In my last post, I rambled on about a Plan B for dealing with Trump and his base. And I got a lot of great comments and links from y’all. But I want to clarify something. The Plan B was about dealing with Trump supporters, NOT about trying to sway them to the Democrats’ side. As many of you pointed out (and I totally agree), trying to convince Trump supporters that the Donald is a bad hombre is like trying to stop moths from hanging around the porch light (even if it’s a bug light zapper!). No, the point was that going down the list of bad things Trump represents or says is futile; it’s easier to show that Trump can’t get anything done by pointing out facts regarding his policies and promises.
So if you want to win back the Congress and the Presidency (forget the hijacked-by-Republicans Supreme Court), the strategy should not be to sway Trump voters to your side. That is what I call the Lego Batman Strategy. In this clever animated movie, Lego Batman (spoiler alert) enlists all the Joker’s henchman and B-list villains to help him fight the Joker. Which is exactly what the Hillary campaign did in the election, as punctuated by this Chuck Schumer comment in July of 2016:
“For every blue-collar Democrat we lose in western Pennsylvania, we will pick up two moderate Republicans in the suburbs in Philadelphia, and you can repeat that in Ohio and Illinois and Wisconsin.”
Yep, a big part of the DNC plan was to pick up Republican votes, but they forgot about who was actually in their own party. Chuck, how did that work out for you? There’s even a chapter in Hillary’s new book entitled “Don’t Look to Animated Films for Political Strategy.” (By the way, if you haven’t seen the Lego Movie or the Lego Batman Movie, you should take a break from reading this and stream it on Netflix. Go ahead…I’ll wait. But let me know when you get to the part when Batman says, “We’re going to punch those guys so hard that words describing their impact are going to spontaneously materialize.”)
But I digress. What was the point here? Oh, yeah. Winning elections without using tactics from movies. Winning elections is all about connecting to the voters, your voters.
As demonstrated by the Bernie Sanders campaign, if you talk about the issues, the supporters will emerge and follow. It seems simple: when you talk to the public about issues that truly affect them and with specific ideas on how to help them lead better lives, the American people form a connection with you and support you. So if the Resistance wants to win the upcoming elections, the trick is to get people excited about OUR policies and ideas. Simply resisting Trump will not be enough.
A good example of this in action is the current Medicare for All bill in the Senate and the House. According to the Pew Research Center, 60% of Americans believe that it is the responsibility of the federal government to make sure that all Americans have health care coverage. Obamacare is good, but there are still too many people without health insurance. And when you factor in the innumerable battles over Obamacare, healthcare has been an issue on people’s minds for quite some time. So attack the issue and come up with a real plan for the people. Not a Trump “plan” where he says, “I’m going to replace Obamacare with something terrific.” A real plan which, if you are interested, can be found here: https://live-berniesanders-com.pantheonsite.io/issues/medicare-for-all/
And maybe this will lead to more serious discussions about more policies and plans about more issues that are affecting Americans like climate change, gun control, infrastructure, immigration, and foreign policy. Phew! All this talk about ideas in action has got me thinking about Lego Batman again.
I think I’ll stop writing now and watch it.
Power to the People,