By David Silverberg
To: Nikki Fried, Chairwoman, Florida Democratic Party
From: The Paradise Progressive
Back on March 15 you tweeted an open request for suggestions for the Florida Democratic Party: “Tell me what you want to see from your new @FlaDems Party. Today, this cycle, this decade. I’ll read the replies.”
The most constructive and long-term contribution I believe you can make to the Florida Democrats is to define what the Party is for.
I don’t mean issues; the Democratic Party has plenty of good issues. But the opposition has themes, broad, simple concepts that they can pound into the most primitive brains.
I’m writing from a lone liberal perspective way down at the bottom of the state and at the root of the grassroots—or in the sand, the sawgrass and the mangroves, as it were. Here in deep red, fanatically MAGA Southwest Florida, Democrats are outnumbered 65 percent to 35 percent in party registrations.
Anyone on any street corner in Southwest Florida can tell you in a nutshell what MAGA Trumpers believe; basically, God, guns and Trump, as well as, in no particular order: no vaccines, no health mandates, no science, no education, no church-state separation, no abortion, no women’s rights, no learning, no tolerance, no immigrants, no voting, no government and no inclusion.
Democratic principles can’t be recited the same way by either friends or foes. They’re all over the place. Will Rogers’ old adage still holds true: “I don’t belong to an organized political party. I’m a Democrat.”
What is more, DeSantis, Republicans, MAGAs and Trumpers have successfully used the most extreme fringe causes of the Democratic Party to shape the party’s identity in the public mind. They are defining the Democratic Party.
So what would be most helpful would be a three-word encapsulation of the Party’s core values and principles. Three-element slogans have enormous power. (For example, “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness,” or “our lives, our fortunes and our sacred honor” or “liberté, egalité, fraternité” or “truth, justice and the American way.” Donald Trump himself once inadvertently best characterized his principles as “hatred, prejudice and rage.”)
If it were up to me, I’d like to see the Party’s principles be “democracy, dignity and justice.” But while that floats my boat, I’m not sure how it would focus-group. There may be more effective slogans out there. The main point, though, is that the Democratic Party has to stand for something positive and whatever that is has to be clear, simple and strong.
So, I’m just asking for three words. Any three words you think would work. I think if you can provide them, we’ll all be better off.
Thank you for your time and attention and I’m available for any questions or to provide any further information you may require.
Special to Big Mouth Media from the Paradise Progressive. Originally published on April 28, 2023.