Chipping away at GOP support
I saw clammyc's dkos diary So they hate Bush. How do we get their votes? and immediately thought of a few ways Democratic candidates could chip away at parts of the rather fragile Republican coalition.
The fact of the matter is some of us, conservatives/libertarians, like seeing a respectful nod and underscoring of common values between us. And you do not need to compromise or throw away any of your principles. Here is what Democrats could talk about with a slight change of emphasis:
- Sometimes private sector is the best way to go, and other times government is much more effective. Let's have a dialogue on where each applies. We strive for a smaller, less intrusive, more effective government that will still be able to look out for the best interests of all Americans. (emphasis - private sector works and we are not afraid of dealing with it - libertarians/conservatives feel tingly)
- The people who do not have health care insurance end up costing us all a lot more in the emergency rooms than if we actually devised a good plan to cover most or all of them. It could be a collaboration of government and private sector but let's have a conversation on the best way to move forward. A more effective and cost efficient path is possible. (emphasis - actually possibly cutting the tax burden or at least spending government money much more wisely while being compassionate - conservatives will appreciate it)
- We will defend US from any threats foreign and domestic. We will increase the funding for the intelligence agencies, improve security at our borders and ports, and will never take the military option off the table if the threat is imminent. We will keep the terrorists on the defensive all around the globe. We will modernize our military and raise their salaries to improve morale. We will recognize the changing missions' need for new strategies and start redeploying our troops to fit the new global realities. (emphasis - saying all the obvious things including fighting the war on terrorism; while it wouldn't mean that you throw out diplomacy and smart foreign policy, will show you as tough - conservatives will be impressed)
- There is corruption on both sides of the aisle and we need to be much more vigilant against it than we've been so far. The fight against corruption has to be public, non-partisan, and extensive. Those found guilty should pay the consequences and be removed from power. I will create an independent, non-partisan agency to investigate all allegations of voter fraud, bribery, influence peddling, etc. (emphasis - non-partisan investigation. The fact of the matter is most republicans will ignore democratic investigations of the election fraud, GOP administration law-breaking, GOP congressional corruption, etc. I personally had a hard time agreeing that there were any problems simply because Dems were/are in charge. I don't know if it is possible but until the partisan bent is removed, you will not get much from the conservative half of America on the issue, including possible impeachment. Many will dig in their heels and accuse democrats of the worst. Proper non-aggravating rhetoric here will go a long way.)
- I agree with clammyc on the taxes and if you can talk about cutting taxes for the middle class without the anti-wealthy rhetoric of "those who don't need it should not get a tax cut" you will go a long way with most conservatives without selling out your base. Why mention all the class warfare stuff? Extend the middle class tax cuts, overhaul the AMT, reduce the Estate Tax for the lower wealthy (1-2 mil exemption - and mention it proudly!), reduce the taxes for the small business (and talk of it proudly!), etc (emphasis - not touching the class warfare buttons, while not cutting taxes for the rich or whatever it is you guys do, will gain you moderate republicans who hate hate class warfare talk)
- More agreement on the energy/oil dependency. Stress the Oil dependency on the terrorist producing and hostile nations like Saudi Arabia, Venezuela, or even Russia. Talking about investment in alternate fuels works for most republicans as well who know the problems with oil and are just as angry. (emphasis on not having to purchase oil or be dependent on the hostile or anti-American nations - scores big points with conservatives)
- Use our economic muscle to bring better human/individual rights to countries we trade with. A friendly yet firm incentives for economic/social change in Africa, Asia, and South America with a mix of smart trade deals and foreign aid. We will put strings on all of our money but will give out more of it. Lord knows we can afford it and it will extend American good will and improve our reputation. (emphasis - individual rights, social/economic change, strings on our money - libertarians/conservatives hate the thought of handing out money and will like this emphasis)
- Talk about the American Dream. Talk about Reviving the American Dream and making us capable of winning against any foreign competition. Better education will mean more superior American jobs for the homeland and less outsourcing. (emphasis - the American Dream... There aren't many moderates/conservatives who don't love hearing of it. Make sure it's mentioned at the end or it will sound like more BS rhetoric)
I believe clammyc hit on most of these, but the key is framing and rhetoric. There are certain undercurrents that get stirred and reinforced in most libertarians/conservatives when Democrats mention class issues, taxation, diplomacy, and corruption so you want to bring them up right. What liberal ideals have I sold out with the emphasis that I mentioned? Any candidate who uses the above examples will score huge points with the American middle be they Dem or Rep leaning and that is the way towards a landslide.