The future of the Dem Party in Tennessee grim, according to outgoing Democrat Congressman Jim Cooper (TN).
Cooper’s statements came during his interview with his local newspaper, the Nashville Scene, released this week. Cooper showed concerns during the interview that the Dems in Tennessee are coming under “possible extinction.”
The most probable cause pointed to a pessimistic outlook is the new GOP redistricting of Tennessee, which is what caused Cooper’s retiring, since he did not have a path to victory with the new makeup.
However, that does not mean the redistricting is to blame. Cooper noted that the historical trend was pointing towards the end of the Democrats in the state, and the lack of a strategy by Democrats to make any movements for rural voters.
“As usual, Dems are not aware of the future dangers. The biggest danger we have in the off-year election after we captured the White House is the 100-year trend toward the Republicans. Redistricting is nothing compared to this historical trend,” he said.
“It is crucial to talk with your constituents, not to be a boss. You are their representative. We must get this formula right. The Dem. Party in Tennessee is basically looking at extinction,” Cooper said.
“We have been on a long downhill slope for a long time. Tennessee has less statewide elected offices than I believe any other state, and now the only path is through Memphis, which is not as good as Nashville. That fits GOP strategy very well. Their goal is to ghettoize the Democratic Party,” he said.
The Scene asked the lawmaker if he believed that the Democrats could be more competitive in elections, but the representative said that while he hoped it would happen, “hope is not a strategy.”
“Our strategy is just blind hope. Many of the people you are listening to have probably never seen these counties. They are not kin to these people. Their best friends do not live out there. I had the advantage of being Nashville born but raised in Shelbyville,” Cooper said.