A Learning Curve In State Politics

As we have settled between the election and are smack dab in the middle of two holidays, the race for TNDP’s chair is heating up in a slow burn. Democrats from across the state have supplied several op/eds recently on state politics on what worked in this election cycle, what didn’t and varying degrees of opinions on the future.

Pundits and interested parties across the state have been writing about how the legislature should oppose/govern/compromise/all the other buzzwords. That’s one thing to watch in the upcoming general assembly. This is new ground being in such a small minority and I do not envy our state’s elected officials at this time. I don’t think there are going to be any easy answers. I don’t think a Magic 8 Ball is going to provide much until they get in and dig in their heels.

We have two things happening here. Our elected officials standing their ground in a passively aggressive hostile environment and the election of a new state leader for the party. The Supermajority will have its own problems between the moderates and tea party, which is going to interesting. There are several issues occurring that GOP leadership is going to have to deal with such as felony charges against David Hawk, and handling real public opinion on healthcare and schools.

Separate and connected in many ways when you look at the big picture of what our elected leaders must face and the next chapter for the TNDP.

If I were going to offer any words of advice right now is that what I believe your average person wants are a list of tangible solutions. They need to know what worked this election cycle (and some things did) and they also need to know what can be done to make the party stronger in the long haul.

We know the problems, so what are we going to do about it? We can bang that drum all day (and as Betsy wrote this morning, many of us have been trying to offer different degrees of our take on problems and solutions in the state political infrastructure.)That’s what we have to watch is who offers the plan that will unite the state. And it won’t happen in an Internet news cycle which last about as long as the life of an emphysema ridden mayfly.

There will be growing pains along the way. People will have to put aside being stubborn and listen. And one huge thing to remember is in this long skinny state there are a whole lot of people who are different. Huge chunks of Tennessee are getting their news from FOX and very little else. This has to be considered when discussing putting boots on the ground of distributing information on policy and the day-to-day operations of the legislature.

One thing to also take into consideration is that there is an army of passionate people who have unique skill sets that can be crucial and hugely successful in whomever takes the reins over. It’s not just knocking on doors, it is having a strategy of marketing to get the word out to smaller newspapers. It’s fighting back against the weapons of mass distraction that FOX fills into televisions in areas with little or no news. Not every radio station or newspaper has the Associated Press, so just because something goes out over the wire doesn’t mean it will show up in a particular district. Relationships can be built with media outlets outside urban areas, but it is going to buckling up and doing it. We can learn from telemarketing in the music industry of how picking up the phone can make a world of difference. Just a thought there …

I believe that we are in a learning curve, yet the key is we are going to have to listen to each other and look at the stories behind the stories (and they are there). We need to take note that this is politics, there is Good, Bad and Ugly.  There might not be quick answers, but it never hurts to have a plan and then revisit what works and what doesn’t.

Remember campers, there are no wars won in politics, just an ongoing cycle of battles.