There are so many reasons to be appalled by Trump, and terrified of what Republican control of the Congress and the Executive Branch will mean. It is wonderful that the fear of what horrors Trump et al might wreak on the environment, educational system, immigration, etc., is energizing progressive and moderate Democrats alike to work together in resistance to these forces.
But I am afraid that such resistance is going to further drive a wedge between members of the traditional Democratic coalition and the Independent voters that we are going to need to help us win back the House in 2018. I am afraid that the rallies to resist Trump that are being proposed by the Democratic Leadership are going to turn off the very voters that we need to be reaching out to.
Since I read the announcement of the rallies, and had a “oh, this is a bad idea” reaction, I have been working to devise a strategy to unify Democrats and Independents who voted for Trump.
What I have arrived at is a PAC that focuses solely on “Medicare for All, Social Security Forever.” That would allow for outreach to the Independent voters who voted for Trump out of complete frustration with establishment economic policies, without clouding the economic message with social issues. Yes, the right to choose is incredibly important! Yes, the scapegoating of minorities is abhorrent! But we’ve seen that ridiculing and repudiating people for social reasons fails to change their minds, and instead drives them to vote against their own economic self-interest. We have to find a way to unite people on an economic message, or we are going to continue to lose.
“Medicare for All, Social Security Forever” is such a brash and “unrealistic” demand that I feel a little ridiculous typing it. And yet, when polled, 63% of Americans support “Medicare for All.” I cannot imagine that “Social Security Forever” has been polled, but, as of August, 2015 51% of Americans would be willing to raise taxes to preserve it. Perhaps, then, “Medicare for All, Social Security Forever” is a demand we should be making — simply, loudly and repeatedly.
The way I envision the “Medicare for All, Social Security Forever” PAC as working is as follows:
In addition to outreach through unions, progressive social media, etc., it reaches out through billboards in rural areas, signs in pick-up truck beds in Walmart parking lots, door knocking in rural areas, church groups (yes, even church groups), Tea Party email lists if we can get our hands on some, you get the idea.
The message is simple — we DEMAND “Medicare for All, Social Security Forever,” and the call to action is clear, and works on both state and federal levels.
Federal: call and write your congressional representative and senator monthly with a reminder that you expect them to vote against any legislation that privatizes Medicare or Social Security, work toward introducing legislation that creates Medicare for All, work toward legislation that eliminates the Social Security payroll tax cap — and a reminder that if they do not comply, you will vote against them in 2018 (or 2020 or 2022 for some senators), even if it means voting for a candidate who you disagree with on other issues, and work to ensure that they are not reelected.
State: call and write your state representatives monthly with a reminder that you expect them to introduce legislation supporting a constitutional amendment to overturn Citizens United because you want a government that is of, by and for the people, and you refuse to support a government that is of, by and for the corporations. And that you know Medicare for All will not happen as long as Big Pharma controls the government through campaign contributions — and a reminder that you will vote them out of office, regardless of their stances on other issues, if they refuse to do their part to end the corrupting influence of big-money on our elections.
This may seem like an overly simplistic approach to resisting Trump, and maybe it is. But think about how successful the Republicans have been at persuading people to vote against their own best interest by using simple (usually dishonest) arguments. Perhaps we should try something simple. Medicare for All, Social Security Forever — what’s easier to explain than that?
This article was originally posted on Medium.