In my continuing efforts to find ways that combat Trump effectively. Again. The first thing we need to do is determine what it is we are trying to achieve. Different people want different things. That’s fine. It’s (still) a free country.
For myself. What I want to do is to ensure that we get more Democrats elected. And that Trump does not serve a second term. All that I propose has those two ends in mind. Nothing else.
The problem I see is that too many Democrats, in my opinion, remain convinced that their attacks on Trump are striking home. When, with respect, it is possible that they are not.
Unless we are winning over at least some Trump supporters. If our actions are aimed primarily at our own gallery. Then, those actions are counterproductive. Democrats need to win back at least some Trump supporters, in order to start winning elections in any meaningful way.
I have devised a simplistic rule of thumb to help guide you. If we are to stand a chance of winning over even a handful of ‘reasonable’ Trump supporters (and please, let’s stop with the self-defeating nonsense that there are no ‘reasonable’ Trump supporters), then we need to be doing something that passes the “Yes … but it sticks it to Washington” test.
If a Trump supporter can say of what Trump and his advisers are doing or saying “Yes … but it sticks it to Washington,” then, again with respect, we may be wasting our time focusing our energy on attacking it. In my opinion.
I’m not saying that means that what Trump and his advisers are doing is right. Nor that I want to normalize anything that they are doing. I’m just saying we need to make our attacks effective.
So. For example:
* I’m going on a march to protest X. If reasonable Trump supporters can turn around and say, yes, but X sticks it to Washington. Then, are we wasting our time? Which could be used more effectively?
* I’m going to write a blog post which attacks Y. Reasonable Trump supporters can turn around and say, yes, but Y sticks it to Washington. Again, waste of time attacking?
I’m not saying don’t have a go at each and every awful thing that Trump is doing. But in so doing, let’s keep asking ourselves: who are we trying to impress? Ok. You might say. So, what would you do that could be regarded as effective?
One more time, I would encourage Democrats to invite Trump supporters to use three monitoring metrics, by which to gauge whether or not Trump is delivering for them:
1) Did Trump create a job for anyone you know?
2) Did your health insurance premium go down – as Trump promised it would?
3) Has your cost of living or doing business increased as a result of Trump’s programs (e.g. tariffs on Chinese imports; the border wall with Mexico)?
I’m open to suggestions for other effective monitoring metrics. Anyone got any ideas?
At the same time, Democrats need to start offering alternative policies that have a hope of gaining traction with ‘reasonable’ Trump supporters. In which regard, I would once again encourage fellow Democrats to consider Democratic Populism.
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