In my role as an observer—here are winning strategies for Democrats and Republicans.
Last week, Governor John Kasich publicly suggested that the Democratic Party is squandering a “golden opportunity” to win elections because of their failure to stand for anything except being the anti-Trump party. The Governor is dead on. Resistance alone is insufficient.
Roll the Dice, my first novel will be published in November. The novel’s protagonist rock star Tyler Sloan campaigns as a political independent for a United States Senate seat in Nevada. The independent Sloan campaigns with a joy and optimism which Democrats need to project. Resistance is not optimistic. Here is a six pack of strategies for theDems.
Focus. Democrats may loathe Stephen Bannon, but he was correct that Republicans win when Democrats run on cultural issues. Focus on your roots as the party of the working and middle classes. Propose an optional expansion of Medicare at the age of 60. If people want it, they can take it, if not, stay on your current health care plan.
Appreciate the Electoral College. Hillary Clinton carried California by more than four million votes and New York by nearly two million—but she lost Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin by a combined total of 80,000 votes. Understand the issues that resonate in the Heartland.
Get younger. The Huff Post unfavorably noted the similarity between the age of the Congressional Democratic leadership and the old Soviet Politburo. Aside from the Reagan exception, JFK in 1960 and Bill Clinton in 1992 validate that the nation responds favorably to the vigor of youth.
Resistance is Insufficient. The base may get in a lather at Melania’s shoes, but it has no import to voters concerned about their economic future.
Rip-off Harry Truman. The Democratic Truman campaigned against, “a do-nothing” Republican Congress. What has this Republican Congress accomplished?
Compromise. Ignore ideologically purity. Introduce reasonable legislation on infrastructure or a “gang of eight” style immigration reform to force the Republicans to the bargaining table.
Prescription for the President:
Forgot the Wall. It will never be built. Republicans do not want to pay for it; Democrats loathe its symbolism; and Mexico will never pay for it. Enhance border security, deport the criminals and call it a victory.
Secure your Base. A rally energizes the base. Crank the volume high, but fold into each rally a substantive issue— health care, immigration or tax reform.
Go Bi-Partisan. Work with the Republican leadership on an infrastructure bill that could garner Democratic support. Meet with Chuck Schumer. It may not succeed, but objective voters will give you kudos for trying. Worst case, the bill is passed with 51 Republican votes.
Less Talk. The President talks too much. His inability to stay on message was shown at his press conference on infrastructure and reducing regulations for public works projects. He was on point, but then answered questions and fired off his “good people on both sides” that caused a national outcry. Similar to a wayward golfer, he diverts off course.
Delegate and Defer. General John Kelly can impose discipline at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.; and Vice President Mike Pence should be your agent on the Hill strategizing with McConnell and Ryan.
Take Disputes Behind Closed Doors. Publicly, insult anyone in the media you want. Privately, all disputes with Cabinet members and Republicans are behind closed doors.
In my novel Roll the Dice, Tyler Sloan, a former rock star and member of the Rock ‘n Roll Hall of Fame, maintained his outsider status but understood he needed to tweak his style for the political arena. Can Trump? Or is like the cartoon character Popeye, “I ‘yam what I ‘yam.”