Gary Pearce was kind enough to let me guest post on his blog. I wanted to share it here and gain your thoughts.
“Gary called for a Democratic Moses recently. It is an apt comparison because we are in the desert as far as the eye can see. Every time I see a key legislative debate it feels as if Senator Josh Stein and Representative Deborah Ross are largely alone in offering a counter narrative. It is disconcerting that we also have little infrastructure in place to allow Eric Mansfield, Cal Cunningham, Grier Martin, and others the ability to offer their response to the current actions of the folks on Jones Street.
“Beyond Moses, however, we need new ideas. I am concerned by the number of progressives who believe that the way that we will win in the future is to simply bash Art Pope, slam the Governor and the General Assembly as out of touch, and attack their ideas. Simply being a Cassandra ain’t going to cut it. We’ll be as disregarded as she was in the myths of old.
“We have to offer new ideas and a new narrative for North Carolina. And North Carolina isn’t alone — this is an issue in states across our country. After fifty years of gains created by progressives on the federal and state level we have retreated over the last fifteen years. We have found ourselves protecting our gains as they fall under an all out attack by conservatives which has led to a dramatic shift of our standing on the spectrum.
“Traditionally conservatives fought to defend and conserve, while progressives advocated for new ideas and bold solutions. That tradition has been turned on its head and that is one reason we’ve been losing of late. People are hurting economically in rural North Carolina, for example, and my fellow progressives have found themselves stuck defending the status quo while conservatives call for change. When you are hurting, a new idea, even if it is a bad idea, sounds better than the status quo.
“It is time that we move beyond the tired narratives and beyond simply calling for our progress to be protected. It is time to call for real progress once more. It is time to offer new ideas and reach for the brass ring. The genius of Governor Jim Hunt is that he always offered a bold vision for the future. I believe that many of us still turn to him for leadership because even now, more than a decade and two administrations removed from his last term, he still has bold new ideas for the future.
“It is time that we follow Hunt’s lead and develop the big ideas of the future. Otherwise, we’ll be an ineffective, marginalized Cassandra as the folks on Jones Street dramatically reshape our state.”