I peeked at two articles on the cover of yesterday’s NY Times. When I say peeked, it means that I’m too cheap to buy it but I often check out headlines. Side by side, there were two front page articles which highlighted Trump’s lunacy. One headline read something like 250,000 Jobs Added As Economy Hums. Any sane politician would brag over such an economic boost. Next to this article, another one described how Trump was not focusing on the economy doing well while campaigning. He focused instead on hate and divisiness instead. I guess he knows his base. But merely stripping rights away from people is a hollow platform to run on.
Trump is not on the ballot on Tuesday, but if Democrats (especially progressive Dems or Independents who caucus with Dems) could win more seats in the House, it would add a much-needed constraint on Trump’s hateful agenda and the legislators in his party who push it along with him. As you all know, I have my issues with centrist Democrats voting too much like Republicans for my lefty, peacenik tastes. Focusing mainly on Russia for 2 1/2 years has left people wondering what Dems even stand for. But even Rachel “Russiagate” Maddow herself–to her credit–opened her broadcast a week or so ago with a lead story on how popular Obamacare is–even among GOP voters. It was also interesting to see CNN cover older Republicans from Florida upset over the effects of climate change they’ve seen in their lifetimes–like the more frequent and more damaging hurricanes and the red tides now marring the Sunshine State’s beaches. This is a big shift.
Of course, the pipe bombs immediately wiped out coverage of election issues the very next day. You see, they could have been debating issues like Medicare-For-All, which most Democrats support instead of non-stop Russia coverage for years. And now, the issues have been replaced by election specialist MSNBC’s Steve Kornacki and his snazzy touch screen scoreboards showing the latest polls, how many voted early, etc. Cable news anchors still can’t bring themselves to interview voters discussing how they can’t make ends meet regardless of whether the president is red or blue. Perhaps that hopelessness is exactly why so many Americans don’t vote at all.
Cable news has been blabbing about a blue wave for so long, that now even MSNBC and CNN have now tempered their own predictions of winning lots of seats in the House and Senate to hoping Dems pick up some seats in the House. Maybe the large number of early voters are evidence of such a blue wave coming. (Maybe the more rotten Trump behaves while campaigning, the more of his base turns out.) But MSNBC is one of the majority of news outlets which wrongly predicted a slam-dunk victory for Hillary. I think it would’ve been a better strategy to downplay Hillary’s chances with conservative polling estimates so that more people felt it was urgent to vote. But these news stations say what we want to hear for ratings. Many of us loathe Trump and want to rebuke his platform in the midterms. But running on a “Vote for me, I’m not Trump” platform didn’t work for Hillary. Dems can’t just be against something without proclaiming what they DO represent.
And there are important issues on which most Democrats running agree. Not Alabama “Democrat” Doug Jones, who has voted with Trump 80% of the time. Not West Virginia “Democrat” Joe Manchin, who voted to confirm Kavanaugh. But whether you hear it on the news or not, most Dem candidates support a popular platform of:
Keeping Obamacare–some even push Medicare-For-All.
A higher minimum wage.
More affordable college–or even free community college.
Taxing the wealthy and corporations at a higher rate.
Putting more checks on gun sales and/or banning assault rifles.
Paying lip service to climate change. While this is an ineffective stance, at least Dems acknowledge that it exists while the GOP claim it’s a hoax or not man-made.
A few Dems, like Tulsi Gabbard and Barbara Lee, even dare to speak out against wars which we never should have started.
Some progressive Dems even want to regulate banks to avoid more crashes and bail-outs. Imagine that!
Are all Democrats running fighting for these the way I think they should? No. But Trump and his (dare I say?) klan are definitely fighting against them all. So I urge everyone to vote. There may be long lines, so be prepared. And if someone from the exit polls grabs you on the way out to ask you which issues matter to you, TELL THEM! Politicians are never going to make the hard choices to represent us unless we demand what we want. Make no demands at all? Then prepare to be satisfied with nothing. The corporate lobbyists dangling money in front of politicians year round speak many decibels louder than we do. But elections are the one time when politicians must hear listen to voters. So speak out with YOUR vote on Tuesday!