By CHRISTINA HALE
– The Indiana Democratic Party hasn’t felt
like much of a party lately. More like a support group meeting, or an
amateur cage match. We have a lingering case of loseritis, and it has
negatively impacted our collective self-esteem. We need to remember that
we are the party of fun, of cool, a party of people who are motivated
about the well-being of others.
How many of us have moved on from rolling our eyes to smashing our
screens when we receive those doom and gloom overly urgent political
fundraising emails? It is time to reconnect to our identity, and the
promise we can bring to Hoosiers around the state. We are the party
that appreciates everybody, no matter your gender, color, religion,
sexual orientation, whatever. People, we like all of you! And we think
it is important to stand up to bullies who don’t.
We also get things done. In fact, Democratic leadership is thriving in
our cities and towns around Indiana. Democrat mayors here are sending
kids to college, getting the lights turned back on in neighborhoods,
revitalizing town squares and incubating businesses. And they are doing
it in clean, efficient and productive ways. Al Franken had it right
back in the 90’s. Like his SNL character Stuart Smalley, we are good
enough, and we are smart enough. We just need to take back control of
Somewhere along the way Republicans won the branding war in Indiana.
Democrats in Indiana used to conjure up images of nice, hardworking,
neighborly folk; people who took good care of their lawns and held the
door open for you. People who would gladly babysit when you found
yourself in a last-minute jam. That’s still us. Yet market research suggests that today, too many people now associate
more negative words with our party affiliation, words like radical,
angry, intolerant. And that is just not who we are.