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"Are Democrats Falling Into Trump’s Trap?" (Food for Thought), by Frank Brumi, NYT

A day of nonstop interruptions and nothing accomplished, except I read something that resonated deeply with some of my own fears, and 

Are Democrats Falling Into Trump’s Trap?

Frank Bruni FEB. 11, 2017 |. New York Times

... Trump provokes ire by the minute, but the response needs to be fashioned by the day or even week, lest everything blur. Resistance is a dish best served with discernment. Too much salt and you can’t taste the food itself.

That’s the trap with Trump, and Democrats fell into it during the presidential election, either not realizing how thoroughly he became the reference point for every conversation or not figuring out a way to mitigate that. Opposition to him crowded out support for anything else. Every negative moment came at the expense of a positive one.

“The Democratic National Committee and Hillary Clinton pretty much communicated what was bad about Trump but failed to communicate what was great about Hillary Clinton and the Democratic Party,” said Sally Boynton Brown, the executive director of the Democratic Party in Idaho.  ...


... All of that’s true. But none of it gets at larger challenges that were much less frequently mentioned, if at all: the necessity of grooming and rallying behind candidates who can forge an emotional connection with voters and are in sync with the moment; the imperative of studying the map, identifying every Senate and House seat that could possibly swing to Democrats in 2018 and playing a ruthlessly pragmatic game of chess; the articulation of a down-to-earth, visceral message that resonates with as many voters as possible. “I’m with her” didn’t cut it.

Another of the D.N.C. candidates, Raymond Buckley, the chairman of the Democratic Party in New Hampshire, acknowledged to me, “Sometimes we try to impress ourselves too much by talking about issues that are overly complex when the populace really wants you to boil it down to a much more simplistic message.” ...


... Listening to him that night and to the D.N.C. candidates over the following months, I found myself thinking that maybe Democrats didn’t do badly enough in 2016.  ...   https://www.nytimes.com/2017/02/11/opinion/are-democrats-falling-into-trumps-trap.html

PG_Antioch
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  • In Australia we had a problem of distilling the carbon price down to a simple message. Then Tony Abbott came along and started a fear campaign about a "big new tax". The simple message - although a lie, won the day, even though everyone on lower to middle incomes came out ahead after tax cuts and pension increases to compensate for the carbon price.

    I'm not so sure about the populist argument. Hillary Clinton did win the popular vote by a bigger margin than what got some Presidents elected. The thing that I saw in the timing of the poll data was the fear campaign, particularly that FBI chap toward the end. Plus all the Bernie Sanders anti-Clinton people. (IMO Bernie Sanders would have been demolished at election if he'd been the candidate. The GOP would have waged a much dirtier war on him than they did on Clinton, and they were bad enough with Clinton.)

    The other thing is that it's the fashion to reject expertise. Clinton had it and Trump didn't. There weren't enough people willing to get out and support good government - at any step along the way. Trump should never have got to be the Republican candidate. McCain or Romney would have been more in tune with more traditional Republican values. Now it's the far right party, and that's the fault of who, I'm not sure. (Corporate America? The GOP itself? The American people? I don't know.)
    PG_Antioch
  • There's enough fault for everyone of us to share in the guilt and shame of allowing America to slip into such a state of delusional disconnect from physical reality.  It really ramped when Reagan discovered the faith shackled absolutist Jesus Freaks as a potent political force - and they've been nurtured and moulded ever since.

    The casual acquiesce to people arguing and fervently believing in a 6day/6000years as their right, was the start of the disconnect.

    Rather than someone figuring out how to explain and demand respect for the difference between Personal Truths and objective Universal Truths, we as a country went along with the charade, deception, disconnect from reality thinking - it didn't matter than huge swaths of modern American were degenerating into Tribal isolationism and xenophobia.   Oh, but how it really did matter.

    But, that's all water under the bridge.  Too many tipping points, and for me too much comfort to be in my 60s psychologically and emotional prepare for my exit stage left, with the comfort of a thorough appreciation for evolution and my place in the grand pageant.  Now just need to figure how to turn off this visceral connection to the world I feel, then it'll all be okay.
    PG_Antioch
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