If there was any time in American history to try and find a middle ground, it’s right now. The Democrats can’t look at their playbook and say that they’re going to do everything that Republicans hate just because they’re in charge and have the opportunity, just as Republicans shouldn’t do the same unless the legislation would benefit everyone as a whole. This idea that politicians can help themselves to their constituents’ detriment should be over because people are paying attention to politics more now than ever.
The polarization of politicians telling people what they want to hear has to go as well. It’s not enough to upset your base to get elected or throw jabs because something went wrong. We have to point out what went well, and James Carville did a fantastic job characterizing that.
Carville spoke to Chuck Todd on NBC’s Meet the Press and was asked, “Honestly, the thing that’s cratering the most are independents. You know, the folks that just wanted the temperature turned down. You’re the president. What do you fix first?”
He responded perfectly by saying, in part, “I think a lot of the Democratic base has not been told or informed of the things that President Biden and this Congress has accomplished.”
Carville noted that if he were a Democrat, he would be much prouder of the fact that people are getting paid more, sometimes with a $700 or more sign-on bonus and not working for $7.25 an hour and that children have food in their stomachs and a warm home. He said that going out there and fighting for what they did rather than what they were stopped from doing is the way things get turned around.
It might get people fired up, but if these politicians came out and bragged about what they could do, they would get into people’s hearts rather than tap into their anger.
Carville also said, “Democrats whine a lot, Chuck. Stop being a whiny party. And then go out there and battle, and tell everyone what you did. And tell them the whole truth. ‘Let’s relitigate the 2020 election,’ or ‘Let’s get back at Jamie Raskin,’ is all the Republican Party stands for. That’s all. That sums up the entire platform.”
While that’s not the entire platform, Republicans have to buckle down and make something happen. The 2022 midterm election is right around the corner, and the Democrats know that they’re not going to win. The best thing Republicans can do is be the party of peace and gratitude amid political chaos. That is when they aren’t in the midst of a Senate hearing. They have to fire back when necessary, but speaking about accomplishments rather than negativity is key to getting independent voters to latch on.