Before I get all political here, I want to remind you that my grandfather (and most of Hoots’ residents that have a little bit of age on them) were in the generation of Gov. Ned McWherter. He still lives here most of the time and hasn’t been feeling so hot for awhile. So when I’m talking about politics, I remember the gravy years of having a powerful politician advocating for northwest Tennessee in the house and finally in the governor’s mansion, advising former President Bill Clinton and Al Gore.
Gore’s mother is from the county of Hoots. Just a bit of history for you here, nothing more, nothing less.
Then times changed as they always do. The glorious years of an aligned coalition of west Tennessee politicians lost its oomph.
But then we had Joe Hill. I’ve spoken about Hill before who was the Go-To-Guy in Rep. John Tanner’s office here locally. If anyone called him, he called us back. You needed something, if there was a way to get it, you could consider it done. From the little guy who lost his insurance and was suffering from cancer to political questions regarding how Tennessee would be impacted by certain votes in Washington.
He answered the questions candidly and didn’t run away from it. I have actually been critical with him at times and he was patient to explain the reasons why things were done they way they were.
That, my friends, is what we need in Nashville right now.
He kept up with political trends, the best way to communicate at the time and he just went with it starting his career with Ed. Jones. This wasn’t a flash in the pan kind of thing. It was consistent for decades.
I’ve been reading the blogosphere from yesterday from the anonymous commenter at Silence isn’t Golden, KAG’s response, Aunt B’s anger and then Mark breaking it down at Dork Nation which everyone needs to read.
I can only speak for my little corner of the world. I don’t know what’s going on in East Tennessee other than what I read from bloggers. My interaction with Shelby County comes from a fine group of people who communicate with huge props to Left Wing Cracker and Vibinc.
These are connections. Most of the people I’ve linked to above I have either met or corresponded with by email. Not all of them, but most of them.
KAG and Silence get it right and they are MSM in the state of Tennessee. Use the positive things you have or you are in for a mess of poo. They are telling you this and I commend them.
Joe Hill did that too in a different time of political communication. He found strong voices and he utilized them. Of course he was protecting his politician but that’s not the point. The point is that he held frequent and ongoing conversations. You can learn from the past and combine that knowledge into the future of this party.
The Scene writes:
Instead of whining about Obama, Tennessee Democrats should begin learning from him. The president-elect may be one of the Senate’s most liberal members. But he won a campaign with the ingredients of old school populism – health care, jobs, the rhetoric of economic fairness. They’re the kind of issues that can defy party lines, that resonate when Mom and Dad are figuring out how to pay the bills at the kitchen table. This is the stuff that can – gasp! – even get a black guy elected.
But if Tennessee Democrats continue sell themselves as Republican Lite – Motto: We’re Slightly Less Weird about Guns, God, and Abortion! – they’re likely sentencing themselves to an extended period of whining. Cheap facsimiles don’t exactly inspire people at the polls.
If you add the numbers of the views that those bloggers above get, then you are looking at a pretty nice block of people. And then as the message goes viral, it expands but it has to be done with intelligence and in a friendly manner that engages as well as is informative about the issues of Tennessee Democrats. In a large part, those bloggers listed above are already a block as most of us know each other anyway. You are losing out because I don’t think you get that whether you are around or not, we are having a conversation anyway.
Haven’t you figured that out yet?
We can learn from the Obama campaign, TNDP, if you think about it. So quit playing the blame game. It’s so Rovian.
Constructive criticism is important because people are not whipping your butt just to be whipping your butt. They are talking about something they feel passionate about.
I brought up the McWherter reference at the top because the gravy years of West Tennessee are long gone because those days of politics are over. It’s a new day. Conversation has changed in large part to the Internet and to blogging. TNDP, these are your eyes and ears on the ground.
I refer to Joe Hill because you need to calling him this very second as he is an elder statesmen of political management who was successful at it and could give you some sage advice about how everyone in this state has value and to treat them as such. Instead of whining at people who want to help, who want to be part of the political process despite the fact that they have jobs and families but are willing to give their time and voice to taking back the Assembly, don’t belittle them, embrace them. And take that blog of yours and give it a voice and a personality not just a bunch of press releases.
Of course, I suggest Sean Braisted to do that for you as your blog jockey because, in my opinion, he’s the right guy for the job because he engages in conversation about the issues of the democrats. And also, he is listening to the entire state, not just Nashville. He’s thick-skinned and passionate.
And he engages. Why more people aren’t using blog jockeys utterly amazes me.
So, I’ve done your homework for you, Sasser and friends.
The ball is in your court. If you just let it lie there, we will be talking about this again.