A Long Term Political Strategy for the Democrats

I rabbit on about the Democrats needing to be strategic and no one knows what the hell I am talking about.

As Director Global Labor Strategy for Ford in 1998 I developed a strategy for the next 10 or so years to save Ford on the Labor front. I got moved off the job because it was so short term threatening to the then Labor Relations leadership, who couldn’t do strategy to save their lives and were dolts.

It had three sections: Long term modern operating goals, tools and opportunities.

The first was around what would really make for a competitive set of plants and product development processes to keep Ford in business during good times and bad times. The second was around interest based bargaining and full open book approach to the union: making them understand the economics of the business. The third was using to downturns, plants at risk and new model sourcing to use the tools to achieve the first.

That’s a strategy, joined up thinking, and the three ring binder that I left of the detail of this work, was used over the next ten years by the better Labor Relations folks to help save Ford before and after the 2008 Crash. The useless ones never even referred to it. Must have been Democrats. 

The Democrats need the same. Goals could include using the Fourteenth Amendment to smash gerrymandering and voter suppression; reversing the rise of inequality from a Gini of 35 to 45; regulating Wall Street not to make it a better casino but to make it serve the real economy; creating real value add jobs on a regionally better distributed basis; meeting working people’s interests as a class rather than as fragmented identity politics that the Right has played against us and so on. Tools would be interest based analysis and negotiation, and deep understanding of the demographics and mind set of the electorate. Opportunities would depend on when the Democrats control the Presidency and Congress and States and the tactical skill of those in key positions when this happens and their understanding of and contribution to the long term strategy that would evolve and learn from mistakes.

Oh yes and it would help world wide if Soros or someone funded the creation of new economic thinking to take back university economics departments from the free market loonies. Without that an economic strategy will be shallow and not sustainable.

About creativeconflictwisdom

I spent 32 years in a Fortune Five company working on conflict: organizational, labor relations and senior management. I have consulted in a dozen different business sectors and the US Military. I work with a local environmental non profit. I have written a book on the neuroscience of conflict, and its implications for conflict handling called Creative Conflict Wisdom (forthcoming).
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