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Column: Democrats might screw up chance to beat tower of jelly
Andy Brack
Andy Brack

Democrats better watch it or they will screw up a huge opportunity to retake the White House in 2020.

With all of the toils and troubles of incumbent President Donald Triump -- the lies, the mobster culture, the scandals, the Mueller investigation, the misogyny, the drama, the incessant twittering, the blatant corruption, the continuing attacks on the foundation of our democracy -- one might think he would be easy political pickings.  But with a solid electoral base of about 40 percent, all that Trump has to do to win in 2020 is prey on fear to pick up 10 percent and fuel dissent about Democrats. Scary.

Even with an incumbent with so many flaws, the Democratic Party’s biggest foil to winning in 2020 might just be Democrats themselves.

They’re not helping themselves one iota with old-time liberal talk that feeds moderate fears that a Democratic White House will destroy the country.  I, for one, am sick and tired of political tangents like economic reparations for slavery, the so-called Green New Deal, free college, guaranteed government jobs, getting rid of the immigration service, and on and on.  

These issues don’t reflect mainstream Democrats.  In fact, talk on these skew issues is being fueled not only by a media itching for the next dumb clickbait story, but by the dozen and a half Democratic presidential campaigns as well as the far left of the Democratic Party.

It’s as if they see the trap in front of them, but they’re so blinded by immediate politics of now that they can’t focus on the bigger goal of beating Trump. All the while, he and minions are rubbing their hands together, whispering “no collusion” and ramping up rhetoric by calling wacky Democratic ideas what they’re not: socialism.

Earth to electorate: People can have policy differences without being socialists.  And if you’re worried about socialism, what do you make about Trump, a tower of jelly whenever it comes to Russia and former Communists running that country? You should be mad that Trump seems to be so cozy with Russians, enemies who actively corrupted and interfered with American elections in 2016.

Earth to Democrats: Focus on real issues like building economic opportunity for all and practical ways to make health care more accessible and more affordable.  Focusing on what won’t ever become real policy is like intentionally buying lottery tickets to lose.

The disconnect in the Democratic Party seems to be due to an energized, more progressive wing of the party that is, well, just a lot louder than mainstream and moderate Democrats.  And since the louder Democrats are more progressive, many in the not-so-bright media focus on those who are making the noise, which makes Democrats appear to the larger electorate that they are more left than they are.

Data from the Hidden Tribes Project, as reported in The New York Times, suggests outspoken Democrats using social media to energize people are outnumbered 2 to 1 “by the more moderate, more diverse and less educated group of Democrats who typically don’t post political content online. … This latter group has the numbers to decide the Democratic presidential nomination in favor of a relatively moderate establishment favorite, as it has often done in the past.”

Data also show that only one in four Democrats who use social media for politics say they’re moderate or conservative, compared to 53 percent of other Democrats.  And interestingly, 70 percent of Democrats who don’t use social media say political correctness is a problem, compared to half of Democrats on social media.

The Times’ analysis suggests there’s a chance that a more progressive candidate could win the Democratic nomination, just as it would be a mistake to dismiss the candidacy of U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders, the Vermont independent running in the Democratic primary.  

“But it would also be a mistake to assume that outrage on social media means outrage throughout the broader electorate,” the story concludes.  “And it would be a mistake to assume that more moderate Democrats are out of step with the party’s electorate.”

If Democrats keep plowing the far left path, they’ll head toward losing.  If they go toward the middle where most of America is, they can beat Trump.