It’s all in the proffered description: ‘hard-power budget.’ My fellow Democrats will squeal that this budget will hit the core of Trump’s core voting base. And that, therefore, this budget is an own goal. Wrong.
For ‘hard-power,’ read ‘muscular.’ I know plenty of core Trump supporters who are on food stamps and social welfare. Who regularly vote against their own economic interests.
Why? Because they cannot bring themselves to vote for politicians who are not ‘muscular.’ And that means any politician who can not make a good ‘Christian’ case for any perceived social ‘weakness.’
[And let me just say, there are plenty of good ‘Christian’ arguments in favor of almost all favorite Democratic social causes. We just don’t trot them out. We prefer to believe the justice of all these social causes is unarguably self-evident. Which is why we have been losing the support of our own core working-folk base these past thirty years. Major bloody sigh.]
Sorry to be blunt. But if we ain’t blunt. If we don’t understand what we’re up against. We can’t hope to cope.
Every last line of this budget takes money from people who did not and will not ever vote for Trump.
Every last spending increase goes to some concept that projects American strength.
Either literally – wall, military. Or the notion that Americans should be strong, resilient, self-sufficient, Davy Crockett backwoodsmen. Even if they are strong, resilient, self-sufficient, Davy Crockett backwoodsmen who are on food stamps, beat their wives, and steal the rent money to get drunk on a Friday evening.
The net result? Democrats will find more multi-colored cards to wave. Thinking they are gaining the attention of core, poor Trump supporters.
Which supporters aren’t paying any attention at all. Because they’re out in the backwoods, celebrating their ‘muscular’ President.
Sorry if this offends. But reality at the moment pretty much offends, on every level.
One more time. Democrats need to focus. We need to find ways to outflank the simplistic attraction of Trump, ways which are less ugly and less harmful.
We aren’t going to win in 2020 by waving cards. Or by laughing at, sneering at or simply denigrating a budget proposal which is delighting his supporters. Denigrate, sure. But only if we offer an alternative which delivers, not preaches …