Moving LeftWords


The Pandemic is an Economic Natural Disaster.
We need Rescue, Relief and Rebuilding.

If we frame the proposals currently being debated in Congress as disaster rescue and relief instead of as stimulus spending, we’ll put the focus on people’s well-being and what our moral obligations are, and block thinking in terms of economic analyses that completely leave out the cost of human suffering.

The questions being debated shouldn’t be about whether we need to rescue people, but how.

When disaster strikes, Americans step up. That’s a classic example of mainstream liberal American values at work.

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Why we have to reframe the debate

Our government has been failing, not because government cannot succeed, but because some people don’t want it to. Because those people dominate the debate, we have lost our ability to envision government succeeding and to articulate why that truly matters. That same lack of faith in our institutions and in each other now threatens the stability of our entire society.

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Educational Elitism: The culture war we’re currently losing – but don’t even know we’re in.

How is the Right winning over voters without college degrees? By portraying us as prejudiced against those with less education.

The conservative Right control the agenda of the public debate by 1. saying things that are blatantly offensive or demonstrably false and 2. proposing laws that are offensive and clearly unconstitutional.

We’re the Libs. They trigger us. We respond – giving oxygen to their dumpster fire. We can’t resist correcting people who are wrong or calling out people who are racist or sexist, and they know it. That’s how they control us.

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Blueprint for a Better Party

Real improvement requires that we open our ears and minds to what others can tell us, even if it means re-examining our own assumptions.

I developed this Blueprint in 2018 with the leadership of the state Democratic Party of Arizona, to be deployed in early 2019 through the 2020 elections. Arizona flipped blue in 2020 with a huge 4.78 point increase in Democratic performance (Clinton: 44.6% to Biden: 49.4%).

The Blueprint is a set of recommendations for a strategic improvement process to build capacity, improve services to candidates, develop leadership at all levels, increase volunteer participation, develop year round community presence and voter engagement, and improve the party brand both internally and externally.

These recommendations were based on more than 120 individual interviews and feedback from hundreds of party stakeholders including staff, leadership and volunteers at all levels, professionals, community activists and representatives of allied organizations.

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A Short History of Field Operations

Modern professional field operation can be traced directly back to traditional Democratic political organizations and their counterparts – urban progressives who saw what the “ward bosses” were doing, and thought, “we need to be as effective as they are, but without the leg-breaking”.

What we have to remember is that it can take a decade or more to build a really effective precinct operation, because the power to persuade and really get out the vote is in the personal relationships that your local organizers have with the people in their communities.

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