Balancing the Independence Component are the parts of the Opportunity Component. The overall message of the Opportunity Component is that the Democratic Party is committed to providing opportunities for all Americans to be financially self-sustaining and reap the rewards of their hard work. In contrast to the Republicans who want to turn America into a cheap labor pool, Democrats want everyone to be as successful as they can for themselves and their children.
+ Small Business Friendly – Small businesses are the engine of the American economy and hire over half the workforce. The Republican Party is seen as business-friendly but their policies have been devastating to small businesses. The strategy here is to drive a wedge between the business community and capture small business owners for the Democratic Party.
+ Portable Benefits – Currently, health and retirement benefits are provided by corporations to their workers thus restricting choice and leaving workers vulnerable to raids on their pension funds. Democrats should commit to a health insurance system and retirement benefits that the person carries with them from job-to-job. This will greatly aid small businesses by cutting their benefits expenses while ensuring that citizens are not without benefits just because they are temporarily unemployed.
+ Reskilling – In today's economy, it is vital that people have the opportunities to retrain themselves and reeducated themselves throughout their work-life. Democrats should commit to education and training reform so that American workers will always have access to affordable and current training so that can maintain their earning power. Democrats should also advocate training that will aid small business owners to establish and grow their businesses in ways that benefit their communities.
These are ambitious goals and fit naturally into the values of the Democratic Party while providing new ideas that will energize the Democratic base and appeal to Independents and moderate Republicans. The advantage of the ION strategy is that other Democratic issues can be fitted into the broad strategic themes of Independence and Opportunity.
The next posting will discuss the "N" component of the ION Strategy: why promoting a National Income is the key to Democratic victory in 2020.