From the moment President Trump took office, many Democrat politicians, celebrities, and media mavens have worked to stop anything Trump. Democrats, hoping to capitalize on the anti-Trump excitement in their base, staged a coordinated "Summer of Resistance" across the country aimed at countering the agenda of President Trump and the GOP-led Congress. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi kicked off the effort at a rally in Dallas saying, "This Trump complained, “I hope that Democrats will stop the obstruction and resistance – in fact that’s what they have, they have a sign ‘resist, resist’ - they want to resist everything, including cabinet members.” After watching the response to President Trump’s State of the Union address, Democrats obviously haven’t taken those “RESIST” signs down!
Resistance keeps Democrats focused on what they are against, not what they are for. After a year of pleasing his GOP base by delivering on many of his campaign promises and surprising hard-working citizens of both parties withlower taxes and more job opportunities, will a majority of Americans elect Democrats whose only promise is “Stop Trump?” Hmmm.
Maybe Democrats could win by adopting the values of MSNBC’s liberal commentator, Joy Reid, who tweeted during Trump’s State of the Union Speech: “Church … family … police … military … the national anthem … Trump trying to call on all the tropes of 1950s-era nationalism. The goal of this speech appears to be to force the normalization of Trump on the terms of a bygone era his supporters are nostalgic for. #SOTU.”
Now, that’s a winning strategy—attack churches, family, the police, the military, and the National Anthem! Even better, instead of stressing that all lives matter, put your focus on identity politics—illegal immigrants, LGBT Americans, Syrian refugees, and Black Lives Matter protestors, and the poor terrorists forced to live at Guantanamo.
The polls after Trumps SOTU speech give you a clue as to the lack of wisdom in the Democrat strategy. The CBS and CNN flash polls from those watching indicated strong approval. CNN’s instant reaction poll of viewers found that 70% rated his address very positive or somewhat positive. CBS polls raised that number to 75% with 8 in 10 feeling that the president was trying to unite the country rather than divide it. Not only Republicans were supportive; 73% of the independents in the CBS poll found Trump’s address positive.
The media loves to talk about how divisive President Trump has been and can be. But when he moves to remind us of our common goals as he did in the SOTU, it seemed impossible for Democrats to find any way to meet him even half way. If the President remains focused on positive change most Americans support between now and the November mid-term elections and if Democrats continue to search for scandals and put up “RESIST” signs, Democrats may well experience another night like the one they had when they saw Hillary’s election victory go down in flames.
New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg has never been a Donald Trump supporter, once calling him a “con” and “dangerous demagogue.” In spite of such views, during an appearance on “The View,” he urged Democrats not to make the mistake GOP Senator Mitch McConnell made as minority leader when Barack Obama was elected. In 2010, McConnell told The National Journal that the “single most important thing” for Republicans to achieve would be to make Obama a “one-term president.” A certain amount of partisanship is warranted, but Democrats don’t just want to make President Trump a one-term president; they want him impeached and humiliated now!
Bloomberg said, “We have to make it work. You have an election, whoever wins, then we have to get behind and work.” Resisters have the right to protest and speak out, but elections matter. He reminded Democrats, “If you disagree, you should go out there. You can protest. You can elect other officials, write letters, make phone calls. But in the end, the public has spoken, whether you like the results or not.”
All-or-none thinking locks us into an impasse and paralyzing polarization. Resist where you must, but where you can, work together to negotiate workable change on the things that matter most to our country. There are good people on both sides of the aisle who are tired of being trapped by polarized politicians on both sides. It’s time for some civil dialogue and difficult but necessary negotiations. President Trump has promised to do
just that. Democrats should test that promise by working to find a negotiated agreement that moves us forward on the DACA and Immigration security issue. Here’s hoping they do.