Republicans have spent many years and hundreds of millions of dollars to game the voting system and bend or break rules in their favor. They’ve launched countless voter purges, one of which the Supreme Court just approved, and they’ve passed countless voter ID laws to combat a problem that never existed, voter fraud. Both of these initiatives disenfranchised lower income voters who, naturally, tend to vote for the Democrats. Republicans have also spent a lot of time and effort gerrymandering local voting districts while pushing for laws that make it easier for wealthy citizens and corporations to give more money to political campaigns, often anonymously, all to tilt the playing field in their favor.
To retain power, Republicans have to cheat or re-write the rules or rig the system for two simple reasons.
1 – Their party is shrinking.
The Republicans are increasingly a party of old white men, and as each year goes by, thousands of their voters die without being replaced. Moreover, many centrist and moderate Republicans have fled the party out of frustration or horror at the takeover by Trumpers and other radicals.
2 – Their policies are unpopular.
Republicans are great at fearmongering and demonizing, as we saw with the ACA. With a lot of help from the media, they successfully stuck the “Obamacare” label on the ACA (though some Republicans voters didn’t even know that the two were the same) and convinced many of their voters that Obamacare was a mortal scourge that would destroy our country. But when you peel back the layers, Americans want affordable health insurance. Many Trump voters even liked the ACA and were convinced that, despite statements to the contrary, Trump would never dismantle it. They were conned. Americans also want insurance that does not penalize pre-existing conditions. Trump wants to get rid of that protection, too.
So let’s take a quick inventory of the popular issues that the Democrats own or should own.
1 – The party of broadly affordable health insurance.
2 – The party of affordable higher education, tuition assistance and fewer predatory student loans.
3 – The party that supports global alliances and fewer trade wars.
4 – The party of demonstrated fiscal responsibility and lower deficits.
5 – The party that rejects separating asylum seekers and caging children.
6 – The party that rejects massive, irresponsible tax cuts for billionaires.
7 – The party that rejects the grotesque notion that money is speech.
8 – The party that supports a living wage.
9 – The party that supports workplace protections and worker safety.
10 – The party that supports social safety nets, like Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid, which workers buy over time.
11 – The party that supports a woman’s sovereignty over her own body, enshrined in Roe v. Wade.
12 – The party that supports net neutrality and rejects internet corporatism.
13 – The party that supports common sense gun controls.
14 – The party that supports the clean, profitable energy of the future.
15 – The party that believes in science and supports efforts to mitigate climate change.
Few of these are wildly controversial positions–unless you watch Fox “news”. Poll after poll show most to be solidly supported by a majority of Americans. Trump’s core supporters are a stubborn and bitter bunch, but they are a minority of this country. We have the numbers and the power to derail Trumpism if we are motivated and strategic. Success will be found in voter turnout. One key to success will be to draw in and empower young voters. Another key will be to avoid personal attacks on Trump and instead attack his policies and his lies.
The same strategy should succeed against Rep John Faso, who might be slinking around the district somewhere this week while DC is in recess. But if he has any public appearances coming up, we will likely only learn about them after they happen, he so deathly afraid of his own voters. Faso is a phantom in our district, and still hasn’t said anything about the FamiliesBelongTogether protests. His only Tweet the last few days showed him meeting with a boy scout troop. They’re apparently the only constituents he isn’t afraid to face.
Our ideas are popular. Our numbers are growing. Let’s keep working hard to Fire Feckless Faso…