Gimme Some Truth Part II – More Wisdom for Democrats from Sen. Fred Harris

by | May 10, 2022 | News and Interviews

By Sen. Fred Harris as told to June Anglin, DPSC

How Can Democrats Best Counter Smears from the Right and Best Tell Their Story?

Currently, the Republican Governors Association is buying frequent television time to tell New Mexicans that Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham is soft on crime. This is no more than a dog whistle, and the Republican-paid TV ads are playing repetitively, every day.

In her first term, Michelle Lujan Grisham, the first Democratic Latina to be elected governor in the United States, has fostered and promoted bipartisan legislation in New Mexico to invest in public education and clean energy. She met national standards in responding to Covid-19 and has protected New Mexico’s precious rural assets. The drug and gang crime problem, in the making internationally for decades, is hugely unlikely to be eliminated in any one governor’s first term. But it has been a fruitful talking point for Republicans since the 1960s.

Sen. Harris had the following recommendations to overcome Republican negativity:

  • Address the issues where it is important to build and reinforce Democratic ideals, including civil rights, the worsening income and wealth disparity, and LGBTQ rights.
  • Make these issues “the” critical issues, rather than focus on the issues raised by Republicans.
  • Start national-organization-paid and state-organization-paid advertising now.

Sen. Harris said that to promote their agenda, Democrats must oppose the anger and hate that is encouraged by the right.

Citing his staff member Bill Carmack’s communications theory, Harris said that political campaigns are about the making and reinforcement of opinion leaders.

We all have opinions. We know the opinions and ideals that we admire, that bring out the best in us. We need to have the nerve to speak up for those opinions and ideals, and to back up others who are speaking up for those opinions and ideals.


We ended our visit discussing Ukraine and President Biden. Sen. Harris said that he could think of no one better than President Biden to be handling the Ukraine issues. President Biden is tough and a straight talker with no nonsense, and that is what we need.

In the words of Fred Harris:

“President Biden’s magnificent State of the Union address reminded Americans why they elected him—a strong and steady international leader and a great advocate and doer for ordinary people. And he gave us Democrats the optimistic inspiration to get to work for the vital 2022 elections.”

As a “radical optimist,” Harris expects the Democrats to hold the House and pick up two seats in the U.S. Senate in 2022. Let’s all help make that happen!

Click here for background on Sen. Fred Harris and Part I of this interview.


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