By Seth Tamarkin, Staff Writer
Over the past few months the prospect of a democrat “blue wave” in the upcoming midterm elections has engulfed the mainstream media. Every week a new poll is released bearing good or bad news and it becomes a sensation once again.
But while they seem content with publishing speculative midterm polls, many publications are missing the possible red tsunami of Donald Trump handedly winning a second term if they and the Democrats don’t get their act together.
First and foremost, the blue wave should never have become such a huge mantra echoed as fact. In the 2016 election, all the hype about the polls favoring Hillary Clinton ended up causing her to not campaign as hard and eventually lose key states to Trump.
Therefore, even if polls are showing positive signs for Democrats, it’s imperative that they still treat the upcoming midterms with the same insurgent energy that pushed underdog campaigns like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez‘s to victory.
Another issue for the Democrats come 2020 though is their unwillingness to evolve despite their constituents doing so. After Bernie Sanders lost the presidential primary, the Democratic National Convention promised to allow the growing progressive movement to gain representation despite nominating the very moderate Tom Perez as chairman. Since then, the DNC seems to be fighting tooth-and-nail to not help progressives.
Back in March, they were accused of publishing opposition research of a fellow Democrat because they were progressive, and Tom Perez just recently broke a promise to be impartial when he praised Andrew Cuomo over Cynthia Nixon.
Regardless of who’s running, the DNC should sit back and listen to what their constituents have to say instead of trying to control the narrative. If they don’t, they will not know what policies will get people to come to the voting booth and fight against Trump’s agenda.
Lately, that reality has already been underway. As progressive policies ranging from higher taxes on corporations and Medicare-for-all consistently have overwhelming support nationwide, the democrat leaders are still wary of supporting the measures. Meanwhile, ideas that started out as fringe like building a border wall have quickly amassed widespread support among Republicans.
The irony is that all these Obama-era democrats are refusing to move past the Obama days, even though those years led to the embarrassing spectacle the Democrats are now in where they control no levels of government.
Even Barack Obama himself recently praised Medicare-for-all and regulations on corporations as “good new ideas” and has met with Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren. At best, House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi promised to “evaluate” Medicare-for-all if the democrats take back the house, which doesn’t say much.
The statement is especially finicky given that just a few months earlier Republican Senate leader Mitch McConnell made a similar promise to Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer. In January, Schumer forced a government shutdown to demand protections for DACA recipients.
McConnell’s plan to end the shutdown was to simply promise to “evaluate” the DACA issue if Schumer ended the shutdown. Sound familiar? Cut to eight months later, there has still not been any Senate debates on the DACA recipients, forcing 800,000 young people to live in a state of limbo as well as once again exposing how weak the Democrats are.
Those two instances show two things about the people who are supposedly on the frontline stopping Donald Trump. One, the Democratic leaders are wholly inefficient at reflecting their community’s views. Two, they are just as capable as political grandstanding as Republicans, but where Republicans will use that to meet their goals, it seems Democrats only show their bite when it involves squabbling within their own party’s ranks.
To the average liberal, the idea that Donald Trump would win a second term is ridiculous, but they also had that same mindset in 2016. If Democrats expect to have a shot at beating Donald Trump in 2020, they need to do the Trumpian method of not embracing the polls and instead embrace the campaign trail.
They also need to listen to what ordinary Americans are saying and introduce a platform that reflects that. Finally, they need to fight as hard against the Republicans as the Republicans did against Obama. Remember, Trump didn’t win the 2016 election as much as the democrats lost it, so this time there needs to be concrete changes.