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Porter writes: "Democratic rising star Stacey Abrams broke down the lessons from her race for governor in Georgia, and outlined why she thinks her party must make a radical break from the past to beat President Donald Trump in 2020."

Democratic Georgia Gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams speaks at London's Chatham House on March 6. (photo: Chatham House)
Democratic Georgia Gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams speaks at London's Chatham House on March 6. (photo: Chatham House)


Stacey Abrams Thinks Democrats Need to Totally Change Their Playbook to Beat Trump in 2020 - Here's How

By Tom Porter, Business Insider

13 March 19

 

emocratic rising star Stacey Abrams broke down the lessons from her race for governor in Georgia, and outlined why she thinks her party must make a radical break from the past to beat President Donald Trump in 2020.

Speaking at London's Chatham House think-tank on Wednesday, Abrams described how got within 55,000 votes of victory in the historically red state in November's mid-terms.

Her tactics were a wholesale rejection of Democratic orthodoxy, and the divisive politics President Trump has been accused of waging.

Democrats are fiercely debating how to beat Trump in 2020, with some claiming that a narrow focus on so-called identity politics, or claims for recognition by minority communities, could turn away white voters and lead Democrats into the electoral wilderness.

Some observers claim that Democrats' best hopes lie in addressing the concerns of voters who have deserted them for the Republican Party, such as the elderly and white blue-collar workers.

But Abrams said that the historic high turnout of black, Latino and Asian voters in the state — which nearly got her into office — vindicates her campaign's efforts to reach out and address the concerns of a swath of the electorate usually ignored.

"In our campaign we intentionally centered on people of color and marginalized communities. I proudly proclaimed myself an ally of the LGBTQ community, I talked about issues that were normally kept to the side or certainly avoided altogether in the Deep South," she said.

"Because I believe that people cannot vote for things that do not include them, and cannot be seen unless we speak them into existence."

She said that success will come from in embracing those who usually feel excluded from the political conversation, and giving them a voice.

"What I realised from my campaign — what we realised from the very beginning — is that people want to be seen. They want to be heard. They want to know that their lived experiences are valued and recognised and that the barriers that they face have the possibility of being eroded and moved away.

"They want to know that being a member of a community that is disabled does not mean they are excluded from articipation.

She said that she was able to address the needs of diverse communities without alienating white voters — the most common fear of people who reject a focus on identity.

"Not only did we increase the turnout rates of all those communities of colour all those marginalized communities, I actually increased the white participation rate for Democrats for almost 25 years. This is what happens when identity politics takes center stage. All identities are recognised," she said.

"That is why, in our campaign we created opportunities for every single community to have a voice, to be seen and to be heard and to be invested in," remarked Abrams, the first black woman to run as a major party's candidate for state governor in US history.

She said that her campaign was the first to run ads statewide addressing Latino communities, reached out to voters in both rural areas and cities country and urban radio, and tailored its policies for minority communities.

The result: an increase in the Democrat vote from 1.1 million in 2014 to 1.9 million in 2019, including a surge of Latino and black voter turnout.

Abrams lost narrowly to Republican Brian Kemp, whom she accused of abusing his office to purge thousands of Americans from minority communities from voter rolls during his tenure as Georgia's secretary of state.

Kemp has vehemently denied the accusations, and says he was combatting voter fraud. Abrams ended her bid to prevent Kemp taking office in November, and has founded the Fair Fight Action group to combat electoral suppression in the state.

Since the loss, she has emerged as one of the key figures in the Democratic Party, delivering the party's response to Trump's February State of the Union address, where she accused the president of using the government shutdown as a "stunt."

Rumours have swirled that Abrams is considering a 2020 presidential bid, but on Wednesday she steered clear of speculation.

She said which Democrat she backs in 2020 will be down to their stance on voter suppression rather than sexual or ethnic identity.

"I'm not governor in part because of voter suppression," remarked Abrams. "My litmus test is not going to be a litmus test based on race or gender for who is going to be the next nominee for the Democrats - it's going to be whether you talk about voter suppression," she said.

"I would certainly would like to see a woman win, I'm an advocate of people of colour getting in higher and higher positions and to communities writ large, she said.

"We have to talk about voter suppression, because if we did not create space for people to cast their ballots, then our democracy is in trouble. And that is a danger to us all regardless of identity."

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+2 # Rodion Raskolnikov 2019-03-14 07:31
what a weird story. There's now "here's how" for democrats to totally change their playbook. This is all just standard issue and worn out identity politics:

""In our campaign we intentionally centered on people of color and marginalized communities."


Political campaigns should not target communities of voters. That's what republicans to. They classify people into certain demographic groups and then tailor messages directly to them. THis is inherentlhy dishonest. The candidate is saying different things to different groups, depending on what the identity research tells them.

And why is Stacy Abrams speaking at the Chatham House. This is the very most oligarchic "ruler's club" in all the world. It has a long record of supporting tyranny, racism, colonialism, corrupt banking, and all the other things oligarch do. She should have turned down the invitation to speak at Chatham House.

Does she not know the history of Chatham house and Zimbabwe.

The formal name of Chatham House is The Royal Institute of International Affairs. It was partially funded by Cecil Rhodes as part of his colonialist empire building. Since then, Chatham House has been assimilated into British Intelligence, MI6, which functions like the CIA.

Stacy Abrams needs to know who her friends are and who her enemies are. It does not help to make friends with enemies like Chatham House.
 
 
-5 # draypoker 2019-03-14 10:23
You know nothing about Chatham House - and much else.
 
 
+4 # Rodion Raskolnikov 2019-03-14 17:52
dray -- so you should tell what you know instead of just jumping up like an empty suit. I can tell you a lot more of what I know.

Empty responses are not worth much.
 
 
+12 # Texas Aggie 2019-03-14 11:57
There was a study reported a couple days ago showing that the common thread running through individual 1's supporters was xenophobia for other groups not them. These other groups were gays, women, Blacks, Hispanics, Jews, Moslems, etc. Obviously not all individual 1's supporters hate all those groups, but hatred of some of them was almost ubiquitous. On the other hand, economic anxiety had no correlation with support for individual 1.

Since there is no way that the haters are going to change, trying to reach them is an exercise in futility, especially if you try to reach them be using facts. Therefore reaching out to get groups who otherwise would be sitting at home instead of voting is an important part of the strategy. It can't be all, of course, but it plays an important part.
 
 
+9 # lfeuille 2019-03-14 18:54
That's because the people who voted for him based on economic security and not hatred for another group have seen through him by now and no longer support him. They have figured out that he is a fraud. But they are still up for grabs by someone who will address they economic concerns without the hatred. They should not be ignored. They are the ones that flipped the election to him. They probably won't vote for him again but they might stay home if no one speaks to their concerns. It could turn out the same. I don't hold with ignoring any part of the natural Democratic base which includes but is not limit to them.
 
 
+14 # PABLO DIABLO 2019-03-14 13:28
Donald Trump gave a voice to the undereducated. Hillary Clinton gave a voice to Wall Street. Maybe next time the Democrats can run someone who can actually beat "the worst candidate in History". Vote Progressive or we will have four more years of the worst candidate in History. Please, NO Biden.
 
 
+10 # crosstalking 2019-03-14 22:14
I think nominating Joe Biden as the Democratic candidate in 2020 would be the kiss of death for the Dems. Talk about "the same old same old!" And definitely NOT Beto! (And what is it with the media fawning over him?)
 
 
0 # draypoker 2019-04-26 18:05
Quoting crosstalking:
I think nominating Joe Biden as the Democratic candidate in 2020 would be the kiss of death for the Dems. Talk about "the same old same old!" And definitely NOT Beto! (And what is it with the media fawning over him?)

He should really notice that he is too old.
 
 
+1 # economagic 2019-03-16 07:52
Please note that Ms. Abrams is using the phrase, "identity politics," in a radically different sense from the way it is commonly used. Ordinarily it used to describe advocacy for a single oppressed or disfranchised group. She is using it as a reference to ALL such groups collectively, and yet NOT EXCLUDING members of the white elite or setting herself and her followers in opposition to them.

You didn't know that being born white makes you a member of an elite? Brothers and sisters, you have quite a bit of catching up to do. Just look around and see all of the privileges you have that many others do not have. Have you ever been detained by a cop for no reason at all, or having the cops called on you in a place of business? Have you ever been denied the right to vote in an election? Have you ever had to hide your racial, ethnic, or religious identity at an event attended mostly by people different from you? If "none of the above," you are a member of an elite.


"Not only did we increase the turnout rates of all those communities of colour all those marginalized communities, I actually increased the white participation rate for Democrats for almost 25 years. This is what happens when identity politics takes center stage. ALL IDENTITIES ARE RECOGNISED" she said (emphasis added).
 

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