Monday, October 25, 2004

Where are the Democrats?

I've been spending a lot of time in swing states lately. I live in New Mexico, spent a few days in Nevada about 10 days ago, and have spent the last 4 or 5 days near where West Virginia, Ohio, and Kentucky come together. The upshot of this is that I've seen a lot of political ads in different places. And the question I have is, where the hell are the Democratic ads. Especially here in West Virginia, it seems as if Republican ads outnumber Democrats 3-1. Maybe the extra 5 weeks Bush had for fundraising is making a difference here at the end. But it seems as if Kerry is getting hammered here and there is very little attempt to counter this. Getting the Ohio and Kentucky ads is interesting too--I've seen some Jim Bunning ads but none for his Democratic opponent, which is too bad because by all accounts Bunning is falling apart and his seat is coming into play as the election nears. But maybe the problem is that in none of the local and state races have I seen advertisements for have any candidate claimed to be a Democrat or standing up for Democratic values, with one exception proud of having a union endorsement. I really think that Democrats will continue to be on the wane until we are proud to be Democrats and express that, rather than trying to distance ourselves from liberalism and Democratic congressmen in DC.

It is however refreshing to be in rural West Virginia and see a lot of Kerry-Edwards signs. The only other rural place in the country that you can count on seeing this is in the Hispanic villages of northern New Mexico, where I recently saw "Die Bush" painted on a large propane tank. Something about Democratic values still resonates in rural West Virginia. Hopefully that is something we can build upon.