For Democrats, a challenge to focus on the stuff that really matters.
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Originally published on 3/11/19 on FutureMajority.org
“If I’m elected, you won’t lose one plant, you’ll have plants coming into this country, you’re going to have jobs again, you won’t lose one plant. I promise you. I promise you.”
-- Donald Trump, Oct. 31, 2016, Warren, Mich.
Trumpland is a series of distractions and scandals that make it almost impossible to maintain focus or message discipline. But if Democrats are going to defeat Trump, they’re going to need both.
Every minute spent chasing Trump down a rabbit hole or fighting with other Democrats is a minute the Trump campaign won. And there are only so many of those in the 600 or so days until the next election.
Last week was an unfortunate example.
While the media and the Republicans spend the whole week pitting us against each other, there were real developments in middle America causing real pain for middle Americans.
On Friday, the GM plant in Lordstown, Ohio went idle, and for the first time in more than a century, no GM cars will be assembled in the state of Ohio. But when Trump visited the area in 2017, he told local residents:
“They’re all coming back. They’re all coming back. Don’t move, don’t sell your house.”
And while that promise fell and the last Chevy Cruze rolled off the assembly line, Republicans in Washington were finding another way to hurt hard-working Americans. The U.S. Senate confirmed a new judge who doesn’t think people with pre-existing conditions should be covered -- another real Washington decision that will have a real impact on the lives of Americans.
And this week gives us President Trump’s budget proposal: Building a wall while gutting Medicare, Medicaid and college loans? If we’re not talking about cruel efforts like that, then we are failing the American people.
So for this week’s storyline, let’s remember these three things:
- Our differences as Democrats are nothing compared to our differences with Donald Trump and his enablers in Congress.
- People who are hurting in Lordstown are who we should always put front and center. The Carrier employees in Indiana know better than anyone what a broken promise from Trump means.
- We are the party of hard work and the middle class. That’s who will decide the 2020 election, and talking and listening to them should be our highest priority.
Mitch McConnell likes to say that there are people who get into politics because they want to make a point and there are those who get into politics because they want to make a difference.
“Winners make policy, and losers go home,” McConnell says.
He’s not right about much, but he sure is right about that.
So as we march toward November 2020, let’s make sure we’re asking ourselves the important questions:
Does this matter to the American voter?
Are we trying to make a point, or are we trying to make a difference?
Will we make policy, or will we go home?
The people around Lordstown are hoping we’re trying to make a difference. The folks who worked at the Carrier plant in Indiana need us to make policy.
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