Democrats should stop infighting and start attacking Donald Trump

Democrats should stop infighting and start attacking Donald Trump
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Hopefully, it will not take the reelection of Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpLawmakers prep ahead of impeachment hearing Democrats gear up for high-stakes Judiciary hearing Warren says she made almost M from legal work over past three decades MORE next year for the Democratic candidates to realize that he is the real enemy and that their continued attacks on each other are diverting the electorate from the most important message that another four years of Trump would take the United States to a place from which it might take decades to recover.

There are differences among the Democratic candidates on issues of importance and on the issues are most important to them, as well as in their levels of experience to be president. But they pale in comparison to the difference for the country if Trump remains president and what it would be like if any one of the Democratic candidates were elected.

Part of this party conflict comes from the media, where the emphasis is in calling out points that separate candidates who are otherwise 95 percent in agreement. Part of the problem rests with supporters, who seem more focused on trying to advance their candidate rather than insisting that they all put forward the kind of strong message against Trump that let Democrats victoriously recapture the House of Representatives in 2018.

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To be sure, there are Trump supporters, along with those who hold their noses and vote for him because he lines their pockets with tax reductions and repealed regulations, as well as nominating judges who they expect to respond properly to hot button social issues. There are also millions of independents who need to be reminded of what Trump has done in so many areas, and what he will continue to do unless he is defeated for reelection. Here are just a few of his major vulnerabilities right now.

He has demeaned the presidency by engaging in name calling that is simply out of bounds on most playgrounds. His disparaging of women, minorities, and immigrants is appalling, and his lack of empathy for families devastated by gun violence is incomprehensible, unless you recognize that Trump cares about himself and no one else. Then there is the entire multitude of gross exaggerations and outright falsehoods.

His foreign policy is incoherent as it lacks a set of ideas with diplomacy and goals in mind. It is instead spur of the moment Twitter reactions to current events, generally taken without advice from his officials with far greater experience. The country needs a president who treats our friends as friends and does not bow and scrape before enemies who flatter him.

Health care has been treated as if there was a major divide among the Democratic candidates. But these minor disputes are nothing compared to the differences with Trump, who seeks to eliminate the Affordable Care Act and thereby increase the number of uninsured. Every Democratic candidate wants affordable health care for everyone, although they differ on whether to eliminate all private insurance to achieve that goal. The means matter, but in the end, whatever the president wants, Congress must pass a bill. So much can affect the process that it seems foolish to let reporters and Trump supporters drive wedges within the party.

Climate change is a very complex global problem, except we know that denial is wrong, and every day of inaction makes it more difficult to solve. The Democrats will start by rejoining the critical Paris Agreement and reinstating the environmental regulations the Trump administration has removed, while also following rather than flouting our federal laws.

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Immigration is another area where the president has wreaked havoc. We know that building walls, deporting parents who have children born in this country, and denying asylum seekers the opportunity to state their case before a neutral judge will not solve the problem. Whether to eliminate all criminal penalties for illegal border crossings is a debatable idea, but it is not one that should dominate the important discussion on this issue.

On the economy, the Democratic candidates agree that the Republican tax cuts have largely benefitted those with the highest incomes and that the tariffs have hurt many more consumers, businesses, workers, and farmers than they have helped. Their own differences on how to fix the problem of economic inequality pale in comparison to their agreement that the bad policies of the Trump administration need to be reversed.

The list could go on because there is barely any issue on which any of the Democratic candidates agree more with the president than they do with their opponents. For that very reason, all Democrats must explain to the voters why another four years of Trump would be a disaster for the nation instead of why one candidate is better than another on a single issue.

Alan Morrison teaches constitutional law as a professor and is the Lerner Family Associate Dean of Public Interest at George Washington University.