Red to Blue by Empathy, Engagement, & Effort?
I talked to a good local friend of mine today that I'd probably label as a paleo-conservative. Once a Perot/Buchanan supporter. Thinks "when the the truth comes out" Bu$hCo will go down as one of our greatest. Very nervous about the Democrats position on the Second Amendment, singling out our two Senators above for special scorn. I talked to him about Robert J. Vanderbei's maps and University of Michigan work that morphs images around in what some have called "purple haze" since he had a copy of the "Red America" 2004 county map on his desk. My friend seems to wants to know the facts and I'm optimistic he'll listen if approached respectfully.
After that talk, I dropped by a local family business, one where I'm crazy about these folks, where two of the fam snarled at the idea of voting for a Democrat. I think they mentioned Ted Kennedy but I'm not sure. I told some Bu$h jokes, chatted them up, shared my blog URL as they mention my Leader letters, and walked away thinking "Maybe?. I wasn't playing activist or manipulating them as I enjoy being around them. They are rather wealthy and I can understand their support of the GOP when it comes down to economics even though I think their customers would have more money to spend if we were better off and globalization didn't give Wal-Mart a leg up against many small businesses and ...
My paleo friend mentioned Diane Feinstein wanting to go door to door to get folks' guns. He thinks Chuck Schumer NYC gun views are dreadfully out of touch as well. I know several Democrats, including the two above, attempted to renew, as written or perhaps with some amendments, the "assault weapons ban" that expired just before the 2004 elections. Both support Brady background checks and would likely want them tightened up.
Just so I'll feel like I'm being open, I was surely conflicted on this "assault weapon" vote and think reasonable people could go either way. Here's a perfect place for bipartisan solutions yet I'd argue the NRA, and especially the Big Mule GOP Corporatists, wants to keep the division. I do think regulation or stricter controls on these weapons makes sense. I'll include demands on those that manufacture and distribute weapons as well. I also think background checks, without the "gun show" loophole that you can drive a busload of criminals or even terrorists through, are reasonable. Gun enhancements to violent and significant property crimes work generally.
Licenses and permits make sense in many cases. "Concealed carry" works for me in some ways. Loosening the "duty to retreat" doesn't make sense, something I've posted on before, even scolding Bob Riley for shilling NRA lies. These are local matters I'll argue for the most part so the federal government, beyond how the 2nd might apply, will generally not be involved.
As to my friend, "Mission Acccomplished NRA" is what I'm suspecting. They've essentially guaranteed a vote for the GOP or made it darned difficult for this fella to consider "voting under the rooster" (an old term for voting Democrat back in the days when I even fear the state party had "White Supremacy" in the logo) on what I'd argue is flawed information. I've Googled about and the closest thing I can find for "door to door" was the voluntary turn in or buy back or whatever it was program that some urban law enforcement communities attempted to get unregistered weapons off the streets. If anybody can help me here then I'd appreciate it.
Certainly the average Democrat is not going to fall in line with the NRA line. Good for them! I'm proud to have written a nasty gram to the NRA many years ago telling them to drop me from the list and to never communicate with me . They stir up mess for fundraising and political gain. See an earlier TST post on "Stop the UN Gun Ban" for an example of how they lie. They, like several pseudo-grassroots organizations are more tools of the corporatists than looking out for average Americans. I did note several versions of this "Second Amendment Hypocrites: Senators Schumer and Feinstein Pack Heat" by Jim Kouri on various "alternative" news sites. Where I sent you had a reference to the FDA's "ongoing Communist agenda" which I thought was rather revealing.
I'll admit that the "paranoid style" of American politics works. I slip into it myself at times. Yet, I'll also argue that the average Democrat is not wanting to take away any law abiding citizens guns! They support the Second Amendment! They are in touch with "real" Americans" and certainly most are much more concerned about the environment (RU listening hunters?) than those in the GOP. Plus they, like any smart GOP pol, know that banning guns is just like the Supremes setting aside Roe vs. Wade. It would be political suicide! There's some value as a wedge issue for each side but the differences in the mainstream aren't that extreme. Concerns that Diane and Chuck and ... are plotting to take away our weapons if ever given the chance isn't a good way to cast your vote.
Democrats want to make sure Bubba at least has some public land to take his kids fishing and hunting as we are seeing how the good land is being snapped up by the fat cats making big bucks in the economy set up by the GOP. Bubba keeps voting the BIG Mules into office and they keep screwing Bubba over where it really counts. Bubba's mad about boys marrying boys and his preacher is telling him about the Godless liberals eating fetuses and ... Arrggghhhh!
Closing off and finally returning to the title to the post, understanding where those voting GOP are coming from is a good start for our side. Communicating and bouncing ideas about, using humor when able, is another part fo the game. Finally, being willing to work at staying informed is required. Tracking down information takes time. Breaking through GOP and right wing talking points or even distortions, otherwise known as "lies", takes time. The GOP has taken away plenty of "our" votes down here and Progressives can perhaps think exponentially as I know it gets frustrating. Get say ten for our team and then those might get five others and so forth. Peace ... or War!