Dear Tennessee Democratic PartySeptember 11, 2008 - Author: newscoma - Comments are closed
I love you. I do but sometimes folks have to practice tough love with the things they care about.
You guys, well, I thought you knew better but you don’t, and what I’m talking about is that I think you need to come to Hooterville and talk to some of the people I’ve been talking to the past few days. Go to all of the Hootervilles, not just mine.
You are blowing it, in my opinion, when it comes to rural voters and in many ways, you are disenfranchising younger voters here.This isn’t good, Nashville leaders.
There is a world outside of Nashville.
And, I mean this, you guys act like there isn’t sometimes and that’s a damn shame. You have young people here that want to be involved in the political process, are talking to me, and yes I work at a newspaper, that they are constantly not getting their needs met. But, with that said, the GOP is doing dandy here. New building, an air of excitement, recruiting new members, selling McCain buttons enthusiastically and creating new partnerships by reaching across the aisle to a large degree.
Heck, I’m a liberal and I’ve had a great time with the local GOP. They are rocking it.
Earlier this week, I talked to several people in their 20s and 30s who lean to the left who do not feel comfortable with the college democrats due to their age and in the local democratic party because there tends to be too much established fellowship. This isn’t your fault and I’m not blaming you but a little updated training might help from your end. They wanted to put up signs, they wanted buttons, they wanted a rally.
But, and this is just dang unforgivable, is that between 20,000 and 30,000 people were here for the Tennessee Soybean Festival and other than a handful of kids from the college running a voter registration drive, the democrats were invisible. Thousands and thousands of college kids were at the Corey Smith outdoor free concert where there were dozens of vendors when you could have come and made a huge splash and, umm …
You get my drift?
You missed a huge opportunity. Rural communities want to be involved. Engage them and pay attention.
Several years ago, I went to several meetings at the local party and was one of those young voters who felt left out. I wanted inspiring conversations, events to feel excited about. As I recall, I went to one meeting with now Sen. Lowe Finney. I can’t speak for him but I can say that I didn’t get my needs met. After a while, I gave up.
This is the county that has Ned McWherter and his legacy. But there are other counties just like mine that need leadership from the state office. I set up a website for these young voters yesterday. Have you not sent out instructions to rural communities who need your guidance about online networking, talking points and utilizing social communication sites like Twitter or Friendfeed? I’m just asking because I know I haven’t seen them but you might have. Are you talking to established rural party leadership about how to recruit young people.
Gray, we had 4.4 percent of our registered voters vote here in August.
I don’t know about other rural counties but don’t you think you need to reach out to these places that feel that voting is a waste of time because they aren’t being engaged. Yes, McCain will take Tennessee but I’m talking long-term here, not just one race. And, quite frankly, the GOP is getting it done in rural areas in Tennessee.
One young voter called the TNDP on Tuesday and was somewhat dismissed. She was devastated. I put out a call about needing some help to the Memphis Bloggers who were Johnny on the Spot and a call out to Twitter, with many people responding from Nashville.
I had to think about it. It’s more than just this race, it’s the future of this party when it comes to rural young voters who want participating. And it’s about guiding people into a new generation.
If this race is about change, you have people who want change and are willing to work for it, give them a hand. Remember, one of them called you so they are reaching out. I realize it’s a county in the middle of nowhere but voices are of value everywhere.
I contacted my local representatives.
We, and I say we because I’m not just griping are taking action to encourage young voters here and we, are going to try to help some of these kids. Rep. Mark Maddox and I are on it, but you have to help too. We are putting our money where our mouth is.
Politics in this state is not just in Nashville. We are not just a bunch of rednecks who need to be dismissed. One of your rising stars in the state senate started here. He was the same young man who went to that meeting with me so many years ago.
So please, help out the little guys because each vote counts in every election.
We aren’t asking you to do it, we are just asking you to be involved with everyone and not the select few.
Keep up the good work but expand it. That’s all I’m asking. I know this area, trust me on this one. I trust you will take this constructive criticism as it was meant. Not as a slam, but as an opportunity for growth.
Tough love is hard. If I pissed you off, well, too bad.