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View Diary: Western Dems embrace Dean (318 comments)

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  •  Democrats and the Western platform (none)
    I think that the West is a important area that needs to be cultivated by Democrats. A good start would be to completely drop support for gun control legislation. Gun laws don't reduce crime and Democratic support of such legislation has helped us lose elections.

    Democrats also need to focus on strengthening the party in the South. While it will be even more of a challenge than the West, the Democratic Party is unlikely to ever have a Congressional majority again without making the party viable again in the South. Of course, gun control and party activist favorites like late term abortion and gay marriage are killing us in the South. A couple of interesting articles on how Democrats can win back the South can be found at:
    http://rightdemocrat.blogspot.com/2005/06/how-democrats-can-win-back-south.html

    Working class voters in Middle America simply don't believe that either party has their economic interests at heart, so they end up voting on the basis of maintaining their personal right to self defense and moral values. That is why Kerry lost working class white voters by 23 percentage points in the last Presidential election.

    •  Gun Laws (none)
      I'm repulsed by the idea that the Dems would become a pro-guns party, but at the same time, I don't see it as a particularly important issue at the national level. Instead of dropping opposition to gun ownership, wouldn't it be better to fight that battle where it can be fought at the state level and have the national party declare it a states-rights issue?

      On a personal note, I wish some Westerner would tell me why the hell they care so much about gun ownership that they would vote for/against someone based on that issue. No one in my (urban, East coast) family has ever owned a gun as far as I know and I can't imagine why anyone would want one, much less value it over a candidate's position on economics/national security/

      •  I'm the opposite of (none)
        East coast urban liberal.  I can understand, however your perspective, so please try to understnad mine.

        While I live in Oregon, it is in a very rural and redneck area.  (My husband uses his pony tail to hide his redneck!). In fact, a large geographic part of the Blue Pacific Northwest is not blue, but shares more in common with the "Western" states we are talking about, ie the Great Basin and Mountain states.

        Anyway, we commercial fish for a living, kind of like ranching the sea, if you will. Only we don't get any subsidies :P.  We hunt, safely, legally and responsibly...not so much for me or most women, but the annual "migration" of the menfolk to Eastern Oregon, or Idaho or elsewhere they can put up the tent with the woodstove and do what they and their fathers (and mothers) have done for generations.

        It is a cherished tradition (and a nice time for the womenfolk because we get a few weeks where we don't have to repeatedly and eternally ask that the toilet seat be put back down and don't have to pick up the funky clothes left on the floor).  

        We grow our own food, can, dry, freeze (my favourite fellow gardener is a Rush Limbuagh listen' man who is also a very good hunter.  He is a great guy and I can flick him enormous amount of shit about being a dittohead.  Above the politics, however, we share more in common because our basic way of life is very similar). We pick or own berries, etc.  or buy it from local vendors.  We can enormous amounts of tuna every year for our consumption and many people here smoke their own fish.

        But I digress.  Hunting is a big part of our lives out here.  It is part of the social fabric, and also a primary source of our food.  Guns are a tool here...

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