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Tennessee is totally irrelevant to this election. It's a foregone conclusion that Mitt will win here. Neither candidate has set foot in the state.  Latest poll numbers are 59 to 34 in his favor with about 74% of Evangelical Christians here voting GOP.  61% of Tennesseans claim to be Evangelical Christians and we have heard rumors that preachers are telling parishioners that they'll go to Hell if they vote for Obama.  

So what does a progressive in Tennessee do?  I've voted Green twice (1996 and 2000) and my Green friends who are deeply disappointed in Obama can passionately lay out the case for Jill Stein and other Greens.  I voted for Martin Pleasant for Senator since I could not stomach voting for Corker or Clayton and since I support Green values.  But on the other hand, dammit, I just want to show that there are SOME Tennesseans who will vote for Obama, flawed as he is, that we not entirely a lost cause, that there are some sane voices still here. Chip Forrester is quitting as chairman of the Tennessee Democratic Party and who can blame him.  It's been a rough four years.  My question is this: With the religious and economic conditions in Tennessee (we are still a poor state), with so many Tennesseans voting against their own economic interests, is there any way we can turn this state around? Is this the future of the South? Can we build a Democratic party here that is not just Republican Light, that does not cave on social issues like gay rights and immigration a la Harold Ford?  Or do things just need to get so bad people will finally wake up?  


How do we turn Tennessee around?

15%7 votes
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17%8 votes
15%7 votes
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| 46 votes | Vote | Results

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Comment Preferences

  •  We are not as few and isolated as one might think (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JKTownsend, sewaneepat

    We just have to be confident that common sense will eventually win out. And until then, we have to not be afraid to be visible.

  •  Education is the key (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JKTownsend, Odysseus, MikeyTN

    There is a reason why education level is strongly correlated with Democratic voting tendencies. Educated voters are less likely to vote against their own interests.

    Another thing is that there needs to be more integration of communities in the South. Exposure to people from diverse backgrounds is important to fostering culturally liberal values, which is why those values flourish best in urban areas. There is still a certain amount of racial self-segregation going on in the South, which needs to be addressed, and an environment needs to be created where LGBT Southerners are more comfortable coming out.

    "Sometimes a scream is better than a thesis." -Ralph Waldo Emerson "YEAAAAAAARGH!" -Howard Dean

    by AtomikNY on Sun Oct 28, 2012 at 01:55:18 PM PDT

  •  Sounds to me like god comes before politics (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JKTownsend your state. Clearly, that is what matters and makes the people feel happy and secure.

    I'd say your dilemma isn't political but personal. If you have a happy and secure life there, you're one of the fortunate Americans. I wouldn't stress over the local politics, which are controlled by the church, in any event.

    A child of five would understand this. Send someone to fetch a child of five. -- Groucho Marx

    by Pluto on Sun Oct 28, 2012 at 02:00:11 PM PDT

  •  TN-04 is a competitive race though. (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    sewaneepat, raincrow, Odysseus, MikeyTN

    I would recommend that Tennesseans living in that district vote for Eric Stewart since the incumbent Republican now has a scandal attached to him.

    Eric Stewart for Congress

    Since the TN Democratic Party is recommending "write-in" for the Senate race, a vote for the Green Party candidate seems more practical in that case.

    •  Debating this issue with local evangelicals this (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Pluto, raincrow, Stude Dude

      morning.  Apparently DesJarlais claims to have been 'born again' since these transgressions, so they do not matter, and they are standing with him.  Female evangelicals.  I just can't wrap my head around that logic.

      I condemn Mitt Romney for political opportunism in exercising his free speech rights to criticize America's leaders during a foreign crisis. Wow, I guess I just apologized for Mitt Romney being an ass.

      by emsprater on Sun Oct 28, 2012 at 02:30:15 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I don't know the answers to your questions, but (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    we do have to keep working, keep voting, keep speaking out. And we need to figure out how to build a Democratic Party in our state and in our counties that is viable, organized, and strong.

    Vote Obama and Pleasant!

    You can't scare me, I'm sticking to the Union - Woody Guthrie

    by sewaneepat on Sun Oct 28, 2012 at 02:22:34 PM PDT

  •  Forget about it (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Go buy another gun after church.

  •  Republicans run the media in the South (0+ / 0-)

    Many people live in rural areas and only watch Fox News.  You may want to see if MSNBC is even on the cable lineup in rural areas.  I checked my mom's cable lineup in Alabama in a small northern city and I had to go thru many unused cable numbers to 185 to find it.  I don't think people will be doing that. And working people who only watch tv on the weekend won't find much on MSNBC for them in the discussion of politics as the morning shows on the weekend assume you are already a progressive and the rest at night is either about prison life, advertising, or watered down news between ads.  Fox News is what they watch and keeps people very ignorant dwelling on conservative talking points and conspiracy theories.  As long as you have an ignorant  population, they can be persuaded by people like Bill O'Reilly or Sean Hannity.  The other problem is that the Wall Street media on CNBC represents big money in their political talking points every day.  They strongly believe in deregulation of everything and maximizing profits.  Everyone does get the stock market channel CNBC. Jim Cramer draws them into CNBC with his rags to riches story and amusing show at night.  Hedge fund managers who use all the tax loopholes to not  pay tax and wealthy CEOs whose pay have reached astronomical heights are on there every day talking against raising taxes.  Kudlow is on there every night spouting terms like "free market capitalism" and a "strong dollar" which sounds good but isn't going to help all the middle and low class people in Tennessee.  From what I can tell, most of CNN has moved to Romney and cover his campaign speeches.  If Romney wins, I believe the media was complicit in Obama's defeat.  And now we have that ad every 5 minutes against socialism showing people in line for bread in some communist country.  People do not even understand the difference in socialism or communism but they will vote against it anyway, even if it gives them healthcare and a social safety net.

  •  Democratic candidates? (0+ / 0-)

    Does the Democratic party think that this person has a chance in hell to unseat Marsha Blackburn in Brentwood, TN which is one of the wealthiest cities in the country?
    Can they not even find a Democratic candidate in all of Brentwood? Do you think wealthy white people are looking for a person to represent them who is recently from Africa?  It is pretty clear that the Democratic party isn't interested in winning our state at all.  I would not spend one minute of my time helping them either until they wise up and take elections in TN seriously.  

  •  Stranded in a Red TN (0+ / 0-)

    I've lived in Tennessee a short time and am very discouraged by the political atmosphere.  I keep telling myself it could be worse (Virginia, Missouri, Texas...).  Education has apparently never been a high priority here, and I think that is a big part of the problem.  However, it's discouraging to drive through the wealthy neighborhoods and see all the Romney/Ryan signs.  I know these people are educated. Is it a class thing?  I'm one of the unfortunates who has Marsha Blackburn as a rep.  I really think the woman is crazy.  I voted for the Green party because, like so many others, there was no choice otherwise.  I should have written in Big Bird as a candidate. My hope is that I'll be able to leave the state within the next couple of years.  I just don't see that it will get any better.

  •  Getting Blackburn out (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    The only way I see that Marsha Blackburn is ever going to be replaced is term limits.  One of the independents, Jack Arnold, is for term limits; at least that is what he says on his website.  But there are too many men running and it appears they have no money to advertise against her.  I have not seen a single ad against Blackburn or Corker.  

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