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Archive for November, 2016

Dear Leaders of the Democratic Party:

Now that my left-leaning self has cycled through the five stages of grief over not getting to have Clinton as president, I want to do a postmortem of the election like I did in 2016.

Here are things to consider now in preparation for 2020:

▪Pick a candidate people like or at least one they feel they can trust. Likeability shouldn’t be a factor, but it is (see Bush vs. Gore and Obama vs. Romney). Clinton is smart. She is a policy wonk and a hard worker. She has many accomplishments. She also has baggage from Bill, Benghazi, etc. (whether deserved or not is not the focus of this discussion). I loved her. She is a fellow Tracy Flick. However, most Republicans have never liked her and even some die-hard Democrats had trouble getting behind her. A perception of being secretive and scheming doesn’t play well when people are pissed about what they think is a corrupt system that doesn’t help working people. It says something when people would rather vote for the person endorsed by the KKK than your candidate. Yes, misogyny is at play, but so is that baggage. Yes, and some people are racist and xenophobic and voted for Trump because they saw a kindred spirit. That’s the worst part of this Trump win.

Don’t assume people are doing their research. Anti-intellectualism is alive and well. Memes speak louder than researched articles. Address perceptions and concerns in public early and often. Maybe you didn’t think the emails would be this big of a deal but the people who already mistrusted Clinton did, as they saw the private server as more evidence of suspicious behavior. And then there are the false equivalency issues, but that topic also is for another day.

Don’t just talk to other so-called liberal elites. Evaluate carefully the entire electorate. Consider carefully your approach. Promoting Clinton’s 30 years of experience may not have been the right choice in a year where Red State America is angry at the establishment and institutions they perceive to be at fault for the fact that they feel disenfranchised and left behind. It’s easy to blame the president, and they did (and yes, there’s racism at play here too). It doesn’t matter that the GOP has had control of both the Senate and the House for years and didn’t get anything done. Many of those who voted for Trump were mad at everyone in the ideological bubble — conservative elites included. Many Trump voters liked that he was an outsider who didn’t play by the rules. They truly believe he will shake up the system and make changes for good. And maybe he will.

Listen to the people in the party who are suggesting alternatives. Bernie Sanders was discounted, then seen as a nuisance. He finally got on board the Clinton train, but many of his supporters never did. If you really wanted to defeat Trump, you should have gone with a Clinton/Sanders ticket. The Democratic Party would have been more united and not throwing votes Jill Stein’s way.

Don’t alienate most of the country. Though the core liberal base really does believe that we are “stronger together,” many Republicans believe some people are not pulling their fair share. Whether they can or are or can’t because of institutionalized racism is a topic for another day. The fact is that many people — voters — have this perception. Speak to their concerns; their concerns should concern us all.

If you don’t understand the feelings of Red State folks because you don’t see all these people on news programs, then you need to do some research yourself and hold the mainstream media accountable. There was an overwhelming narrative that was contradictory: Clinton is bad (Look at all these emails!) and Clinton is good (Trump is crazy!). Many members of the media did not seek the full story of what was happening. As a result, election night was a surprise.

▪ Don’t ignore concepts that people think are affecting their daily lives — whether they are or not. People are upset about immigration and want something tangible done about it. People are scared of terrorists. People are tired of jobs drying up in the Rust Belt. People are pissed about Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) premiums. Clinton discussed these in the abstract while Trump talked about them in concrete terms, albeit wall-building, ban-implementing, fear-mongering ones. He seemed to put America first — perhaps only white, straight America — but that’s what his audience wanted to hear.

Remember to get out the vote. It’s shocking how many people did not vote.

You have four more years to get the party back on track. Get with it. Listen to Michael Moore. Shift party focus to serving all of America, including the angry white suburban and rural voter (see video above). Figure out concrete solutions to economic issues, homeland threats and fixing the problems with the Affordable Care Act. Hold the Republicans who control the Senate, House and Oval Office accountable for all their policies, and make sure they don’t roll back reproductive rights, rights for the LBGTQ community, support for legal immigration for people of all religions and nationalities, etc. Work with the Republicans to make this country stronger together. Make sure our institutions are working for everyone — the people upset by the past eight years and the people upset at the prospect of the next four.

Better luck in 2020!

Beth

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Dear Mr. Trump:

I have not been in the basket for you. In fact, Eddie is a well-known bad hombre, and I’ve been a pretty nasty woman.

But thanks to all my uber-conservative friends on Facebook, I’ve seen the light (because that’s how things work on social media, right?!).

Clearly I was wrong about you. This whole time, I thought that your slogan “Make America Great Again” meant that you wanted to return America to a better time for white men — you know, when women and black people “knew their place.”

But, of course you can’t mean that. Here’s what I think you must mean, as this is what “Making America Great Again” means to me:

  1. Music on MTV (which stands for — get this — “Music Television“).
  2. Must See TV Thursday night line-up.
  3. Three-martini lunches (gone before I started working, but they seem like a great idea).
  4. Abundant fireflies.
  5. A dinner where no one checks his/her phone.
  6. AP style used “more than” for amount and did not allow “hopefully” to mean “it is hoped.”
  7. No texted weiner pics.
  8. The toughest tech to figure out was how to hit play/record at the moment when the DJ stopped talking.
  9. The iPhone had a built-in headphone jack.
  10. You weren’t in politics.

Sorry. That last one slipped in there. I guess I can’t even pretend. I tried.

I’ll be making America great STILL* with my vote today. I hope I’m in the majority.

And I hope this will be you tonight:

A flamin' hot Cheeto

A flamin’ hot, angry Cheeto

Please go away.

Thanks,
Beth

*even better, actually

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Dear Karen,

I received this email from you last night.

screen-shot-2016-11-07-at-10-25-53-am

You must not have seen my last missive to you. You certainly didn’t get the message. The words in the purple box above are interesting, especially as I took a fresh trip over to your Facebook wall and found this:

screen-shot-2016-11-07-at-10-24-56-am

My reaction:

I will pledge my vote, but certainly not for whom you want.

Please go away.

Sincerely,
Beth

 

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