My colleagues, @LOLGOP and our founder and editor of @Eclectablog, Chris Savage, have done a tremendous job and public service in keeping us all up to date and providing both reasonable, rational truth and yes, even well reasoned opinion, as to why @realDonaldTrump would be a disaster as our president and Commander in Chief. And, to some degree, we do find ourselves preaching to the choir. That is not a bad thing in any way, and it is their hope, and mine as well, that you are both consuming this information AND sharing it. It matters.
As a matter of background, I have been involved in politics at every level of government for the past 30 years, 25 of those years as a radio talk show host focusing almost exclusively on politics, with a very Liberal bent. It is something I am proud of.
I have also been a candidate for office twice. In 2006 I ran against the now notorious and disgraced former Congressman Thaddeus McCotter and came very close to beating him. I had no institutional support and managed a respectable campaign in spite of that.
In 2012 I ran for the state House and was soundly defeated by a local guy who had a much stronger base than I anticipated. I had about every endorsement you can get, including all of the unions you can most likely name. Yet still I lost and had my ass handed to me. There is a good reason I mention this as it is part of my urgent message to you today. I’ll get to that in a minute.
I have also, again by way of background, volunteered on so many campaigns that I have even forgot the names of some of the candidates I have helped. From presidential campaigns to local initiatives, I have been there for 30 years. Of course I have had some wins, lots of losses, and made amazing friends and critical connections throughout the years.
With that written, I have watched this presidential race from day one, even before Donald Trump, and watched with a bit of comic relief as Sen. Ted Cruz announced. Sen. Rand Paul. Sen. Marco Rubio, and yes, Jeb Bush, who waited forever so he could raise a disgusting amount of money that was wasted on his feeble effort to win the Republican nomination.
And then there was Trump. His announcement, coming down an escalator, hiring actors to be his cheering section, saying such outrageous and racist words that, like so many others in the media, thought his candidacy would last maybe a week.
We were more than just wrong, we were embarrassed, both by his words and our obvious collective misunderstanding of what would become his trademark appeal: saying whatever he wanted followed by the words BELIEVE ME!!!
Yes, many did, incredulously. They still do.
Some easy examples:
- I’m going to build a wall – believe me!
- Muslims should be profiled – believe me
- Hillary wants to eliminate the Second Amendment – believe me
- Stop and frisk will reduce crime – believe me
- I’m worth in excess of $10 billion – believe me
- The media is biased again me and hate me – believe me
- No one knows tax laws better than I do – believe me
- Hillary has no stamina – believe me
- Alicia Machado was the worst Miss Universe ever and ate like a pig– believe me
- Are these hands small? Trust me there is nothing wrong you know where – believe me
- I have given millions of dollars to Veterans groups – believe me
- I have never done business with Cuba – believe me
- I will renegotiate our national debt – believe me
- I won the debate – believe me
And my favorite
- I will bring Autoworker and Steelworker jobs back to this country – believe me
Well, not only do and should we NOT believe him, everything in the list about is factually wrong. Every single bullet point has been fact checked and proven to be false – believe me!
Of course as you are reading this you know of hundreds, if not thousands of examples, that I didn’t mention, as do I. So, the question is not whether or not we should believe Donald Trump, as any reasonable and educated person already knows, we should and do not. The real question is why DO people believe him?
I don’t have that answer, but I do have the solution. Hang tight just one more minute.
The mission, if you accept it, is to TEACH the casual voter, the person that votes party line because it is the way they have been programmed. You know, the voter who doesn’t pay attention until a few weeks before an election and then cherry picks the information that makes their decision easier. You know, the voter who NEVER votes down ballot because they are in a hurry and don’t realize that non-partisan races matter, or that local and state initiatives matter a great deal. They don’t have time or simply don’t give a damn.
That is true for both Republicans and Democrats.
Will you accept this assignment or meld into the background and hope that voters do the right thing? Our collective mission is clear, right?
OK, so back to my message earlier about having my ass handed to me in my House race in 2012 and the foundational reason I am writing this.
I lost for one simple reason. Yes, I didn’t get enough votes, and I can trace why because voting data exists. But mainly I lost because the union families who lived in my district voted at a clip of a whopping 4%. Had 20% voted, not an unreasonable number, I would be State Representative Trupiano right now. But I am not.
A few weeks back I was honored to be the host of the Canton Democratic Club annual fundraiser for their endorsed candidates. I was given the opportunity to give a ten-minute speech at the end and this is the message I shared.
The reason that Republicans win isn’t because they have more money, or even because of the heinous gerrymandering that they were the architects of. It’s not because they have better candidates or that they run better campaigns. In fact the opposite is true.
The answer is that it is because of a simplest of things. Ready?
More Republican voters vote than Democratic voters. Yes, that really is the reason.
Even in districts where it seems impossible for a Democrat to win, the self-fulfilling prophecy is so ingrained in the dialogue that we don’t even go vote, and that hurts us all.
Do you really get that? Do you?
We have scant little time to engage, inform, and motivate registered voters to actually vote and even less time to register those who are not registered immediately.
This is not an overly simplistic solution to what ails us politically. This is not about Crooked Hillary and the memes that have become true by extension of the words I have learned to hate – and I do now hate them with every cell in my brain – but I also know, with those same cells, that if we vote, we win.
[Trump with Constitution image courtesy of the Michigan Democratic Party]