The number one strategy of the Republican Party in every election is to do and say anything they can do depress turnout. This is not even questionable. I first heard about this when my first political mentor, who was a liberal Republican before they became an endangered species and recruited all the Dixiecrats into their ranks, told me so. He confided to me how distraught he was that depressing votes had become a solid political strategy. That was in 1972 or so, when I was about 13 or 14.
Paul Weyrich, who is often called the architect of the modern Republican Party, echoed that sentiment before a gathering of the “Moral Majority.”
So many of our Christians have what I call the goo-goo syndrome: good government. They want everybody to vote. I don’t want everybody to vote. Elections are not won by a majority of people, they never have been from the beginning of our country and they are not now. As a matter of fact, our leverage in the elections quite candidly goes up as the voting populace goes down.
In other words, Republicans are aware they are a minority party, and they know that the only way their massive turnout can win is if as many of the other three-quarters of the electorate decide to stay home. It explains everything, if you think about it. It explains why they’re such dicks, pretty much universally. It explains why Republicans get away with some of the nastiest crap one can imagine. They want to disgust voters, not attract them. Their goal is to make them so sickened, they just stay home on Election Day.
Despite the GOP’s stated purpose for their constant fear and negativity, which is to make people stay home, apparently a lot of professional lefties haven’t gotten the memo. Either that, or they believe, if they are overwhelmingly negative and they are trying to stoke fear, voters will see it differently.
I say this because I am increasingly hearing negative crap from the professional left, including some I am not used to scolding. They need to stop it. If you are liberal, you need to understand something; people are already scared, and scaring them more won’t make them more likely to see with you and against Trump and the right wing. The result will be likely be the opposite.
I know, some of you think you’re sending out a warning to people. However, a warning indicates that you think the people listening to or reading your “warning” have no idea what’s going on. Condescending and patronizing tone isn’t likely to make people more likely to vote Democratic in November. It is, however, more likely to encourage them to stay home. Why do so many on the left imagine that only THEY see what’s going on and that only THEY know what the consequences may be? For that matter, why do they not see they’re usually wrong?
Most of the negativity I see and hear isn’t fact-based, in any case, which means, not only are you scaring people when you should be encouraging them, but you’re also making us look bad in the process. For example: “Donald Trump is preparing a coup!” is not a rational statement, nor is “Donald Trump is about to become a dictator!” It is also not factual to claim that Trump could pardon himself and everyone involved in the Russia scandal and it would take years to sort things out. As memory serves, as bad as the ultimate decision was, SCOTUS decided Bush v Gore in about two days. In other words, when the issue is urgent, there are ways to speed the process up.
There is also the disregard for the fact that professional lefties are not smarter than Robert Mueller, who has been carefully crafting a failsafe investigation in the state of New York, just in case Trump tried something. You see, the president cannot pardon anyone accused of a state crime, and that would include himself. There is also a Department of Justice memo on whether a president can pardon himself that was drafted just before Nixon resigned, so there is also precedent.
This election (and all elections for the next ten years) is about one thing; getting rid of Republicans at every level of government and restoring this country to its status as the most benevolent superpower in history. We can’t do that if the professional left is running around like Chicken Little, screaming, “The sky is falling!”
This country can survive Trump because the Constitution is extremely resilient. There are checks and balances in the system; just because the Republican Party refuses to do its job right now and impeach and remove him doesn’t mean all is lost. If we do our job later this year, and repeat it for the next 5-6 election cycles, at least, we can make this country over in a way that fulfills the promise we once saw, until the Republican Party went off its collective rocker. Every order he signs is reversible by the next president. Every policy change he has made (that has not already been killed by the courts) can be addressed by Congress once Democrats take it back and by the next Democratic president. Every law passed by the Republican Congress (thankfully, there aren’t many) can be repealed and replaced by a Democratic-passed law. And speaking of “Repeal and Replace,” the ACA/Obamacare can be enhanced and strengthened once we get rid of the obstructionist Republicans.
But we can only do all that if we all agree that it’s absolutely necessary to put Democrats in place everywhere we can. And that requires massive turnout, for a change. No matter how many GOP voters show up, and no matter how many Democratic voters are suppressed, massive turnout on the part of all reasonable people can blunt the effects of Republican cheating. Doing that, however, means progressives must be positive in tone. Positivity is the key.
If you doubt what I’m saying, I ask you to consider Barack Obama. He NEVER said anything negative and he was all about “hope and change,” even as the economy was crashing all around us. And he fixed it, by accentuating the positive and by not warning us about the negative. If Obama could get a black man elected president in the racist United States, why would any white liberal think the best way to win is by warning people of dire consequences that are unlikely. Trump can’t send Congress home and get away with it. He can’t declare himself “President for Life.” He can’t get away with obstruction of justice forever and, even if he tries to fix the federal investigation, he’ll still have to deal with New York State.
I’m positive we can bring our country back, but we can’t do it if we make everyone afraid.
Also published on Medium.