but the whole 'red-staters are morons' meme bleeds rather easily into rage against the working class.  It's something to watch out for.  Workers are the natural allies of the Democratic Party, and we ignore/condescend to/piss on them at our peril.
      •  I was writing (none)
        my entry downthread about this as a link to the comment in question appeared and you expanded a bit on it. So, disregard those portions of my comment that you dealt with here.

      •  Thanks Representative Miller (4.00)
        for speaking to the grass roots. I disagree a little with some in this thread. I think it's very rare for a comment to disparage folks for being working class.

        I think it is common to disparage those who vote for lower wages, outsourced jobs, no healthcare, and a greater share of the tax burden because they believe what they hear from Fox News, Rush Limbaugh, and Time Magazine.

        Some of these chickens who vote for Colonel Sanders parrot Limbaugh talking points, word for damn word, about the evils of unions.

        We need to have what Tom Harmann calls democracy in the workplace. Man, when Rep. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) is on every Friday, The Tom Hartmann show is a democracy-fest.

        My $0.02

        "The diesel engine can be fed with vegetable oils and would help considerably in the development of agriculture of the countries which use it." R. Diesel, 1911

        by nuttymango on Fri Jun 24, 2005 at 03:53:42 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  It was an interesting response (4.00)
      to my mention of the Pillowtex close down and how Cabbarrus county still vote ~60% for Bush.

      We need to tell the average joe that Dems are oun their side and share their economic concerns.
    •  Why were they Zeroed? (4.00)
      The user was expressing their opinion.

      And I honestly, I don't cry for any of those guys who vote Republican on Tuesday and lose their jobs on Wednesday.

      I cannot and will not ever vote for a Republican for anything higher than dog-catcher, especially not to a federal or statewide office because simply the forces behind a party have more to do with an administration's/legislature's agenda than any one person.  And the forces behind the Republican Party are big business anti-worker and anti-consumer.  

      So if a voter believes and decides that losing their gun is more important than losing their job ... killing people in countries that pose no threat to them is more important than keeping people alive in their community ... that preventing the abortion their daughter won't have is more important than losing the job they do have ... that criminalizing the gay marriage they won't need is more important that increasing the worker protections they do need then they should be prepared to live with the consequences.  And no I'm not stereotyping.  I'm working off of information available to all of us gathered through polling and exit polls.

      Our job is to give the voters a choice, and I'll admit we haven't always been good at this.  But the information is out there for anyone willing to look.  So if a group of voters are too lazy to research the issues and didn't pay attention in their civics class to learn the difference between the two parties don't blame me for choosing to instead focus on helping those individuals in areas smart enough to vote progressive.

      ...and speaking of being zeroed, I seem to have lost my trusted user status out the blue and have no clue how to get it back.


      by DWCG on Fri Jun 24, 2005 at 03:35:09 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  It's a question of tone, not facts (4.00)
        You're right.  Everybody does have to live with the consequences of their actions. And working class Republican voters certainly are.  They're losing their jobs and struggling to make ends meet.

        But calling them stupid isn't going to help convince them to make the change.  The Right Wing Noise Machine has done a great job of discrediting any media outlet that tells unsanctioned truths, so it is very easy for them to believe that the "information that is out there for anyone willing to look" is a pack of lies.  

        I'm just saying that we need to continue to pound away at the idea that they are better of with the Dems, and hope that the message gets through someday.
        •  You guys are such liberals (none)
          First of all, this isn't intended on being a strategy session on Democratic message intended to be packaged and sold to Congressional candidates.  I'm giving a blunt assessment of what I feel the mentality is of the people who have given us our current government.

          Quit making excuses for these people - THEY ARE STUPID AND/OR THEY ARE LAZY and that's why they vote Republican.  

          The responsibility of the Democratic Party is to offer a choice - to put up credible candidates.  Everything after that is money spent on getting a particular candidate in office, but that doesn't negate one's own responsibility to research the issues and vote in their economic interests ... in the interest of their parents, their kids, their job, their spouse, themselves.  And yes the information is out there and you really don't need to be a member of MENSA to find it.

          Not everyone here lives in a media market with an honest news outlet or comes from a family that instilled progressive values in them or went to a liberal Ivy League school, but we all have come to the realization that a working man voting for a Republican is like a chicken voting for Colonel Sanders.  

          So I say if you're a middle-aged citizen and don't realize how the government works then that's YOUR FAULT!  If you don't understand the difference between the two parties then that's YOUR FAULT!  So don't tell me to feel for these guys.  The dog keeps biting their hand and they keep trying to pet it.

          As David Hannum said, "A sucker is born every minute" and as fate would have it, to help the dumb bastards we need their votes.


          by DWCG on Sat Jun 25, 2005 at 10:54:39 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  At the risk of getting trolled rated (3.50)
        The irony is, these are the folks who not only fail to vote in their own best interests, but do so in large part because the issues that appeal to them--gays, xenophobia, immigration, getting revenge on ragheads--are those that embody hatred and intolerance for others.

        And here we are, flagellating ourselves for being insensitive to them.  In their world, that makes us sissies.
        •  A little to pat of an explanation (4.00)
          Remember the New Deal coalition? Those hateful bigots did vote for Democrats for 50 some odd years back when 'educated' and 'smart' people voted for Dewey and the republicans.

          And lets PLEASE not group working class folks into one category shall we? I think most working class black people, and the millions of white males and union members who did vote for Kerry might take offense to that generalization.

          You think maybe one reason lots of people don't vote for Democrats anymore (against their own interests) is because the DLC, and yes, kind of got rid of a lot of reasons to vote Democratic when we passed NAFTA?

          It's also sad because Carter, Clinton, Johnson, and Truman couldn't get a national health care plan through Congress. I think that also goes into some of the thinking that you see in young and middle-aged people that "government doesn't really do anything." So if all you think government can accomplish is things having to do with abortion, wars, and gays, then your also more likely to vote based on those issues rather than issues like health care, jobs, the environment, etc. because you don't government can do anything about those issues. And this is a failure of the Democratic party as well as a success of the Republican Party in defining what government can do.

          I said this down-stream, but if you want working class folks to vote Democratic, then you need to work to organize unions. Just look at the exit polls. Unions provide a progressive political education to their members.

          Follow the signature, and we will win.
      •  Look (4.00)
        You want working class folks to vote Democratic again? Well first of all, let's be specific here, you want working class white males to vote Democratic again?

        Then you need to work in the labor movement to organize workers. That is the way to bring these folks back into the fold. Unions provide political education to their members.

        How many white males voted for Bush last time, what like 55%? Now what percentage of union white males voted for Bush? Less than 40%.

        Unions do more to bring people into progressive movements than 100,000 "netroots" activists and 100 million dollars in political ads could ever hope to do. At least at this point in time.

        The answer to Democrats winning and the working class to vote Democratic is to make the Democratic Party a working class party!

        If my signature happens, I guarantee we will have a lock on all three branches of government.
        •  Unfortunately, (4.00)
          Thanks to republican administrations, labor unions are nearly as extinct as wooley mamouths.  But those that still exist should be supported with money, time and rhetoric by us Dems, and we should be supporting workers in other ways, like harrassing the shit of Walmart, for a start, to provide health insurance for their workers and their families.  We need to creatively and effectively start speaking and acting for workers.  And as I've written in diaries and comments on Kos, we may need to change some of our own consumption habits in order to pay for the politics necessary to make their lives better.  And I've heard all y'all's comments about how you don't consume too much, etc, etc...but maybe if working folks see some real as opposed to merely rhetorical political support, they may start really listening to us.  They need some good, old-fashioned, genuine solidarity from us, which will probably mean some sacrifice on our parts.

          Ducking for cover now....

          I donated to ePluribus Media. Support citizen journalism!

          by dksbook on Fri Jun 24, 2005 at 06:39:29 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Of course I completely & wholeheartedly agree (none)
          But the question is why did even 40% of union men vote for Bush?


          by DWCG on Sat Jun 25, 2005 at 11:03:39 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  Re: (none)
        Our job is to give the voters a choice, and I'll admit we haven't always been good at this.  But the information is out there for anyone willing to look.  So if a group of voters are too lazy to research the issues and didn't pay attention in their civics class to learn the difference between the two parties don't blame me for choosing to instead focus on helping those individuals in areas smart enough to vote progressive.

        You are assuming that Democrats give working class voters a choice. They often do not. How many Democrats in the House and Senate supported NAFTA, GATT and the WTO? How many of them know, or care if the promises made by proponents of these agreements have actually been kept, i.e., is Mexico's economy doing better because of NAFTA, and is that in turn spurning more demand for American products? According to the stats from the World Bank, the answer is a resounding no.

        What choice did John Kerry give a textile worker in the Carolinas? He admitted flat-out he would do nothing about outsourcing. He proposed inconsequetional modifications to the tax code that would incentivize firms to keep jobs stateside. These tax code modifications would have been the proverbial band-aid on a gunshot wound.  Democrats don't speak to these issues, even if some supporters of the party think they do. It's not at all clear to a textile worker in the Carolinas that the Democrat is better economically then the Republican, no matter how much "research" they would care to undertake. If Clinton is pushing the WTO and NAFTA, and deregulation of Wall Street and the electrical grid, and insulating CEOs from lawsuits, and allowing massive consolidation in the media and telecom sector resulting in hundreds of thousands of layoffs, how is the Democratic consensus different from the Republican one? Only in degree.  
      •  Engage not attack (none)
        group of voters are too lazy to research the issues and didn't pay attention in their civics class to learn the difference between the two parties don't blame me for choosing to instead focus on helping those individuals in areas smart enough to vote progressive.

        It's up to "smart" progressive such as yourself to have a message for that speaks to that "group" of voters. It's in your interest if you want to win elections.  I don't think calling people lazy helps your cause.
        •  Thank you for the advice (none)
          But I'm not trying to run for office or run a campaign for office.  I'm posting on a message board.  Thus, I see no reason not to say that these people are dumb and the entire electorate is lazy.

          Any working class citizen who votes Republican is dumb!  But you're especially dumb if you're a blue collar/factory worker in an industrial town down South.  While I agree these people aren't to be ignored and should be persuaded, it doesn't neglect the fact that they are dumb.

          And don't tell me about what I should be doing to deal with their laziness and stupidity so as to excuse it.  If just two names appeared on the ballot every four years, in one's own economic/self-interest, they should care enough to go to the nearest library to download the two candidates' policy papers regardless of whether either campaign reached out to them.  It's a process that could be completed in less than a couple of hours and it is an election for Christ-sake! ... for president of the United States!  

          Finally, I have spent plenty of time working on campaigns in the region and have more times than not been shut down before I could even begin my pitch.


          by DWCG on Sat Jun 25, 2005 at 10:10:22 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  Doesn't sound like a Dem to me (4.00)
      Kos is open to all people of all persuasions and as long as they don't completely alienate the membership (and get rated out of the galaxy) they can belong to any political persuasion they choose. Just because someone on this site posted such an opinion does not mean that Kossian Dems believe in such drivel. I could be wrong, but that didn't sound like a Democrat to me; if the poster was a Democrat, he/she is a very confused one.

      The discussion about working class Republicans supporting Bush's economic (and other) initiatives is a different animal though; these people have no idea how the support they give BushCo and the GOP undermines their (and their children's) very lives/lifestyles/opportunities/jobs/finances/etc... There is a major problem with that logic and they should be ridiculed (in my opinion) not because they are working class, not because of their monetary status, race or any statistical factors, but merely because they do not even understand that they are contributing to their own demise, and ours right along with them. They need to be jolted awake.
    •  In all respect... (none)
      That comment was very, very poorly received.  And the overwhelming sentiment on that thread -- which I just looked at -- was going the other way.

      So it proves the exact opposite.  That statement pointedly DOESN'T represent the overall view of  dKos community.
      •  And I agree... (4.00)
        That comment is not representative of the discussion here. I did not intend to suggest anything like that by my diary.
        •  I know. (none)
          Sorry, I kind of went off in a direction that has been bugging me lately.  I know you weren't implying there were any worker-haters here.  But when even a whiff of that is detectable, it just makes the Republican cry of "Elitist!" more credible.
        •  The party (none)
          I realize this may be a question more for the state party, but I was wondering if the party is doing anything locally in Raleigh or Greensboro to reach out to workers and let them know what Congress (and Howard Coble) and the administration are doing to these programs?
      •  From reading this thread (4.00)
        I don't think there is an "overall view." I, for one, think that if it takes some economic jarring to make voters realize that gay-bashing doesn't put food on the table (except for certain GOP elected officials) then so be it. We will never take back the House and the Hill unless something makes Kansas realize with whom its interests lie.
    •  Troll/idiot/freeper/gannon wanabee (none)
      trying to crap on our site.  That's what the
      zero was intended for.

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