As we all know, the next debate of the Democratic primary is tomorrow, November 20th. We’ve had a few of these already, and we’ve gotten a lot of good air time on candidates foreign policy plans, their health care plans, or their perspective on President Trump. What we haven’t seen much of is attention paid to rural America — and that’s a real shame. These candidates each have dedicated rural plans, or at the very least infrastructure, health care, education, or other plans that focus on the rural components of these issues. When given the chance, they love to talk about them.
Case in point: The biggest Democratic Party event of the year was just a few weeks ago — Iowa’s Liberty and Justice Celebration in Des Moines. Lot of attention paid to what often amounted to the same stump speeches these candidates make on a daily basis. The next day, in Cedar Rapids, Representative Finkenauer had a forum of her own. It was focused on infrastructure and jobs. And it gave us some of the most substance, the most depth that we’ve yet seen in this primary.
Elizabeth Warren speaking on rural broadband:
Pete Buttigieg on Trump’s Big Oil Waivers:
Bernie Sanders talking on clean energy infrastructure and biofuels:
These are just three moments from a *three hour long* forum where 9 candidates shared detail on their vision for investing in infrastructure and jobs, often with a laser focus on rural issues. So this goes to the broadcasters: Ask these candidates about their plans! Give them the opportunity to talk about something they have a clear passion for. And to the candidates and their campaigns, because we’ve seen that we can’t count on the broadcasters: Take every opportunity you can to deliver your vision for small towns, for rural communities, for the areas that get passed over in the larger process in the debate tomorrow.
Success in the general election will come through breaking down barriers and squeezing margins in those areas. You have done the work. You have strong plans. You are far better suited and better prepared to deliver a hopeful economic message to these communities than the president is. Show that to the country.