Monday, July 16, 2018

The Issues That Will Win the Day

Have you noticed that Congress hasn't passed any laws lately? Yes, I know they've probably snuck in some measures having to do with the awfulness of the government being able to help poor people or possibly allowing people to cite religious beliefs as a way to discriminate, but other than that, nothing.

I've already written about the lack of an infrastructure bill, despite the desperate need we have for a new electrical grid that utilizes non-fossil fuels, better roads and airports, and safer bridges. I certainly understand that undermining our NATO allies and embracing Vladimir Putin takes precedence in the president's schedule, but could Congress actually solve some problems?

This needs to be the focus of the Democratic message going into the fall election campaign. Candidates need to stay away from impeachment and even the Russia investigation and remind voters that the swamp has indeed been repopulated with people who want to dismantle the supports that have allowed people social and economic mobility. The party must reach out to moderates who are unhappy or wary of what the Republicans say they'll do with a larger majority and a Supreme Court that will uphold their program. The surprises we've seen in Alabama, Pennsylvania and New York have all come from candidates who knew their constituents and ran campaigns that appealed to those local realities. That will bring more success, but only if more candidates forego the anger that repels moderate voters.

Health care, higher wages, a tax bill that supports all middle class Americans. These are the issues that will bring more votes than anger and blame and talk of removing the president. The biggest mistake the Democrats can make is to move too far to the left. That can, and will, come later. For now, move incrementally and build a larger support base.

Never forget that the president was elected with a minority of the popular vote. More people support the Democratic vision of this country than the conservative's view. If Democrats stick to the issues, they can win.

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