Democrats’ ‘Trump is evil’ mantra won’t work this November
Sitting on my patio recently, drinking a coffee to wake up, I opened Google on my phone and was greeted by a breathless headline: “Trump supported a failed plot to replace Jared Kushner with Steve Bannon to lead 2020 campaign, Navarro book says.”
I literally burst out laughing. “A failed plot.” Really?
Somehow, a routine campaign consideration — one that many presidential campaigns in both parties have contemplated or initiated — had been turned into something out of “Seven Days in May.” As someone who worked on three winning presidential campaigns (George H.W. Bush in 1988, George W. Bush in 2000 and 2004.), I’ve always understood that a candidate can hire and fire the campaign manager (and just about anyone else on his or her team) at will. No plots or subterfuge are needed, unless today’s presidential candidates don’t have the power they did back in my campaign days.
Look, I get it: Countless people on the left hate Donald Trump; many seemingly come unhinged, consumed by negative emotion, just at the thought of the former president. Yet, at what point will they let go and move on, not only for the good of their own lives but so they can help create commonsense solutions to the growing emergencies plaguing tens of millions of Americans?
I realize many Democrats have come to believe that a Donald Trump on the loose represents a “clear and present danger” to the nation. One can only assume they were thrilled with the FBI raid on Trump’s Florida residence, a raid which may be the subject of committee investigations in the next Congress if Republicans win control of the House or Senate (or both) in November.
Still, with Halloween’s approach in mind, their attempts to cast Trump as the political version of a scary movie’s zombie-like unvanquishable villain has become a one-trick-pony strategy — one that is growing old even with many other Democrats who actually hope to win elections in November and in 2024.
I spoke very recently with a senior Democrat who felt the “fixation on Trump and Trump alone” will cost the party dearly in November and in the next presidential election. Said this person, in part: “Plenty of politicians in my party rightfully can’t stand Trump. But even voters who dislike Trump want to hear the Democratic Party outline how it plans to address the obvious issues negatively impacting everyone. Our national platform can’t just be ‘We hate Trump.’ ”
The problems faced by Americans today are not imaginary. Many of us are being affected on a daily basis by quality-of-life-robbing issues that are real. Those within the bubble of entitled wealth fail to realize — or acknowledge — that few Americans can go to a Starbucks, break out their laptops, and get paid over six figures per year.
Not surprisingly, at least to anyone who is honestly paying attention, many of those Americans who are hurting the most today are, in fact, typically Democraticvoters living paycheck-to-paycheck or on fixed incomes. That is something most politicians — and most members of the media, academia, the corporate ranks of big business, and the upper ranks of the high-tech or entertainment communities — never have to worry about.
Of late, there have been a great many rhetorical assaults from the left on our founding documents, too. These same documents, of course, give big companies, journalists and celebrities the right to be liberal, far-left or “woke” — or to be singularly focused on vilifying one man at the expense of addressing the right-before-their-eyes issues breaking the will of working-class America.
The Martha’s Vineyard wing of the Democratic Party can wall themselves off, evict inconvenient immigrants from their fields of vision, or escape to 5-star resorts. But a serious question for them arises: For how long? Because the circle of wealthy, entrenched entitlement within which they hide, and which protects them from the debilitating forces faced by the less fortunate, is shrinking by the day.
As the vast majority of voters know, the rule of law matters; sovereign, protected borders matter; safe, drug-free streets matter; fossil fuels still matter; the education of our children matters, and the most basic of quality-of-life measurements still matter — even, ultimately, for the elites and their children.
Every single senior Republican I have spoken with in recent days is hoping against hope that the liberal “sound machine” continues to play only its one-hit wonder — “Trump is Evil.” For if it does, these Republicans (and a growing number of Democrats) believe the GOP will sweep back into power in Congress in November.
Douglas MacKinnon, a political and communications consultant, was a writer in the White House for Presidents Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush, and former special assistant for policy and communications at the Pentagon during the last three years of the Bush administration. His latest book is “The 56: Liberty Lessons From Those Who Risked All to Sign the Declaration of Independence.”