Sunday, January 6, 2019

Democrats: The Message Is the Medium

It only took three days, so if you chose January 3 in your office pool as the date when the first idiot Democrat brought up impeachment, then congratulations are in order. That she also sprinkled her comment with impolitic language only makes it worse. I'm thinking that Nancy Peloisi had a chat with Representative Tlaib about staying on message.

I just want to be clear on this first post of the year that I have no patience with any Democrat who calls for any legal action against the president unless there is enough legitimate evidence that the president had committed an impeachable or indictable offense. Let Robert Mueller's investigation do its job and let him release his report when it's ready. The same is true about the other current investigations into the Trump Administration and the ones that the Democrats in the House will inevitably begin. Giving the Republicans any further reason to marginalize any opposition only takes time and energy away from what must be the Democrats' central message, which is that they will address and attempt to solve the basic problems that face Americans on a day-to-day basis.

I understand that a new and younger group of much more liberal legislators are now in Congress and statehouses across the country. I understand that they are filled with passion and fury and that they were elected to move the country in a different direction. But the best way to do this is to stay on message and not to waver. If the new Democrats can learn anything from the almost 40 year reign of the conservatives, it's that you need to frame your arguments in ways that people can digest and repeat them effortlessly, and you need everybody on your team to say the same things in the same way using the same language no matter what medium you're on.

Democrats need to focus on health care that covers everyone, livable wages, family leave and a climate message that appeals to Americans on the local level. I know this might be heresy, but what do those Americans living in the middle of the country care about the tides and floods in Miami? Craft a message that educates people on the changes they've already seen in their communities, which might be about crop yields or water supplies or the increase/decrease in wildlife. You get the idea.

Or do you? Because if you still believe that angrily posting about the minute-to-minute foolishness of the president's messages is the way to win hearts and minds, then I am here to tell you that you are wrong. President Trump's base will follow him no matter what he says. The voters that will win the 2020 election are the ones who voted Democratic last year, even if they supported Trump in 2016. Most of them care only about how their lives and the country's future will be secured. If they voted against the GOP despite a tax cut and an improving employment environment, then they will vote Democratic again if the Democrats continue to remind them about what Democrats will do for them.

That's a winning message. And that's the only winning message. So if you're angry and frustrated and appalled, my suggestion is that you go analog: Find a field, a prairie, a noisy subway station or an insulated basement and scream about whatever will heal your heart.

Then let's get back to work.

For more, go to www.facebook.com/WhereDemocracyLives or Twitter @rigrundfest

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