Firstly, I believe the work the DNC is doing is important, it is just not enough. I believe in Shasti Conrad and I think that Senator Murray is wonderful. Any actions I call into question, are more accurately the result of a flawed system. I believe that rural America must act as an independent agent and take responsibility to lift itself up.
Declining Democratic visibility and voice in rural areas has left us vulnerable to the far right’s incursion. Republicans have used this opportunity to fill the void with their brand of rhetoric based on lies, denial of science, historical revision, evangelical zealotry and restoring legal prejudice against minorities. Except for a few strongholds of local Democrats defending the counties and legislative districts, Democrats are, by and large, silent in rural communities. The national Democrats and national Democratic organizations have continued to focus on shrinking islands of cash and Democrat dense urban areas. We see this mirrored here at home in the last election cycle when Senator Murray’s campaign canceled their election stops in Central Washington. The campaign had the time and had the money, but they knew we weren’t going to bring more votes or money and so, in campaign logic, it is not worth the time. The negative impact on down-ballot candidates and Democratic morale was significant. The Washington State Democrats have an election year operating budget of over $7 million, but the amount spent in Central and Eastern Washington is in the 10s of thousands. Washington State is the 10th largest contributor to political races with two-thirds going to Democratic races. But in Washington State, virtually zero dollars went to Democratic races east of the Cascades. In fact, more money went to Republican races. This concept of measuring the value of constituents by the money or votes they can produce is antithetical to Democratic values and, if changes are not made, will cost us our democracy. Chasing sure wins, with the exception of all else, has resulted in GenZ, Latinx and union members in rural areas trending red. White voters in rural areas have shifted 19% toward the red. Two-thirds of all state Houses hold Republican majorities and we are watching in real-time the Republicans dismantling the rule of law and destroying the faith of many in this great nation. A staggering 80% of the people in Central Washington have not heard a pro-Democratic message! We in rural America know that the “truths” we hear in the progressive media are not always the whole truth. But they say the best lie has a bit of truth in it.
GenZ will save Democrats. If you look only at Democrat dense urban areas and college towns, this seems to be true. But in rural areas like ours where 80% have never heard a pro-Democratic message, our future voters and GenZ are trending red.
Latinx voters represent a large voting block for Democrats, which is true, except that this voting block is trending red and we can see the day when it will be majority Republican.
Our city councils, school boards and community organizations are increasingly led by the far right, which makes it possible to shape policy that reflects their ideology and imposes it on us.
Democrats are college educated and smarter and so, if more people are college educated, then Democrats will win. Our people are not dumb. We do noble work such as feed the nation, generate energy, build housing, care for the elderly and so many important roles. Making the statement that college education creates Democrats is spurious at best. 80% of the people in Central Washington have not heard a pro-Democratic message. Our schools are not teaching civics, banning books and many live in actual fear of MAGA violence. A college education doesn't fix that.
We know that geography, more than any other factor, separates Democrats from Republicans. Despite the win, the recent vote on Issue 1 in Ohio proved geographic importance. A precinct level look at the voting pattern showed that it was only the densely populated urban areas that voted “No”. The rural areas and even the suburbs voted “Yes”, showing the Republican's hold on rural America and further encroachment on our Democratic urban areas. We can look in our own backyard to see the same results. Central Washington voted for Loren Culp over Governor Inslee and Senator Murray’s loss in Central Washington was greater in 2022 than in 2016.
All politics is local and it is where policy starts which is the Republican's greatest strength. Nowhere in the country is the power of local and state politics clearer than in Florida, where a despotic tyrant has made a mockery of our constitution and political system by willfully and easily bending it to his whim without the mandate of the people. This is the path that Donald Trump wants for our country and unless we turn the tide in rural America toward Democratic ideals, we could see a repeat of 2016. Urban centers are increasingly insufficient to hold back the tide of red coming from rural areas. The National Democrats' mission is to elect Democrats and that necessarily excludes deep red rural areas. Failing to act is cruel because it leaves so many to live diminished lives under far-right rule and unwise because believing that we can maintain supremacy and control rules of a few islands of democrats in this ocean of a nation all while we can see the water rising around us is absurd.
What we are doing Rural Americans United is committed to investing $350,000 to deliver over 20,000 pro-Democratic messages during a 14 month period across Central Washington using radio, TV and streaming services -- a first for Central Washington.