For me, polite conversation gets real when you dance on people's issues. But in this conversation, I was called out for being insensitive to the life experiences of my conservative interlocutors. Although there wasn't much common ground politically, there was some surprising rapprochement personally.
This is one of those moments when there is broad popular frustration, a moment when liberal goals require measures that seem radical by today's standards. If progressives don't articulate those frustrations and propose real solutions, rightwing populists will propose crackpot ones. Token gestures won't fool anybody.
With 2016 fast approaching, things look bleak for the GOP. Pandering to a non-white voting block could very well end up costing it the South, as it did to the Democrats in the 1960s. At the same time, pandering to base will alienate too many groups to win in a general election--not the least of which are Latinos.
Many people write Bernie Sanders off because of his portrayal in the media. However, he is talking about common sense things that MOST Americans would agree with. Read this short list of issues he cares about that way next time he inevitably gets brought up at dinner or at a party, you have something to say.
Psychology matters in elections. Throughout my career I've seen how having confidence from start to finish impacts campaigns. Understanding your strengths puts the wind at your back. It emboldens candidates and allies, and energizes volunteers, donors and supporters. And it can set the stage for sweeping victories.
Congressman John K. Delaney, what are you talking about? In a recent Washington Post op-ed, headlined, "The last thing America needs? A left-wing version of the Tea Party," the Democratic congressman from Maryland scolds progressives and expresses his worry "about where some of the loudest voices in the room could take the Democratic Party." But the progressive agenda isn't "left wing." The progressive agenda is America's story -- from ending slavery to ending segregation to establishing a woman's right to vote to Social Security, the right to organize, and the fight for fair pay and against income inequality. Strip those from our history and you might as well contract America out to the US Chamber of Commerce the National Association of Manufacturers, and Karl Rove, Inc.
Some leading Democrats seem to have a love-hate relationship with the left. Sure, progressives seem to have more influence than ever this year, at least rhetorically. But it doesn't look like the friction will be going away any time soon. Clearly, the left matters. Why, then, is it so difficult for progressives to get a seat at the table?
There is too much on the line for us to get caught up with minor differences. From racial disparity to income inequality, immigration reform, marriage equality, fair housing, job growth, pay equity, improved schools and much more, the challenges we face are real, and our commitment must be steadfast.