As usual, this time of year is somewhat slow for politics. Easter holiday has come, spring break has come, and Congress has taken its, what 54th recess this year? So, other than the usual right-wing nonsense going on continuously, there isn’t much to talk about in politics. So, it is time to start to strategize for the mid-term elections.
Everyone is missing the whole point of the Republican strategy. Their whole premise is to hold the House and take the Senate. They don’t plan on doing this through strong policies that appeal to the electorate. They know they don’t have any strong policies, or weak ones for that matter, that appeal to the electorate. So, they are counting on their gerrymandering of districts and passing as many voter restriction laws as possible.
That should be their undoing not their success. Rather than complaining about the laws and gerrymandered districts, Democrats need to show how Republicans are rigging the elections and they need to start getting the electorate fired up about how the Republicans are trying to destroy democracy. I don’t care what polls you watch, what people you talk to, or what demographic you listen to, they all have one common belief. Democracy is sacred in America and they don’t want anyone to take it away from them.
All of the voter restriction laws are aimed at the same people. They are aimed at the poor, minorities, the young, and the elderly. Why? Because these groups of people traditionally vote democratic. So, in order to win the election, these people must be disenfranchised. These people must be kept from voting. They are not the “right” people who should be allowed to vote.
On top of all of that, the Republican money machine is cranking out the TV advertisements in record numbers. All going after the ACA and Democrats who voted for it. We have come to a time in this country when people can simply spend money wherever they wish, even in districts they are not represented in. That is thanks to the SCOTUS rulings about financing in elections. Now, a rich person can spend money wherever they want, at whatever amount they want, all in order to “buy” an election so their economic interests are better protected.
We have seen these types of shenanigans before. It isn’t new. We have overcome them before too. We can overcome them again. But, it will take a lot of hard work. Look, I know that mid-term elections usually draw a small percent of the voting public. But, this time we need to make those numbers rise. We need to make the electorate so hopping mad at the Republicans that they want to vote them out.
Democrats don’t have to lie about the Republican agenda either. There are plenty of examples to use to fire up the electorate. There are the voter suppression laws, women’s issues, minority issues, minimum wage, reduced spending for public education, privatization of schools, the Republican plan to privatize social security and medicare, the elimination budget for welfare, WIC, food stamps, veteran benefits. The list goes on.
Democrats need to espouse these items and use them against the Republicans. More importantly, they need to mobilize like they did before. They need to have groups look at the voter suppression laws and figure out how these disenfranchised groups can obtain their ID so they can register and vote. Then, they need to mobilize people to assist them in getting their IDs. Stop saying who can’t get them, and start helping them get their ID. Make it local!
When we discus minimum wage, stop just talking solely about fast food workers in urban areas. Point out that white rural workers are affected just as much as urban workers. After all, the Republican base is mostly white rural people. We need to show them that voting for Republicans is voting against their pocketbooks. As Bill Clinton once said, “it is all about the economy”. Make it local!
When town hall meetings are held in Republican districts, and the candidate says “Obamacare is a disaster” step up and ask what their alternative is. Then ask what do we do about the “people in this room” who now have health coverage they didn’t have before? Stop making this a national issue by talking about the “millions”. Start making it a local issue. Even in Republican states, people who never had health coverage now have it. What will happen to them if the ACA is repealed? Don’t let them talk in generalities either. Make them state what they plan to do! Make it Local!
You can also ask them about the minimum wage and how it affects their constituents. All over America there are people making minimum wage, or just above it, that can’t make ends meet. Show them in these town hall meetings that the Republicans are going to keep them down. That they won’t do anything to help them in their plight. Make it local!
Ask them if they attended public schools. If they did, ask why they propose to reduce the public school budgets. Ask them why your children can’t be afforded the same education they got in order to get ahead. Make it local!
Ask if they voted for or against the Violence Against Women Act. If they say they voted no, ask how they could justify not protecting women from violence especially domestic violence. Ask them how that could possibly square with their idea of the “rule of law”? Don’t be afraid to point that probably at least one in three women in the room have probably been a victim in the past. How do they plan to protect these women? Make it local!
It is time for the people to take back their government from the 1% group. It is time to show them that no matter how much money they have, they cannot buy the American Government. It is time to stop this bigotry in its tracks. It is time for the Tea Party to be thrown into the Boston Harbor and drowned! I won’t happen until we put the Republican Candidates on the spot! Until we make them say something specific about their plans! When they won’t be specific, we will have the ammunition to say they don’t have a plan. We will be able to make it local?
It won’t happen until democrats and other groups see the same dangers of these policies like they did the segregated south in the fifties and sixties. Until there is a mobilization of the American People who rightly stand for true democracy, the oligarchs will continue to corrupt the political process.
If we want America to remain a true democracy, we need to start action now. We cannot wait for the next Presidential Election. If the Republicans gain control of both houses this year, the next Presidential Election may be too late. If you want to beat them, change the game. Make it local!