The following are just a few of the steps our president has taken to “Make America Great Again.”
- Reduce restraints on fertilizer dumping into waterways
- Ease barriers for exporting firearms
- Roll back improved nutritional standards, thereby reducing requirements on school lunches
- Decrease access to health insurance
- Allow publication of plans for producing guns on a 3D printer
- Remove recommendations of health experts
- Create fear in desperate people fleeing unspeakable conditions
- Indicate the coronavirus is not a threat, merely a Democratic hoax
- Assign derogatory nicknames to national leaders
- Mock people’s looks, especially women
There’s nothing new in the list. It represents the sort of actions we’ve come to expect from our “leader.” I’m sure with a little research the list could be expanded tenfold or more. And the daily reports often announce new potential entries.
How can we combat our current situation, find enough people to vote Trump out of office? With absolutely no certain knowledge, I do have some thoughts.
First, I think it’s a huge mistake to make our main message be “No More Trump!” Sure, that’s a feel-good cry for those of us who recognize its importance. But, for those who voted for him in 2016, it’s a battle cry unlikely to motivate change.
Now, no one is going to alter the views of those who attend his rallies, chant “Lock her up,” or select a single news source whose biased output is accepted as gospel.
Not everyone who voted for Trump, though, fits that stereotype. I have to believe that many are decent human beings. If I’m wrong, we truly are lost.
So how do we win in November? I feel it’s not enough to “get out the vote,” that is, convince as many as possible who are expected to vote Democratic to actually do so. Certainly, that effort should continue. Especially among those whose preferred candidate didn’t get the nomination.
However, I think it’s also important to attempt to convince some of the Trump voters to switch. We don’t need to swing many. After all, the Trump “victory,” you know, the one where he lost the popular vote by three million, was enabled by just a few tens of thousands in the electoral college fiasco.
I would like to see the message Democrats project to be one of inclusion and acceptance. I think (hope) people are desperate for true attempts to bring the country together.
Democrats seeking office, from the presidential level on down, should talk about the topics the populace is interested in, including health care, environment, immigration, and jobs. And not through boring stump speeches heard only by the already adoring. They should emphasize healing and bridging gaps. As I said, they should not repeat over and over that the main task is to remove Trump from office—even if it is.
We as individuals also can do our part. How? We can engage with those who voted for Trump but still seem to have a sense of decency, when and if the coronavirus disappears, of course. In no way should this be done in an antagonistic manner. Believe me, I know how hard what I’m asking is, and I’m not sure I can follow my own advice. But if you’re up to it, start by listening to them. Say things like, “Yes, I can see where you might think that way.” It’s okay to add, “I don’t agree but I understand your view (even if you don’t).” Then what? It may be wishful thinking, but I believe there are a couple of issues you could raise where there just might be potential to create a change in view.
Many older folks have bought into the MAGA propaganda. This is a group of people who tend to have grandchildren. And mouths. They use the latter a lot to talk about the former, action enhanced by scrolling through picture after picture on their phones. Can they be reached by discussing how climate change is likely to negatively affect the life quality of their offspring’s offspring? Will they listen, think about it, and perhaps come to support a leader who believes in science? I have to believe some might if the climate change topic is broached this way.
Many Republican supporters are concerned about healthcare. Especially if they have preexisting conditions. Especially now and especially if they are older. Is there any way they can be convinced the current administration has shown no real interest in whether they live or die, or become impoverished by expenses? Would a friendly discussion help them recognize that, instead, the president and his lackeys have attempted to tear down what already exists without a viable replacement? That he reduced funding for health agencies that exacerbated the spread of the coronavirus?
Would it work? Who knows? I wish I was more optimistic. We just need one thing in our favor.
That most people are basically decent.
Please let it be true.