Make an ally of the middle class, while it still exists:
First, we must return to our roots as the party of middle-class opportunity. Growing up in rural Richmond County, I saw how far too many North Carolinians had been left behind, even as the state thrived economically. But I also saw how smart investments by the government – especially in our world-class schools and universities – could level the playing field and create economic opportunity and mobility, regardless of a person’s background or circumstances.
If I was writing this, the above would probably be my second step, with the first being: We must set aside our cynicism over politics, and work together as if those negative aspects are the exception to the rule and not the rule. That cynicism serves no purpose other than to divide us along narrow ideological confines, and the end result is always a scattered collection of small groups, actually competing with each other instead of pooling their resources. Just a quick test: If you read Wayne's first paragraph above and found more that you dislike than you like, it's probably because you were looking for things to dislike. Ergo, cynicism. Strengthening the middle-class is not just a political ploy, it's critical in maintaining our democracy, and our consumer-based economy. You want examples of what can happen when the middle-class fails, I can provide dozens, but I don't think that's something that needs a data-driven argument. Enough from me, here's more from Wayne:
Second, Democrats need to embrace the party’s diversity. For decades North Carolina has rightfully been seen as a progressive beacon in the South – open and welcoming to all who wanted to work hard and make a good life here for their families. But that image has been tarnished in recent years by misguided and discriminatory legislation from Republicans in the North Carolina General Assembly.
The N.C. Democratic Party, and the state’s politics, should reflect the state’s rich diversity – not reject it. That’s why I was so proud when I was elected chair in February that it was alongside the most diverse party leadership in the party’s history. Democrats must continue to strive to embrace and represent the incredible diversity – in race, religion, class and sexual orientation – of the state. And we need to continue to fight back against hateful legislation, like House Bill 2, that discriminated against fellow residents.
Finally, Democrats need to compete for every vote. Too many North Carolinians, from rural towns to the biggest cities, have felt ignored or taken for granted by both parties. This is particularly true among the countless middle-class families who are being squeezed by higher costs and stagnant wages. This was evident last November when so many people either opted not to vote or cast a ballot for Donald Trump out of sheer frustration with the status quo.
As chair, I’m committed to reaching out to those voters, hearing their concerns and explaining how Democrats are fighting for them in Raleigh and in Washington. That’s why I’ve been traveling across the state in recent months, connecting with voters in towns big and small. And it’s why the N.C. Democratic Party is organizing in all 100 counties, with committed activists helping to revitalize grassroots efforts, even in traditionally Republican areas.
As you can see from his order of progression, Wayne put diversity ahead of reaching out to the rural vote. We can do both. We have to do both. And we can't afford to sacrifice the second thing to accomplish the third thing. It's part of what I was trying to say with my "do no harm" observations a few days ago, although I pulled a Steve and went off on a few tangents. We can do this, folks.