Looking towards the 2020 elections, I question some of the basic tactics that seem to be unfolding. In the writing, with quotes of Arlie Hochschild, that I compiled, the picture of core Trump supporters (Tea Party = Trump largely) is troubling to me. While they share s[m1] ome common characteristics, they also have some diversity that goes beyond some of the stereotyped images we often see them as having.
Most importantly to me the core seems to me to be totally unreachable. To do substantive things that would gain support from some of them would decimate those of us not on the right.
While it is certainly possible that Trump’s actions will cause self-destruction, and defeat in the upcoming election, we shouldn’t presume this at all.
It should be noted that Republican support for Trump recently went up 5% after his very racist statements. It should also be noted that in recent presidential elections Republican candidates get roughly 16% more white votes than their Democratic Party opponents.
Democrats tend to win elections when the turnout for people-of-color is high and lose when it is not high. One might think that repeated racist statements might bring out high voter turnout at least for black voters.
I believe that it is dangerous to rely upon Black and Latino voters alone, to win the election. While there is a significant gender gap, white women still are close to 51% in support of Trump.
I see two divergent paths for Democratic voices in the coming months. One path is fighting hard against Trump and focusing on how crazy his statements are. The other approach is focusing significantly upon issues dividing Republicans and Democrats and emphasizing the changes that a Democratic Party administration would bring.
While we should certainly not ignore racist statements and similar, I see dangers in focusing primarily in such areas. It will help keep Trump dominating the news. It also may turn off a lot of women, who might not vote for Trump. If they repeatedly get the impression that Democrats are vociferous and “loud”, they may choose to not vote in the 2020 election. A lesser number of men may be similar.
It seems important to me that we need to not fall into the trap that Trump is trying to pull over us. Repeatedly ridiculing him will play well to the Democratic Party base. It will not, however, be effective in connecting with the “undecideds” and those who are weak supporters of the Democratic Party. Resignation and apathy among too many white women may hurt us badly in 2020.
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