Democrats should rise above and unify against Trump's tweets

Democrats should rise above and unify against Trump's tweets
© Greg Nash

On Wednesday, President TrumpDonald John TrumpIvanka Trump pitches Goya Foods products on Twitter Sessions defends recusal: 'I leave elected office with my integrity intact' Former White House physician Ronny Jackson wins Texas runoff MORE held a raucous rally in North Carolina that included thousands of his supporters chanting “Send her back!” — a phrase targeting Rep. Ilhan OmarIlhan OmarOver 570 women registered to run for office, topping 2018 record Analysis: 23 million families could face eviction by October due to pandemic Tucker Carlson ratchets up criticism of Duckworth, calls her a 'coward' MORE (D-Minn.), a Somali refugee who became a U.S. citizen and is one of the first two Muslim women to serve in Congress.

The cries calling for Rep. Omar to be sent back to Somalia were inspired by President Trump’s tweets last Sunday, telling four progressive congresswomen known as the “Squad” to “go back and help fix the totally broken and crime infested places from which they came.”

While I have made my fervent disagreement with the radical and insurgent leftist factions of the Democratic Party abundantly clear, my distaste for them is based upon their far-left policies, not about where they came from.


Following the rally, and back in the Oval Office on Thursday, President Trump seemingly disavowed the chants at his rally, saying: “I was not happy with it; I disagree with it.”

When asked why he did not stop the chants, Trump said, “I think I did. I started speaking very quickly.”

To be sure, both of these statements are categorically untrue. Footage of the rally clearly shows Trump not stopping the chanting and, instead, unmistakably pausing and allowing rally-goers to continue their calls to send a member of Congress, an American citizen, back to the country where she was born.

There is no broader political strategy, angle or statement that could make defensible what we have seen from the president and his supporters this past week.

Simply put, the tweets and the chants are racist.


Further, in a USA Today/Ipsos poll released last week, 59 percent of Americans considered Trump’s tweets to be “un-American” and a whopping 68 percent of Americans judged Trump’s tweets to be offensive.

To be sure, however, the president has shown an ability to rise above poor polling numbers. Thus, it is now incumbent on the Democratic Party to rise above Trump and his tweeting, and focus on creating a unifying, compelling narrative that resonates with voters across the aisle and gives them the best chance of beating him in 2020.

Put simply, the opportunity for Democrats to be better than the president exists — the question is just whether or not they will seize it.

Indeed, the president’s behavior this past week even drew the ire of Republican elected officials, who have traditionally refrained from aggressively criticizing this president.

Rep. Mark WalkerBradley (Mark) Mark WalkerPence confidant helps 24-year-old beat Trump-backed candidate Rubio to introduce bill allowing NCAA athletes to make money from name, likeness Democrats press OSHA official on issuing an Emergency Temporary Standard MORE (R-N.C.) a former pastor who attended the rally described the outbursts as “offensive” and added that the send-her-back cry “does not need to be our campaign call like we did the ‘lock her up’ last time.”

Sen. Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamGraham: 'We don't have a Dr. Fauci problem' Press: Trump's final presidential pardon: himself The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Argentum - All eyes on Florida as daily COVID-19 cases hit 15K MORE (R-S.C.), who has become a vocal Trump supporter, said the president should “aim higher” while appearing on Fox News on Monday.

And former Republican presidential nominee and now Sen. Mitt RomneyWillard (Mitt) Mitt RomneyIllinois House Republican leader won't attend GOP convention in Florida: 'It's not going to be a safe environment' Judge seeks copy of order commuting Roger Stone sentence Top Mueller prosecutor: 'We could have done more' in Russia investigation MORE (R-Utah) said “the chants were offensive and very unfortunate, and it did not speak well of that crowd … I’ve said what I believe about the president’s responsibility in this regard, which is, I believe he has a special responsibility to unite Americans regardless of our ethnicity, race, national origin, and feel that he failed in that regard.”

On the aspiring ideal of unification, I could not agree more with Sen. Romney.

Ultimately, unpopularity, scandals and division have not only plagued the Trump presidency, but also the Democratic Party.

Progressive Reps. Omar, Alexandria Ocasio-CortezAlexandria Ocasio-CortezIvanka Trump pitches Goya Foods products on Twitter Ocasio-Cortez fires back after Trump says she's 'not talented in many ways' Progressive Mondaire Jones wins NY primary to replace Nita Lowey MORE (D-N.Y.), Rashida TlaibRashida Harbi TlaibOver 570 women registered to run for office, topping 2018 record Democrats see victory in Trump culture war The Hill's Campaign Report: Colorado, Utah primary results bring upsets, intrigue MORE (D-Mich.) and Ayanna PressleyAyanna PressleyOver 570 women registered to run for office, topping 2018 record Pressley hits DeVos over reopening schools: 'I wouldn't trust you to care for a house plant let alone my child' The Hill's Campaign Report: Colorado, Utah primary results bring upsets, intrigue MORE (D-Mass.) have unquestionably sowed immense division within the Democratic Party, and now hold positions as public faces of the party.

Like the president, their rhetorical temperature needs to be turned down, and their public parades and musings must assist the necessary, concerted effort for a unified Democratic Party that is prepared to retake the White House in 2020.

While President Trump’s attacks may have reunified Democrats this past week, House Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiUS praises British ban on China's Huawei after pressure campaign Voter fraud charges filed against GOP Rep. Steve Watkins Dunford withdraws from consideration to chair coronavirus oversight panel MORE (D-Calif.) must continue to advocate for and ensure that tactical compromises are made for the good of the country. She cannot allow the loudest and most leftist members of the party to derail and divide the Democrats.

To win in 2020, it will be essential for Democrats to preserve their current unity and to demonstrate it for whoever the party nominates as its presidential candidate. If they can do that, they may very well be able to take back the White House.

Douglas E. Schoen (@DouglasESchoen) served as a pollster for President Clinton. He is a political consultant, Fox News contributor, and the author of “Collapse: A World in Crisis and the Urgency of American Leadership.”