A couple of weeks ago the Texas Democratic Party emailed questionnaires to registered voters, asking how we felt about their performance throughout this year’s political campaigns. I’m still disappointed (angry, in fact) that only about a third of eligible Texas voters made it to the polls last month. Many of these people are the same ones who’ll camp out in front of a Wal-Mart on Thanksgiving night, hoping to grab a new wide-screen TV or I-phone.
But I’m equally pissed off at the TDP for staging such lackluster attempts to win some of the state’s top positions for the first time in two decades. It’s bad enough the National Democratic Party has practically abandoned the state of Texas, leaving we moderates and independents to fend for ourselves, like pit bulls at a Michael Vick family reunion. The TDP didn’t focus on the core values for which Democrats are known, such as free speech, voting rights and worker protection. All of Texas’ Republican candidates centered their respective campaigns on two issues: expressing just how much they hate President Obama and protecting gun rights. I hate to think what would happen if a Republican garners the presidency in 2016, which is a possibility.
Below are the actual questions from the survey, along with the responses I submitted. Beneath each of those, however, I’ve added my extended replies.
What do you think we did well during the 2014 elections?
You screwed up just about everything from the start. A Girl Scout troop has more organizational skills than the TDP.
What do you think we could have done differently?
Never start a campaign with negative attack ads. Start by emphasizing your candidate’s positive aspects; e.g. what they’ve done to improve their individual communities and what they plan to do to make things better. In this case, for example, the Democrats should have emphasized that most of the jobs created in Texas have been temporary or contract with no benefits; that the GOP isn’t concerned with income equality or protection for workers. You also needed to hit back at the Tea Party faction of the GOP, emphasizing how extremely right-wing and bigoted they are.
Wendy Davis should have emphasized that she was once a struggling single mother who managed to make it through law school with little help from the state, the federal government, a man or a pack of pea-brained evangelical Christians. Instead, her first TV and radio ads focused on what she felt Greg Abbott has done wrong during his tenure as State Attorney General. The TDP should have pointed out that people like Rick Perry and Ted Cruz are right-wing loudmouths who make Kim Jong-Un look like Mother Teresa. Call the “Tea Party” what they are: a pack of rabid neo-Nazi assholes who hate anyone who isn’t a White, heterosexual Christian. Go ahead and embrace the term “liberal” – it’s not a dirty word – and highlight the fact that liberals, progressives, etc. want to move America forward, whereas conservatives want to take it back to a time when only a handful of people had all the wealth and power.
What were your favorite moments or stories of 2014?
I’ve seen Bugs Bunny cartoons with more inspirational moments.
In what ways were you able to hear from Democratic candidates?
I hate robo-calls. I’ve never met anyone who’s literally willing to sit there and listen to a candidate talk about how great and wonderful they are and therefore, you should vote for them. If they are, they’ve either overdosed on oxycontin or they’re having a hellacious Maalox moment.
What do you think we can do to get more Democrats to the polls?
Emphasize that voting is as much a responsibility as a right. Point out that many Americans have fought very hard to earn the right to vote and that conservative Republicans have tried to squash those rights in recent years with gerrymandering laws and voter intimidation.
Show old film footage of policemen attacking unarmed, mostly Negro citizens who were merely trying to register to vote and connect it to contemporary assaults on voting rights. The TDP should have stressed that many White conservative voters were upset that a half-blooded Negro won the presidency twice against full-blooded White men.
What do you think Democrats need to do to win in the future?
I’m not looking forward to 2016. I don’t feel there’s a single candidate at the national level who’s worth my vote.
What I said above: focus on free speech and voting rights. Don’t spend so much time worrying about who’s being tortured at Guantanamo Bay. Most of us don’t give a shit that some illiterate camel jockey can’t get a copy of the Quran, while we’re trying to find a job or pay off medical bills. And stop coddling illegal immigrants! They can’t vote anyway. And, in case you haven’t figured it out, there’s a reason they’re called “illegal immigrants.” It’s because they entered the United States illegally!
What issues are a priority for 2016 you’d like to add?
What moderates, liberals and independent thinkers have been emphasizing for the past several years: income inequality, free speech and voting rights. I’m especially tired of the Democratic Party asserting that the only way to appeal to Hispanics is to establish a comprehensive immigration policy. Immigration is NOT the only issue Hispanics are concerned about. Democrats also should have pushed President Obama to remove the individual mandate from the Affordable Care Act. Most Americans are concerned about jobs and the economy; more than they are about health care. The health care matter will take care of itself if people have solid jobs with good salaries.
You let the Texas Republican Party define you and your agenda. They kept tying all Democrats to the Washington, D.C., establishment elite. And how did you respond? With those fucking robo-calls asking folks to vote for you. Get real, people, and then get rough! Texas Democrats need to show we’re a different breed from the mainstream party. We don’t want to turn Texas into another California or Illinois where people and businesses are regulated and taxed into oblivion. Texas Democrats can show the national party the right way to do things.
I’m really dreading what will happen in the 2016 elections. Who will the Democrats select as their candidate? Hillary Clinton? Please! She’s past her prime. If she’s all the Democratic Party has, then there really is no hope for the future. And who will the Republicans choose? There’s an endless gallery of scoundrels in that bunch. The “Tea Party” clowns are pushing for Ted Cruz to run, even though, as a Canadian by birth, he isn’t truly eligible. But I’m downright frightened that we could end up with Jeb Bush in the White House. I’d rather catch Ebola while stranded in the desert with a bad case of jock itch.