Why Democrats Aren't Swaying Enough Independent Voters for 2020
It's Happening Again
No one really thought Donald Trump would win the Republican nomination for the 2016 election, but he did. Few people actually believed Trump would win the general election, but he did. Now, many liberals—especially those in the mainstream media—find it hard to believe Trump could be re-elected in 2020. Still, some early predictions from reasonably reliable sources say he will.
Trump does have a base of very loyal supporters, but there is also a more significant, vocal resistance against him than there has been for just about any president in decades. Somewhere in the middle lie people like me—people who are not necessarily on board with President Trump, but who are so turned off by the way the Left and the Democratic Party have been behaving that we feel left with no choice.
In my opinion, if liberals keep pushing platforms further left and keep villainizing everyone who isn't progressive enough, the Democratic party is going to hand Trump his re-election.
Pushing the Agenda Too Far Left
Extremists have taken over and pulled the Democratic Party significantly to the left, but there is a problem with this: most of the rest of the country is not ready (or willing) to follow in that direction.
Leftists have been attacking Constitutional rights. There has been a growing call to limit freedom of speech or even do away with the Second Amendment. More and more leftists have begun to favor Socialism and support programs like single-payer health care or free college tuition.
For many—Reagan Democrats, classic liberals, moderates, centrists, and conservatives—it's just too far left for comfort. Even those who lean liberal or centrist and support some liberal reforms on the Constitution cannot fully get on board with things like banning certain types of speech or firearms. Many who would like to see better programs to help the poor and disenfranchised don't think free healthcare and college are a realistic option, and they fear government taking over such programs might make things worse.
Even former President Barack Obama, arguably one of the most liberal presidents in history, and one of the most popular, is warning his party that it is going too far to the left. They might want to listen to him if they don't want to help Trump get re-elected.
What's Your Opinion?
Do you think the Democratic Party has been going too far Left?
Labeling and Shaming
A vocal, angry but growing portion of Leftists spout rhetoric that everyone who disagrees with them is racist, xenophobic, transphobic, homophobic, misogynistic, bigoted, Nazi climate change deniers, and that's not helping their party win over any voters. What's scary is that even moderate liberals, Democratic politicians, and the mainstream media have picked up on this labeling and shaming.
To those of us who don't lean so far Left, it looks like nothing more than a shameless attempt to shut down any dissent on important issues. It also doesn't give us much faith in candidates when they're so deluded that they can't see any other point of view but their own and assume those who disagree are either stupid or bad people.
Many issues in America are controversial not because there is a "good" side championing what's right and a "bad" side trying to keep other people down. They're controversial because they are complex issues and there are no easy answers. Some of us want to be able to discuss these issues without being painted a hateful person, because not having an "all or nothing" point of view does not make one a hateful person.
Flinging nasty labels at anyone who might differ in opinion is a great way to alienate people. Just ask Trump's former opponent, Hillary Clinton, who helped to energize Trump's base when she called his supporters a "basket of deplorables."
"Electability" Does Matter
The Democratic Party has a broad field of candidates for the 2020 election, and even as some drop out, others are jumping into the race at the last minute. The party has been arguing over "electability," with some saying it's not an important factor. Generally, those who dismiss "electability" are pretty far Left and don't realize how unappealing many progressive policies are to those who are more in the center.
Democratic Socialist Bernie Sanders and Progressive Elizabeth Warren appeal more to the far-left, but by proposing policies like "Medicare for All," they are unlikely to convince moderate voters against big government spending to climb on board. This is going to cause a lot of people are either going to hold their noses and vote for Trump, a third-party candidate, or sit out the election altogether.
Former Vice President Joe Biden, one of the front-runners, appeals to moderates and might even be able to pull Independent voters who supported Obama. It's unlikely that Biden will excite Progressives or further left-leaning voters, but if they're not willing to compromise they could end up losing it for the party again.
At this point, it looks unlikely that any candidate will bring unity to the party, let alone to the nation.
What's Your Opinion?
How do you feel about re-electing President Donald Trump?
Too Much Hysteria
For three years, Americans watched as mainstream media, liberal leaders, pundits, and social media users raved about everything from collusion with Russia to Melania Trump's White House Christmas decor. There was no move that a Trump or a Trump supporter could make without sparking unprecedented outrage, righteous indignation, or just flat-out disdain. That kind of prolonged hysteria gets old quickly.
The biased, often less-than-honest hyperbole and villainization of half the country are backfiring. A lot of grassroots movements have sprung up over the last couple of years as people become more concerned about extremism on the Left taking over the whole Democratic Party. YouTube is littered with testimonials from people who have been "red-pilled" or are "walking away" from the party.
Some of these former Democrats are switching to the GOP; others are just becoming Independent; still, others are urging their fellow Democrats to move back to some moderation and sanity. There is a very common thread in almost all of these testimonies: they were tired of all the hyperbole and fear-mongering from the Left. This drove them to research and to consider other points of view. The more they opened their minds, the less impressed they were with the Left's irrational outcry over losing the 2016 election.
Alone, it is unlikely any one group will make a difference. Add them all up, however, and it could spell trouble for Democrats in 2020, especially when it comes to minority voters. It wouldn't take a large block of minorities to defect from the Democratic Party to result in a loss, and polls have been showing Trump has been slowly but steadily gaining approval from minorities.
It's Not a Lock
Despite early predictions favoring Trump, it's early. Between now and next November, there will probably be a lot of ups and downs for both parties. Independents are fairly split, many are just looking for a reasonable candidate. Extreme Leftist policies are not going to be a big draw, especially if the economy remains strong under Trump.
It isn't that Trump or the Republican Party are ideal for those stuck in the middle. Democrats are not going to win by encouraging mass hysteria and calling for people to vote against Trump. They're going to have to give Independents something they can vote for, and extremist Left policies and put-downs are not going to be a big draw.
Questions & Answers
© 2019 M S Beltran