Really. Take a deep breath and a day off. It will be okay. At least the Senate is still in the hands of the Dems.
Well, deep.honey did her part as a proud moderate voter, re-electing the incumbent Democrat in her local VA House race (she has no voting rights at her bachelorette pad in the obelisk). He's a good guy who I've heard speak on a number of occasions, and he does an excellent job of reaching out to the Black powers that be in her community, even stopping by her place of worship recently.
But back to the bloodbath. What can President Obama learn from this?
*For starters, he should shake up his circle of advisers even further, finding a mix of policy wonks and political strategists that are less liberal and more in touch with the concerns of independents and moderates. Last night proved again that the support of independents and moderates is essential for winning any national election.
*He needs to pay attention to what people of faith and blue-collar America see as weaknesses in his governing style and priorities. I'm a Christian, originally from the Deep South/Bible Belt, and I'm sure that when he started pressing for more rights for gays, my former blue-collar neighbors and those like them all over the nation immediately shut their ears to the rest of his agenda. He has to remember that America is still largely a Judeo-Christian nation. Offend folks' basic sense of right and wrong, and the conversation is over. Those who may not have had a strong dislike for Obama before began gunning for him, and the Tea Party took advantage of their bitterness and anger. He should attempt to calm the storm in blue-collar America by focusing on infrastructure projects and job creation in an obvious, measurable way, and continuing to support small business owners.
*The Dems need an infusion of young blood on the local level. Part of the reason why Obama was so attractive to voters under 40 in '08 was that they saw him as being in touch with Gen X and Y. He wasn't one of the typical, cynical baby boomers. X and Y believed that his administration and policies would be innovative, forward-thinking, able to slough off the tired conventions of Washington politics. However, Obama's agenda was stalled from the outset because he had to clean up the economic and military messes of his predecessor, and he's still working on that. Meanwhile, a lot of young voters' goodwill and enthusiasm for Dem priorities evaporated. Remember, the Facebook generation has a short attention span.
To reengage young adults, Dems have to do a better job of cultivating the next generation of transformative leaders for Congressional races. It's hard to get involved as a young person when you don't think that any of the candidates has a clue as to what your generation's priorities are. Dems must also effectively use social networking to keep young adults informed about opportunities to contribute their talents to party efforts locally.
*Dems also need to conduct more outreach to determine what senior citizens really want. It was interesting to me that last night, CNN displayed data showing that this group is most likely to vote for Tea Party candidates. According to CNN.com, only 39% of senior citizens voted for Democrats last night. This is a 10% drop in comparison to numbers from 2008. SMH: Aren't Dems the party most likely not to touch Social Security entitlements? Don't they remember the Republican effort to privatize it? Either they are misinformed, or just completely uninformed. Outreach strategies have to be completely revamped.
Regardless, the next four years are going to be interesting. Buckle up, everybody.