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View Diary: Ralph's Gift (380 comments)

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  •  The other opportunity this poses for us (none)
    I posted something like this on another thread so forgive if you're reading it twice, but we should take note that "small town values" is not the same thing as "small town needs."

    The Republicans have a deplorable record at recognizing and dealing with the diminishing jobs, health care, and economic opportunities in small towns.

    We could successfully split the issue of small town success from small town values and own the first one, thereby making inroads into the second.

    We can raise the extinction of rural towns as America's most compelling issue.

    Since John Edwards will have some time on his hands, I'd love to see him go back to his hometown and run for mayor. Okay, that's probably not going to happen. But he could become a very visible, national proponent for saving small town eocnomies. He could form a consortium of leading economists, physicians, businesspeople, etc. who are in touch with rural needs. With his visibility, testifying to Congress, hitting the talk shows, he can use his example to start to change public perception of Democratic "values."  

    Make Democrats the people who are finding a real way to recruit rural doctors. Lobbying for a loan program for small-town entrepreneurs. Being the party that champions small business opportunities for women, even multi-level marketing organizations for stay-at-home moms. (I think one of the rarely told success stories in America is how women have resurrected small town economies by opening antique stores, coffee shops, candle shops, etc. on town squares.) Understanding where new economy entrepreneurial opportunities are and showing clear support for them. Figuring out ways to keep the kids from leaving. Finding ways to de-regulate small businesses in ways that don't jeopardize safety or integrity. Strongly backing anything that will save these towns from extinction. They need it desperately, and no one else is doing it.

    Democrats can and should own the future of small towns as their chief concern.

    Talk about speaking in the language of "values." Let's be evangelists for small-town America.

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