By Jerry Mooney
As I’ve said before, we all know that Donald Trump is a cartoon. But it feels like Democrats are overly confident in this election because of that. Dr. Lara Brown, the Director of the Political Management Program at George Washington University, said recently that American voters feel that both candidates, including Hillary Clinton, lack honesty and trustworthiness. What’s troubling for Democrats is our inability to see this or at least see it as a threat.
However, we are living in a political climate where Brexit passed in the UK, Bernie Sanders, a self proclaimed socialist nearly won the nomination and where a candidate as poorly qualified as Donald Trump can ascend to the Republican nomination. These facts should be seen as warnings, not a clear path to the goal.
We Democrats are missing some important narratives: even though the email story seems dumb and manufactured, big data breaches make Americans feel unsafe because they make the news, seem dangerous and are on the rise, so when a candidate is associated with one, right or wrong, subconsciously Americans feel that. It doesn’t matter what actually happened, if it made people feel unsafe. The logical Democrat is failing to understand that not everyone who votes is logical.
Most importantly, and I’ve had so many petulant liberals fight me hard on this, Democrats must start taking the high road, promoting Hillary and stop bashing Trump. When we bash Trump, we make him the story, we add nothing to this insatiable black hole of a topic and we neglect to show the positive qualities Hillary Clinton brings to the race. Like it or not, Hillary Clinton’s 4 decades in the public eye has not made her reputation clear enough among many potential voters and simply suggesting that it’s willful ignorance to not know doesn’t help. There are willfully ignorant people that could impact the result.
But most importantly in this election, and I say this with the guarded optimism that Hillary Clinton will win the presidency, is the down ticket. If Democrats want a big victory in November, Democrats must create some enthusiasm around their candidate. I don’t mean creating the fear of Trump, again, this makes him the story. I mean selling Hillary Clinton to the people, winning over Bernie Sanders enthusiasts, energizing those swing voters who wait until about now to learn who is even running. If we don’t do that, we might end up with a presidential victory (and maybe not...Brexit) but we will be stuck with more Republican intransigence and more failed and unresponsive government.
Jerry Mooney is co-founder and managing editor of Zenruption and the author of History Yoghurt and the Moon. He studied at the University of Munich and Lewis and Clark College where he received his BA in International Affairs and West European Studies. He has recently taught Language and Communications at a small, private college and owned various businesses, including an investment company. Jerry is committed to zenrupting the forces that block social, political and economic justice. He can also be found on Twitter @JerryMooney