A few weeks ago, I wrote a blog calling for the North Carolina Democratic Party to look for new ideas that are relevant to our current situation instead of looking for solutions from the past. Since then, I’ve called on leaders to look for solutions to the problems facing our declining rural counties and focus on structural unemployment in those are areas. Last week, I saw an idea that starts to address those issues.
Tom Campbell of NC Spin fame suggested that leaders should propose a $5 billion infrastructure program to address the pressing needs of our state. Tom correctly points out that we can borrow money almost for free. We won’t likely get a better deal in the future. By his reckoning, the program will create over 140,000 jobs, enough to put a serious dent in our unemployment problem.
Democrats should jump on the idea and shout it from the mountain tops. If the Republicans reject it, make them explain why they are willing to let our roads and bridges crumble and continue to turn a blind eye to our citizens who are still suffering from the economic crisis. It’s big, it’s bold and, most of all, it makes sense.
Democrats desperately need a message besides, ”We’re not the crazy ones.” (Especially in light of what happened to the Democratic Party last year.) They need to offer a vision for the future that sounds something like, “We want to prepare North Carolina to compete in this changing economy in order to offer our families hope for the future and an opportunity for a better life.” And they could add the caveat, “Just offering lower taxes and less regulation won’t get us there.”
Tom Campbell’s got a great idea. Democrats need to use it before Republicans do.