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U.S. Representative Lauren Underwood did the same thing in 2018 and 2020, in a mostly rural, mostly conservative, mostly white Illinois Congressional district. A young, black nurse who had worked in the Obama administration, she went door to door in this excessively gerrymandered district. She won the hearts of many voters who had never seen a politician come to their door to ask what they cared about. She is an inspiration to our local Indivisible groups, whose members are mostly older adults. We worked hard for her in both campaigns. We hope to help get her re-elected again this year.

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If Underwood and Maxmin can succeed in conservative rural areas, many more could if they were willing to do the hard work of connecting with rural America.

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Please provide support for the National Popular Vote Compact. This initiative is a critical way to elect our President by the National vote. We need several more states to ratify this Compact so it will be in effect for the 2024 Presidential election.

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Bruce and others: Here's a video I did on it. Hugely important for making the Electoral College irrelevant: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s6UBwPYdl74

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i wish the DNC would take this to heart. This is the way we should campaign everywhere. What they are doing now is just "the other guy is bad send money." No talk of values and goals. We need to develope a crusade for the common good. Address the climate crisis that is very important for and to the younger generations.

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A "crusade for the common good" is an excellent way of putting it.

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One of the many things I liked about reading this was the reminder* that rural paradigms typically involve patience and low investment-- which apparently just seem stupid in suburb-space and techbro land. And which are so vitally needed for most of the vast problems that face us.

So Chloe and Canyon aren't just personally refreshing for their values, dedication, and quality. I am refreshed by remembering where the long-run values we so desperately need continue to be endemic.

* I am from (a university town in) a very rural area, southern Illinois, and there is dirt in all my psychic and moral crevices. Granted, where it hasn't been tended it's hard-to-work clay with insufficient organic matter, but tending the soil is what time is for, and organic-amended clay is staggeringly productive.

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Bravo! These young people get it. And, thank you for posting the pick-me-up! Isolation from COVID has wrought ill will and distrust. And, having these human connections makes the difference. Every Midwest state needs such young people.

I made calls organizing veterans for Biden into rural areas where I used to live or from where my people haled. It’s fun, rewarding and even in the crazy times, that contact mattered. Just think if that contact had come from a young person, IN PERSON.

There’s a lot of detail in between, yet this strategic effort looms large for 2022 and 2024. As one person, I have ordered the book and will pass on the HOPE! Thank you for posting, Robert.

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Chloe and Canyon are my two newly found heroes! By listening to the people, understanding their practical concerns, and making the connection with their own heart-felt convictions they restore the nobility of politics. They are the face of America that as non-native citizen I am longing to meet.

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I live in a rural area where Dems are outnumbered 2-1. Gonna need a copy of Chloe and Canyon's book as soon as it's available. We have an excellent candidate to replace our seditionist US rep and he has that same positive/listening attitude plus a life of public service.

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Wasn't this the same attitude, knocking on doors, that Bernie Sanders took in his first run (he won) for office as mayor of Burlington, VT, because the Dems were in cahoots with the Reps?

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“Things move at the speed of relationship in rural America.” And thanks for this hope full story, Robert. While not ignoring what we don’t want, focusing on what we do want is more energizing and activating.

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I loved the “speed of relationship” language, too!

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It takes a lot of courage, especially today to do the kind of out reach described. Very impressive!

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robert, again, I still do not see dems going to the rural people or talking to the rural people. the orange man went to them with lies that he cared, but he still won their vote because he at least talked directly to them. when will dems start to do this even a little ??? it is not that hard to figure out how to strengthen the dem party...... can you at least tell the dems pols that you know ????? 'the only way Democrats can retain and enlarge their political power is by winning over more of rural America. Maxmin and Woodward are charting the way.'

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It is a proven statement that the Republican Party can be replaced, by just being honest, and reaching to those in need. Forget fearmongering and spend time on positive love , will expose the Republican Party in its pathetic hate attitude

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Thanks, RR. I need more stories like this interspersed with the doom & gloom.

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A truly inspirational and instructive piece. Thanks for this, Professor! Now we need to get their book out nationwide to prospective candidates and also establishment Democrats, the ones would could really learn from it.

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Very nice message. As someone who has worked with rural Mainers, both on their farms or helping them to relocate in jobs, I am sympathetic to the people who respond positively to those who listen to their issues. My own progressive politics never came into my discussions with people who were struggling to save their dairy farms amid the injustices of the USDA regulations and problems; and people who were at the mercy of big business consolidating and taking away their jobs. We need to get away from political divisiveness and meet people on their own terms.

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I would hazard a guess that most Americans have problems akin to what Americans suffered in their daily lives in the years before Franklin D. Roosevelt became President. Back then there was crushing poverty and lack of opportunity in rural areas, little to no health care, no jobs, no way to support your elders in their old age, no electricity. FDR brought in very smart people as advisors who determined the priorities for average Americans, figured out what the Federal government could do to alleviate these problems and then went about pushing through legislation that made FDR and the Dems broadly loved. And, of course, FDR was elected President four (4) times.

There are still major problems affecting average people in rural areas, and in urban and exurban areas as well. Whenever a Democrat has gotten out into "the hustings", spoken with regular people about their problems and concerns and gained understanding of what was needed, they won, and the reason why we had a bunch of new Democratic faces in the House a few election cycles back is attributable to that. It's the path to victory - a well-spoken, charismatic, sincere person who understands and cares about the problems of the voters and promises to try their hardest to do something about them, tends more often than not to win.

It's an essential fact of life, and politics, and needs to be central to a Democratic 50-state and multi-thousand county approach in this year's elections if we really want to hold back the Trumpian tide and protect America from the worst of us.

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Finally some good news, thank you.

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