Saturday, December 6, 2014

Midterm elections bring lessons for Democrats

When only two native South Dakotans know what wins elections in that state, life might be easier if the author of The Dakota Progressive just jams a fork up his nose.
When voters pass minimum wage hikes in four of the reddest states--Alaska, South Dakota, Nebraska, Arkansas--but still reject Democrats nationally and, perhaps more troublesome, even locally, that should tell you something. It also provides more clarity in terms of the lessons of this election. Here are two keys to fixing this mess:
1) Stop ALEC's corrupt agenda of buying corporate and socially regressive policies in state legislatures with their largesse.
2) Fund more Initiatives in the 24 states that allow them, so we can go around the bought off Tea-Baggers.
To pick out the last two examples, pot is now legal in Oregon and Alaska, and a Florida medicare marijuana amendment got 58 percent of the vote, and only failed to pass because 60 percent was required to change the state constitution. The other example, I-594 instituting background checks in Washington State, is another success (it passed with just under 60 percent) that can and will be replicated (the requisite number of signatures to put it on Nevada's ballot in 2016 has already been collected--Arizona, Maine and Oregon are other potential states where it might make the ballot).
This is where the action will be the next two years. Democratic left needs to get up off the mat, brush itself off and go do the hard work of taking back the states--via legislation, education and ballot initiative--while standing up strong for principles and not pursuing some elusive "third way." [Bob Cesca]
Jeff Barth: since West River Democrats want to go it alone it looks like just East River, you and me from here.

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