In the past few days, we’ve seen a court hearing that moved into the bizarre and heard democrats spinning GOP political talking points. Candidates across the state are running full-force with the big push coming after Labor Day.
I have some unsolicited, and most likely, unwanted advice.
First of all, quit using the term big government and tired talking points that have failed in the last two election cycles. Explain to potential voters the ways you can help create an effective government. There are a lot of gray voters in this state and when I head out of Nashville I hear three things, Medicare, Education and Jobs. Older, younger and middle-class folks are represented in each of these areas.
The recent squabbles across the state in urban school environments are being watched by rural schools. A school in a small town is in many ways the Rosetta Stone of the community. Copious amounts of money have been spent by School PACs who most definitely have an agenda. The question for many rural dwellers is what IS that agenda? You see, that money isn’t being tossed at candidates in those areas and the news in local papers is who scored the winning touchdown. Politically, it comes down to what is happening at the local board meetings.
And on to Medicare, I’m interested. I’m getting older and I’ve paid that in. I have a father and stepmother who are interested. At the top of the national ticket, and discussed ad nauseum on FOX news, we hear the Romney/Ryan plan. We should be discussing how our friends, family and neighbors will be effected by this national and statewide policy discussion. In Tennessee politics, this has become a talking point on the right, and we should be talking about how to help seniors instead of allowing this to turn into a bad episode of “Fear Factor.”
Tennesseans deserve better. It is a privilege to be elected to office, not anyone’s right.
Let’s talk jobs. Just shouting into the wind about JOBS, JOBS, JOBS!! doesn’t mean anything these days. What’s your plan? In west Tennessee, is there infrastructure ready for the megasite? Give real answers and not just political posturing. It isn’t a game. Most of the people all across the state have been hit hard in the last several years in the recession. I think it goes without saying that there is very little trust in our elected leaders at this point in time. Having authentic conversations is one way to rebuild.
And when it comes to civil rights, this isn’t hard. People have died to make sure that others could live in this country where everyone is treated equal. Children in this state have committed suicide due to gay bullying. All bullying is wrong. Just say that instead of holding the banner of “these rights apply to the people that I think they should apply to.”
I’m asked at times what I think. Apparently sending some of the candidates a rate sheet completely shuts down the conversation (how about that as that is what I do). That’s fine, because you see, I’m not going anywhere and neither are other democrats in this state. We haven’t folded our tents. You don’t have to be an elected official to care deeply about politics, which as Annabelle Clement O’Brien used to say, can be a beautiful thing. Politics, and government, creates roads, schools, parks … I realize it is a new world of nonstop news and countless political pundits, but those words are timeless and true.
Yet it becomes ugly when someone running for office is using the same old talking points set by the GOP and doesn’t realize that people are getting treated less than. People like myself. As Betsy wrote, for people who are passionate not only about politics but about the next generation, we are indeed getting worn out. The sad thing is, I don’t think anyone cares and that is the hardest pill to swallow.