According to Washington Post columnist E.J. Dionne Jr., “Pollster Allan Rivlin has been offering a compelling presentation to Democrats, arguing that they lack a clear, comprehensible and convincing economic message. He’s right. It’s time they got one.”
Let me second, third and fourth that. Democrats have not been getting their message out for a long time. This has caused the Democrats to lose big in the 2010 and 2014 midterms, and to lose the most recent presidential election in the Electoral College. In contrast, the unified messages provided by the Obama campaigns in 2008 and 2016 have contributed to his wins.
When I asked a Democratic supporter what do Democrats stand for, he had a hard time answering. When I asked dedicated Clinton supporters why they are voting for Hillary Clinton, they had to think about it. Even dedicated supporters had trouble stating their party’s or their candidate’s positions.
Before Democrats can frame their messages, the must stand for something. They can start by taking a bubble-up economic approach—adopting policies that help people on the bottom rung.
First they need to support Medicare-for-all so everybody has access to health care. While Obamacare was a good first step and has helped millions of people, it does not solve many of the problems in our health care system. Medicare-for-all would.
Second, we need to rebuild our crumbling infrastructure.
Third, we should provide free public education through college.
Fourth we should guarantee that everybody has adequate to food, clothing and shelter.
These strong stances would allow the Democrats to play offense instead of playing defense with Republican-lite policies that don’t work and move the country toward disastrous Republican solutions such as those implemented in Kansas.
These strong stances would provide Democrats with the “clear, comprehensible and convincing economic message” that is needed to show that they are committed to improving people’s lives and growing the economy. These policies would provide the strong stances necessary for good messaging and would allow Democrats to play offense for a welcome and necessary change.