Weekend wound-up

A recent discussion about the massive growth of unaffiliated voters in NC, while the Democratic Party's "share" of the pie is shrinking precipitously, had me scrabbling for some kind of guidance on what that actually means. Not sure if this is an all-encompassing answer, but if it is, those consultants calling for centrism or even center-right Dem candidates need to take a powder:

Of all the storylines emerging from the historic 2008 elections perhaps none has more impact on the future of our country than the rise of the Millennial Generation. These young 18- to 29-year-old Americans born between 1978 and 2000 represent the largest and most diverse generation in American history.

What is most important about these voters is not their current predilection for Democratic candidates, however, but rather the deeply held progressive beliefs underlying their voting preferences. The progressive beliefs of these young adult voters could recast the core ideological battles that have defined our country’s post-Vietnam political discourse.

Kind of sheds better light on why Republicans are trying to stifle the college vote, eh?

Before we get into more stats on this, a friendly reminder: as progressives in a free-market feudal nightmare state like North Carolina, it's real easy to become discouraged. Hell, we can't seem to get more than a handful of Democrats to listen to us, much less the divide-and-conquer misanthropic Republicans who are trying to drag our state off that cliff in Africa where all the elephants go to commit suicide. But, as you can see by these numbers, we're not wrong, they are, even the Dems.

I know it hasn't been easy, and God bless you folks in groups like PDNC that have been trying to keep the discussion moving. But you know why those meetings are only sparsely attended? Because we've been fishing in the wrong pond. Every now and then you can teach an old dog new tricks, bit it is far from a productive activity. Better we spend our time with people who don't bring along the baggage of growing up in a society with antiquated notions of value and morality, psychological artifacts which make understanding new ideas difficult at best, and impossible for many.

There's simply too much at stake to waste time and effort trying to "fix" older politicians who don't already grasp the need for progressive policies. And the longer we screw around trying to do so, the more we lose touch with Millennials, something we can't afford to do. Sermon over, back to the stats:

In terms of the attitudes, self-identification and ideological ratings measured throughout the study, it is clear that conservatism is in near collapse among Millennials. In contrast to findings among older Americans, this survey reveals that there is little, if any, residual strength for the conservative worldview among younger Americans—less than half of all young people rate a “conservative” approach to politics favorably while a “progressive” approach is the most highly rated. Similarly, a strong plurality of younger Americans, 44 percent, self-identify as either progressive or liberal compared to just 28 percent who call themselves conservative or libertarian.

◾More than two in three younger Americans agree with progressive perspectives on energy, sustainable living, and climate change, government efforts to protect people and the economy, and new steps to fight inequality. Strong agreement tops 40 percent on many of these progressive beliefs. Many of these areas of agreement align with the findings from the national survey, suggesting that there is genuine cross-generational consensus on the fundamental values that should guide our country.

◾Majorities of self-identified young conservatives and Republicans agree with all five progressive arguments on the role of government, four out of five progressive positions on economic and domestic policy, and three out of five progressive beliefs about international affairs and national security.

As you can see, even young people who claim to espouse conservative principles are actually pretty dang progressive. That means progressive candidates can actually "speak" about what they would like to do without worrying (as much) about scaring young voters off. And such openness will eventually be the only way to win, if I'm reading my tea leaves properly.

The bottom line? Don't give up, and don't throw away your notes. Somebody might want to read them in the near future.

Comments

We've seen bold progressive leaders

catch fire in other areas, with Elizabeth Warren being the best example of late. Others would do well to follow her lead and stand up for good, old-fashioned, regular people.

GOP policies in North Carolina appeal mostly to an elderly and dying breed of reactionary voters. Sure there's a dose of younger reactionary voters in the mix, but not a lot of them.

This is also why Republicans hate public education. No sense educating people when you can keep them dumb and happy with their corporate overlords.

Frankly, I'd just like to see

a candidate talk about the realities of specific policies. When presented in detail and on their merits, individual progressive policy proposals are resoundingly accepted. But we've allowed politics to become almost a Hollywood production, with actors trying out different facial expressions to evoke sentiment.

It's so facile it's tempting to walk away from it in disgust, like half of our population usually does. But it's too important to do that.

Here in North Carolina

I doubt that most folks here are not on board with Liz Warren who is a "northern yankee". Sure, she is a progressive to the tooth but we need representatives HERE in our own piece of God's country in power to represent us like Warren does her state. Let's work for getting our own Liz Warren here in NC. We sure don't have that now, from EITHER of those we elected, in my opinion.

Agreed

Awhile back, I was hoping Deborah Ross would be that person. She's amazing. I doubt she'd challenge Cooper for governor (though I wish she would). I'd at least like to see her take on Lt. Dan. He wouldn't know what hit him.

Also, totally agree with Jake's comments about Josh Stein, below.

One candidate this Millennial is excited about

One progressive candidate this Millennial is excited about is the possibility of Josh Stein for Attorney General. Being the head of our Department of Justice seems like a good place for someone who seems to really gets justice issues. And of course after time it could be a launching point to other important offices as we're seeing with the current Attorney General going for Governor.

He is minority whip during the current two-year legislative session.

Stein is among the more vocal Senate Democrats, routinely speaking out against policies pushed by Republicans who control the chamber. In this year’s legislative session, one of his top successes was pushing through an amendment to the controversial voter ID legislation to require counties to maintain the same number of early voting hours for future elections that they had in the most recent elections.

Speaking out against voter suppression and calling it what it is, is very important, and I think he and others have done that well. Also taking practical steps to make a difference is important too. The fact that they have to keep the same number of hours for early voting despite having a week less to fit in, means they have to have more sites, or more hours, say on the evenings or weekends. It'll go a long ways towards saving Souls to the Polls efforts around the state despite the GOP majority on all 100 County Board of Elections.

Stein worked in the AG’s office from 2001 to 2008, where he headed the Consumer Protection Division, working in areas such as predatory lending, identity theft, telemarketing privacy, fraud and Internet safety. He resigned when he became a state senator in 2009. Before his work in the attorney general’s office, Stein worked as deputy chief of staff and legal counsel in the U.S. Senate.

Stein received a bachelor’s degree from Dartmouth College in 1988, a master of public policy from Harvard Kennedy School of Government in 1995 and a law degree from Harvard in 1995, according to Smith Moore Leatherwood’s website.

Read more here: http://www.newsobserver.com/2013/11/27/3413371/josh-stein-says-hell-run-...

He also introduced a state level version of ENDA last year.

This is an open thread

You don't have to talk about politics or anything, I just had a whole bunch of words clogging up my head and needed to get them out.

I mean, you can talk about politics if you want, or you can talk about cats or sports. Or even cat sports. But not professional cat sports. There is a limit.

GO PANTHERS

That do it for ya?

No politic, but you said I could put whatever I wanted to here.

Well, that's my presentation.

Panthers all the way to the Superbowl!!!! Screw San Francisco 49ers.!

What part of "professional cat sports"

did you not understand? :)

Just kidding. The Panthers are kicking ass and not even worrying about taking names. But you know, every game doesn't have to be a miracle, last-minute-save type thing. I'm right there in the prime heart attack zone...

Candidates

I'm a progressive man who is skilled in speaking, and who has a remarkable facility for logical arguments. I am completely on your side. Having worked at the NCGA, I have no question that I could contribute to the progressive caucus.

Add to that: I'm 46, still a bachelor, 5'6", and an atheist.

What's the probability that I'd get to run?

100%

I threw my hat in the governor's race last year, only to discover after many months that I couldn't stand it. I dropped out having learned a few really important lessons:

1. Anyone can run for office.
2. Public campaign events are filled with prayers and praising god. Not a great place for atheists.
3. Logic doesn't matter.

Geography is important

The "running" part is solely up to you, it's the "winning" that might create a problem. :)

Jerimee has been working on a really cool site to track General Assembly races and help folks who might want to run. It's a good place to start if you're feeling the urge.

Don't forget filing deadline

All candidates from major parties must file as a candidate by February 28, 2014. That's just around the corner.

"Carolina Country" sponsors candidate training sessions...

I was a little surprised when I saw that the electric co-ops were sponsoring sessions for potential candidates -
"North Carolina's electric cooperatives and the North Carolina Credit Union League will co-host three educational sessions for individuals interested in running for public office this fall."

http://www.carolinacountry.com/index.php/your-energy/departments/more-po...

Hmmmm. Not sure how I feel about this. They are co-operatives but they are not terribly progressive politically.

If anyone goes to one of the sessions, please report your impressions (if you don't mind).

VA Gov McAuliffe signs state ENDA

http://www.washingtonblade.com/2014/01/11/terry-mcauliffe-bans-discrimin...

Terry McAuliffe bans discrimination against LGBT state employees

RICHMOND, Va.—Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe on Saturday signed an executive order that bans discrimination against LGBT state employees.

His very first executive order.

"Israel Unveils Holocaust Gay Tribute"