2016 has left many Democrats so fearful that they have been paralyzed in time. Too many believe that Trump, his base, and his cabal are more powerful than they are. The thing is, they are only as powerful as we have allowed them to be.
Americans prefer wrong and strong over right and timid. Just think how they would react to right and strong. The thing is, we have two candidates that are in fact right and strong. But too many Democrats, because of an imposed timidity, fear that one must find a candidate who represents inherently the mythical center.
After reading one of my blogs posted to LinkedIn where I commended the policies of two of the three leading candidates, a reader posted the following.
Michael: Nonsense. Google 1972. We went so far left we lost 49 states. Check the swing state polls. Here it what you need to know … https://youtu.be/rV8OtddXkkk
The link is a video of Michael giving praises to Biden which we know is just fluff. After all, our eyes and ears did not lie to us when we watched his performance in the debate. Some of it made him seem like Trump. Sadly, the constant need to prop up Biden should be disconcerting to his supporters. When Castro rightfully challenged Biden, PolitiFact went through hoops in their attempt to turn the Julian Castro truthful statement echoing what Biden said in the Houston Democratic debate as false. Fortunately, the statement was codified in the transcript. Imagine if they had afforded President Obama the same type of analysis before declaring "If you like your health insurance, you can keep it." statement the lie of the year.
Soon thereafter, a friend posted the following concurring with Michael.
Roy: My radar is up bigtime about this. Michael's comment is right on. Sometimes one cannot see the forest for the trees. I lived through and followed 1972 election closely.
It was a landslide against a very fine, very liberal progressive Senator by filthy Tricky Dick, and Tricky was an angel compared to the mobster in the WH now. That is after 1968 when Nixon beat Hubert Humphrey, one of the most progressive politicians ever, from a farm state, who led the Senate fight for Medicare and Medicaid and the Civil Rights Act. GHW Bush wiped the floor with Michael Dukakis, a proven liberal.
Be careful what you ask for. We are dealing with Electoral College numbers, and there are TONS of red states. It's about turnout, yeah. But turnout WHERE?
I know lifelong Dems who are very upset right now because they have seen what I have seen and know what I know. The Democrats have prove n time and time again to not understand or know how to sell/message/position.
Let's be clear. This isn't 1972. Our politics are very different. People are hurting and no one is messaging them appropriately.
I got a call from a blue-collar worker recently to my program Politics Done Right. He was exasperated with a feeling of being left out. It was a touching call because he represents a subsection of the family of subsections Democrats need to be talking to ad nauseam. He was looking for direction. It was necessary to blog that call with the title "This blue-collar worker illustrates why a centrist just won’t do."
"I am just a blue-collar working guy, 53 and doing it all of my life," Mike said. "I've got some good trades. I survive. ... What I've always wanted to bring up is I kind of feel like blue-collar people in this country are being left behind. We are being stamped out. Wages have been stagnant for years. I guess I just don't understand what's' going on."
I proceeded to ask Mike several questions. He said he had not voted in several years. Many will immediately jump on this man for not doing his civic duty and being a part of the problem. I beg to differ.
We have been asking blue-collar folk, POC folk, and all these different identities within the Democratic coalition to vote. The problem is we always seem to settle for someone who is under the belief that they must adhere to some mythical center.
The mythical center has not stopped the decline of the middle class. Nor has it helped the poor ascend into the middle-class. Those asking that we support someone in the center like Biden or Klobuchar should attempt to be empathetic to those who realize their policies will do little to make their economic situation all but marginally palatable.
A tweak to the Affordable Care Act that still has a $6,000 deductible and does not insure all is not appealing. Not solving environmental problems, student debt, economic, racial, and criminal injustice is not appealing.
Having a sect of Democrats teaming up with Trump-supporting Republicans and their Right-Wing talking points like Rahm Emanuel did alongside Chris Christie recently on a news program does not engender strength. Unfortunately, too many want to reach people like Mike solely for their vote. If they vote they are thanked and soon after forgotten. If they don't vote, they are criticized, maligned, and demeaned.
It is clear that many like Mike are not only reachable but if the time is invested in them, they will see reasons to vote their interest for a change. After all, Elizabeth Warren was applauded in MAGA/Trump country, West Virginia.
Trump never feared to lean into his message however arcane it seemed. We must not fear to lean into a Progressive message and candidate that supports policies Americans say they want in polls. More importantly, we should not want to sole convince people like Mike to vote. We want to also empower them with knowledge so that they understand what to demand of their vote and how to ensure they get their demands enacted to improve their current state.