If you’ve enjoyed the solace of watching television for fifteen seconds without seeing that same campaign ad you’ve already born witness to a thousand times, get ready. The days of focus-group tested slogans and lawn signs taking up every square inch of roadside real estate are around the corner.
Even as candidates begin campaigning for the 2018 Congressional elections, however, the always ostentatious Donald Trump continues to be the center of political attention and forces the average voter and party insiders alike to focus on what this year might mean for 2020.
The midterm elections have already been dubbed crucial for both parties by political pundits. Republicans must defend their control of both houses in Congress while Democrats seek to stabilize their national position after what can only be described as an embarrassing 2016 election cycle.
Since Hillary Clinton ceded defeat to Trump, Democrats have been clamoring to find the candidate who can raise them from the ashes. Aside from Joe Biden, who in recent weeks has been openly contemplating a run, most of the names floating around political circles are head-scratching considering the 2016 debacle.
The potential list of nominees includes Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders of Vermont, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo and even celebrities like Oprah Winfrey. What do all these “favorites” have in common? They would all be considered strong liberals, some even very far to the left like Sanders. It would be hard to fathom any Trump supporters from key states like Ohio and Michigan getting behind candidates who spend a great deal of time fighting vehemently against policies on immigration and the economy that are designed to aid the Midwest economy. Even worse, these candidates hail from the liberal strongholds of the Northeast and California, places that have become the epitome of the working class’s discontent with political elites.
Democrats should tread lightly if they wish to reclaim the White House. While many are pinpointing the 2020 Election as the Democrats’ last hope to reposition itself in American politics, the true litmus test for the party’s platform and future will come this November. Only by fielding moderate candidates can they hope to sway voters who were critical to the Republican success of 2016.
While so much scrutiny is being placed on finding candidates who agree with the party on issues like abortion, gun-control and immigration, there are real Americans suffering as small towns are being left-behind economically as manufacturing jobs dry up. The Republicans have become a voice for these people and unless the Democrats focus on them, they could be in for another long night come Election Day.
Now, in fairness, uncertainty is the only guarantee in our modern American government. Could the Democrats win in the midterms and the Presidential Election with a “bleeding-heart” liberal who, in the same way Donald Trump did for Republicans, will rile up disenfranchised voters and drive them to the polls to win in states that were previously written off? Of course. Is this a strategy for long-term, national success? Absolutely not. Democrats have already seen what happens when they drift too far from the party’s historical base.
The massive exodus of working-class whites in Rust Belt states from the Democratic Party should have signaled the need for added resources and policies that seek to aid struggling families and small towns in middle-America. What has transpired in the Democratic party over the past two years, however, has been a gallivant of attention-seeking crusades against all things Donald Trump who, though being a billionaire, has become the symbol for the average Joes who Democrats used to count as their most reliable supporters. The party of the donkey must consider these facts before it finds itself the victim of asinine ignorance yet again.