Rewind time back to 2016. Pundits declared there was no way in Hades or the current Republican Party that Trump would be handed the nomination for President. Yet, his campaign chugged along. And he was granted the nomination in a shocking reversal of fortune for the Bush Dynasty.
As the general election heated up, pundits again declared that Americans would never vote for Trump. This election was Hillary’s, she would be the 45th President of the United States. Magazine covers were printed up with the words, “Madame President,” superimposed over her image.
On election night, words we thought never would be uttered flooded the country to desperate cries from the left and cheers from the far right: Donald J. Trump had beaten Hillary Clinton and would be the next President of the United States.
Dems Don’t Learn
The most important lesson from the 2016 election for the Democrats should have been, listen to the people. DNC higher ups had decided they wanted Hillary to be their candidate and made it difficult for anyone else to run against her. Ultimately, Bernie Sanders roared into the primaries and captured the attention of young voters. Still, this was Hillary’s world and he was just playing in the sandbox.
Allegations of fixed elections swamped the Clinton campaign almost from the minute she accepted the nomination. Superdelegates, some accused, had put her over the edge, not the popular vote. Like the general election, Hillary did indeed win the popular vote but Bernie supporters were angry. They felt cheated. Some even switched sides and voted for Trump.
Promises were made that Democrats would look into what happened and changes would be made. Democrats lied. Ask any of the higher ups right now what the most important thing a candidate should have to clinch the nomination and they’ll answer Electability. Or more accurately the last name Biden.
Votes Don’t Matter
What is electability? According to some, it’s as simple as being a straight, white man. One person on the street when asked, said she didn’t want “Any colored or women running. And the gay best just stay in his little town. We need a straight man to clean up this mess.” This statement was made in Columbus Circle in New York City.
Doesn’t that suggest Democrat officials are on the right track? No. No candidate has risen above 50% in the primary election, and there seems to be a cycle as to who is in and who is out. As of this writing, Elizabeth Warren is surging with her policy wonk persona. Before her, Joe Biden announced his intention to run and surged. Though “Uncle Joe’s” brief time as the media hog became a nightmare of scandal and controversy for the former Vice President. Pete Buttigieg is holding on to his fans better than most other candidates and has yet to see a massive dip.
Thou Name Is Sanders
Bernie Sanders, the spoiler from 2016, is coasting on name recognition alone. However, his influence and fingerprints can be seen all over the primary campaign. many of the candidates have talked or are in favor of single-payer healthcare, and are turned off by politicians who want to keep taking to the poor and giving to the rich.
Will Sanders clench the nomination? No. Should he win it? Also no. Sanders has made it clear he is an Independent and not a Democrat, which is a good thing. However, it also means he should not be eligible to run for office as a member of one of the major parties. If he ran as an Independent, it could lead to a loss for Democrats again, and that seems to be the only reason they are allowing this nonsense to happen again.
Eyes On the Future
Despite saying Sanders should not be running for President as a Democrat, that is not to say he’s a bad candidate. His policies are unique and speak to a part of the liberal base that could help usher in a new era.
As mentioned, Warren has seen her political dreams rise with her mantra, “I have a plan for that.” She is coming across as more than the adult in the room, she is bringing plans and raising the debates that need to happen. But like Sanders and Biden, she faces two steep hills. Many people don’t like her and she’s of the elder class of politicos. It’s time for a new guard to step in and take over.
Biden allegedly asked Stacey Abrams to be his Vice President. She turned him down, and she turned down a chance to run for Senate of Georgia. Many expect her to announce her candidacy and add to the clown car of Democrat potential nominees.
The Key To Winning
What a candidate needs to do to win against Trump is two-fold. Steer the election from one about personalities and public perception, Trump has a lock on that game and his cult of followers. The eventual Democrat nominee needs to excite the base, not the middle of the road liberals, not the Independents in the bunch. There are more young people, people of color, and LGBTQ folk who can help lift a candidate to victory.
Excite them by telling them how their lives will be better with the eventual candidate. Hillary faced an uphill climb and coasted on the fact people did not like Trump. This was a mistake. Her numbers rose when people saw her as a grandmother, as a daughter of the middle class. Her issue was she never sustained that narrative and instead went back to focusing on how horrible Trump is.
She wasn’t wrong. However, Trump has an uncanny ability to make people like him. There are people who will eat up anything he says. He can’t hate gay people because he’s from New York and grew up around them. Yet, every policy he has proposed has chipped away at the rights we fought for. His rhetoric has a direct correlation to the number of hate crimes happening.
Even the Access Hollywood tape was brushed aside as locker room talk. Trump is one of the guys talking about getting some. Nevermind that he admits to sexual assault in the tape. A candidate like Pete Buttigieg won’t win over the guys with that kind of talk. What will win them over? His service to the country. How he has managed South Bend. Maybe even the fact that he came out late in life and knows about struggles.
To beat Trump and get us out of the nightmare stop thinking about pleasing the other side. It’s time to excite the Liberal base.