Thanksgiving and the coming holiday season remind us we’re getting close to 2018, which will be the most important election year since Franklin Delano Roosevelt was elected president in 1932. That’s not hyperbole.
Next year, the country will decide if it will allow a despot, who is an authoritarian, a liar and a malignant narcissist, to continue to destroy the nation’s democratic institutions, to commit even more despicable acts worthy of impeachment on a constitutional basis and to shift massive amounts of money from the national treasury to the wealthiest among us, including himself and family.
Democrats absolutely can and should take control of both the House and Senate in 2018 and then win most of the major political battles against Trump if not actually remove him from office.
There’s no reason to re-litigate in this particular holiday post the failure of the centrist-right Democratic national campaign in the 2016 or what the recent elections may or may not mean, but Democrats and others who hope to stop Donald Trump’s immoral agenda, supported by Republican majorities in the House and Senate, should do this one thing: Think the exact opposite of the conventional wisdom presented by many leftist pundits and party officials..
Here are three ways to think and act to win in 2018.
(1) Don’t support “safe” candidate for office based on the presupposition that only she or he can win a particular race. Obviously, some candidates might be heavily flawed and don’t deserve support, but the idea you have to support candidates not based on their platforms and stances but solely on someone else’s standard of their electability is no longer operative in American politics. Trump proves it. We’re never going back to the “lesser-of-two-evils” voting. Get over it. Never. That died with Trump’s election. The political binary is now the sheer evil represented by Trump and his supporters against those who want to save humanity. Bland, generic Democratic candidates playing it safe are not going to create enough interest and enthusiasm to win.
(2) Go big on the issues no matter what the Democratic National Committee tells you. Openly and loudly support issues such as universal health care, free college tuition, student loan forgiveness, a major increase in the minimum wage, subsidized day care, strengthening Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid, and major action to fight global warming, including a massive effort to reduce the world’s carbon emissions. Don’t let House minority leader Nancy Pelosi and Senate minority leader Chuck Schumer convince you we have to wait another generation or two or three—long after they’re long dead, of course—to try to make our lives better. Go on the offensive.
(3) This is a more general argument, but reconsider the arguments of the punditry on the left, especially those wags who offer up predictable arguments about how the 2018 elections are Democrats to lose given Trump’s disastrous presidency. Again, think just the opposite. Not only will Democrats lose in 2018 by not standing up for anything they will also lose big, and then, frankly, it’s probably game over for our democracy here. It’s not about the message or what the candidate looks like. It’s about standing up for the middle class and the vulnerable with unabashed support for programs that will improve their lives in significant, even remarkable ways. Ignore those leftist pundits who depict you as an extreme and unrealistic because you want people to have decent wages and better health care and are demanding Democratic politicians make that a part of their campaigns and agendas.
It’s Thanksgiving so, sure, have a nice day, a great party or whatever, and, well, if you hate holidays like a lot of people who don’t fit into the conventional boxes created by the mass media, then get drunk or get through it however you can, but to get at the point I’m trying to make there’s really not much to be thankful about today or tomorrow or the next day as long as Trump is president and the GOP controls the House and Senate.
Democrats, centrists or liberals, need to do the exact opposite in terms of political action of what the national Democratic Party did in 2016 and what many of those Democratic leaders who supported the losing effort are still arguing today. Don’t believe them. It will NOT finally work this time around, folks. The world is depending on us doing the opposite. I wish that was all just smoke, but it isn’t.
Do the opposite and there will be a lot of thanks to offer up this time next year.