Monday, November 17, 2014

The Need to Get Democratic Voters Excited

New Florida Senate Minority Leader Arthenia Joyner gave a fiery speech on income inequality ans the lack of Medicaid coverage for many Floridians.

"There's no freedom for the more than one million Floridians with no access to a family doctor so long as Medicaid expansion is blocked," Joyner said after being unanimously elected by her Democratic colleagues. "If your family's sick and you cannot get access to a doctor, you are not free."

"When most of the gains are going to the very top, bypassing the ones who have helped to get that success, working people are not free,'' she said. "There's no freedom when tens of thousands of Floridians are locked up for minor drug possessions and their civil rights are not restored because of some arbitrary waiting period.

"There's no freedom when a judge's discretion in sentencing is removed and prison times become mandated by lawmakers far removed from the court rooms.

"There's no freedom when our lakes and rivers and streams slowly suffocate and we cannot drink or swim or boat or fish in our waters. There's no freedom when our homes and businesses and our farms and orchards are under threat because of rising sea levels aimed at Florida's coast line. And there is no freedom when our kids can't get ahead in an education system based on punishment rather than excellence. There's no freedom when unaccountable private schools become more attractive because government has failed the accountable public ones.

"All of these issues individually and collectively can break people already stretched to the breaking point to the edge of being durable. But it doesn't need to be that way. As a woman, especially as a black woman, I learned many years ago what it meant to be on the outside looking in. I remember what it was like when fears of one group trumped the fair treatment of many and denied those willing to work hard the right to the success they had earned.

"I learned deep down in my heart the constant ache for freedom that some enjoyed but many more were denied. When hard working people are blocked from basic health care because one ideology is against it. When they are shunned from sharing in the success they helped a company achieve, when they are struggling to pay the bills in a system stacked against them, when they have erred in some minor crime and their sentence is unchallengable, that is the edge of the undurable. As the incoming leader, I pledge to you that like I did a quarter century ago, this wall erected in the name of politics to curb the freedom of the people, will also fall,'' she said to applause.

"In grateful acknowledgement of the trust you have placed in me, I will do everything in my power to make it happen -- together we will. he 14 members of this Democratic caucus have a proud tradition for standing for -- as one of my Republican senator once said, the little guy and little girl -- that's who we stand for.

"The 14 of us believe that moderate minds and willing hearts will embrace what is right for the people over the greed of any one party and the people of Florida will be better for it."

A good reason many Democrats lost during the midterms is because they refused to define what they stand for. Alison Lundergan Grimes told everyone how awesome coal is and she lost. Mary Landrieu has sponsored a bill for thew Keystone pipeline. Judging by the polls, Landrieu will lose her runoff election to Bill Cassidy. Democratic voters aren't going to get excited and come out for candidates like Grimes and Landrieu when Obama is not on the ballot. These establishment Democrats fail to understand that they need to throw red meat to the base.

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