I sure hope all of the Democratic hopefuls running for president take time to read the Thursday, July 17th New York Times article written by Op-Ed columnist, Thomas Friedman. In an opinion piece titled, ‘Trump’s going to get re-elected, isn’t he?’ Friedman lays out the reasons why the current group of Democratic candidates needs to reign in their campaign rhetoric and focus on issues which matter to Democrats, moderate Republicans, and independent voters. By not doing so, Friedman believes Trump will cruise to re-election, and I agree with him.
The Democratic presidential campaign in 2020 needs to focus on ensuring Trump is defeated and a return to civility. The candidates need to address issues which are central to democratic principles, such as affordable health care, job growth, decent living wages, climate control, sustainability, fair immigration policies, and education. It is hard to learn what the candidates would do about these issues because they have allowed Master Puppeteer Trump to control their agenda with his continuous assault on racial, ethnic, gender, and religious groups for his political gain.
Democratic candidates have put themselves in the position of responding to Trump instead of charting their own course. Moreover, in desperation to emerge as ‘front runners’ two Democratic contenders focused on tearing another candidate down over historical issues few people care about today. For example, I don’t care that Kamala Harris was bussed to school as a child. Her accusation in the first Democratic presidential debate against Joe Biden was disingenuous. It is very hard for me to believe that a child raised by two parents with PhDs, including her black father who possesses a PhD in Economics - which is rare in and of itself- and is retired from Stanford University, suffered educational disadvantage.
Meanwhile, Trump focuses on keeping his base in line, supporters who may be beginning to realize that behind his empty and divisive rhetoric little he promised them has been achieved. To divert attention from his incompetence, he sprouts off just enough garbage to satisfy their basest human impulses. His wealthier supporters don’t care what he does or says as long as their economic stranglehold continues unabated.
Message to Democratic presidential contenders: most of us don’t favor ideas put forth by the most radical and left-wing candidates. We know those ideas are too costly and unlikely to win widespread support from already tax strapped citizens. Most of us are somewhere in the middle; we are not socialists. You don’t need to make wild promises to garner our support. We believe in fair pay for fair work, racial, ethnic, gender, and religious equality, sustainable health care, decent educational opportunities, equitable immigration policies, climate control initiatives, and working with our global counterparts to achieve peace.
Please start talking to us.