I know we enjoy gloating about the hot mess that is the Republican Party these days. Former GOP presidents warning the president about the people he places in his administration; and a former GOP speaker of the house saying “there is no Republican Party. The president isn’t a Republican.” And Democrats’ mainstream media have provided coverage that seems to always be right and the Republicans are a bunch of sexist, racist, whack jobs.
So why aren’t Democrats winning?
We pulled our country out of the financial collapse of 2008 (which had little to do with Washington – although President Bush and President Barack Obama worked hand in hand to bail the country out of it). We were ushering in a new America. A post-racial America where everyone has health care and a good middle-class job. Stories written since the 2016 election wrote the obituary on the Republican Party (too white, too rich, too old and on top of that, technology morons who can’t turn out the vote without manufacturing a timely immigration emergency). The Democrats were here to stay – or so we thought.
In November 2016 Democrats seemed shocked the race between Clinton and Trump remained relatively close because they seemed to stop talking to the white working-class voters who, for decades, had defined their base. This expensive mistake is the primary reason we have Trump and his ethically-challenged administration.
We weren’t talking about middle-class tax cuts, we talked about transgender bathroom access. Instead of talking about fixing Obamacare we walked right into the trap of the alt-right and began tearing down Civil War statues. We fought a Kavanaugh Supreme Court nomination, that exposed Republicans for their intense hypocrisy, which provided an easy excuse for them to rally and defend “one of their own” from those terrible liberals. This, like the fake immigration “emergency,” motivates Republicans like nothing else.
What most Democrats don’t seem to understand is that you can point out your opponent’s weaknesses all day long, but if you don’t provide an alternative, then people will stick with the status quo. Republicans who have grown disillusioned with the Republican Party, when asked why they don’t defect, the answer is always the same: “It’s no better over there.”
You can’t beat something with nothing. But thanks to Democratic ineptness and refusal to look inward at their own shortcomings, and despite the president’s low approval numbers, the Democrats are on track to ensuring that in 2020, the country could re-elect Trump to another 4 years.
We can do more. We can reach out to the middle class with a real message about bringing balance to income inequality, a new minimum livable wage, protecting health care and dramatically reducing costs, and we must let them know that we are the party of human-rights while the Republican Party is nothing more than a lobbyist for corporate agendas. It’s fair to say that with a fact-based information campaign we could convey our message while showing Republican’s contempt for the middle class. It’s not a hard sell if done precisely and routinely. We’re Democrats, we’ve been here before and had success. We just need to focus and do more to educate voters that the Democrats’ platform is centered around the needs of families, not corporations.