Happy President’s Day! In case you’re not a Twitter user, our “president” had a Twitter tantrum yesterday, ranting and railing about the media and singling out Saturday Night Live for special scorn. SNL’s latest show started with a scathing monologue featuring Alec Baldwin as a ridiculous and rambling Trump. Trump obviously watched, and later tweeted:
Trump’s essentially suggesting that shows like SNL should be investigated. For what? It’s all fiction! It’s satire! Trump has the thinnest skin of any president in living memory, in part because he’s profoundly insecure and in part because he knows there is so much to make fun of.
Trump also railed against Congressional Democrats for “slow walking” his judicial nominees and other appointments, even though he has nominated fewer people to fill posts than any of his predecessors.
We all know that Trump is not normal. Aside from the whining and ridiculous tweeting, Trump’s constant lying and inclination to make up stories to fit his aims make him manifestly unfit for office. His core of supporters don’t care because he hates the same things they hate, and for once they don’t feel shame about their prejudices and cruelty. But we have to keep caring. We have to keep working to make sure he doesn’t get a second term.
It’s important to ask probing questions of our candidates, and it’s important to press them to be honest and consistent. But if we devolve into bitter personal attacks, or if we impugn motives, or if we focus on superficial crap instead of the core issues that motivate our voters, we might lose. Keep in mind that many Republicans hated Trump until he became the nominee. And then they all fell in line and voted for the guy. We face a large field of presidential contenders, which means that most of the people voting in the Democratic primary in 2020 will be disappointed. Most the them will vote for a candidate who loses. So we can’t afford to smear candidates and make this an election of character assassination. It’s important to reiterate this NOW, not halfway through the primary season.
We already know this can work. It worked here in NY-19. We had a large field of contenders, and our district did a good job of coming together and supporting Antonio Delgado even though most of the voters voted for someone else in the primary.
The approach for the Democratic primary must be, “They’re all good. Let’s focus on their policy differences and chose the person with the best vision corresponding to where we want America to go.”
Save the venom for Trump and his corrupt crew. They deserve it.