Burying the Beast: Why the 2016 Election Needs to be a Democratic Landslide
There are two sides to every coin.
Over the past two weeks, I've been traversing Palm Beach County, Florida for a crash course in political organizing 101. I've been to multiple call banks, house parties, and voter registration events. I've met local officials and precinct leaders. I've sat in on a conference call led by Robby Mook. I've seen and heard strategy sessions regarding messaging, talking points, goals, and strategies for the general election campaign. I've made hundreds of phone calls in an effort to recruit both new and seasoned volunteers. I've seen staunch Democratic supporters open their homes to complete strangers to offer supporter housing. I've spoken with new organizers who quit their cushy jobs to join the campaign. I've seen veteran organizers who have been consistently working 70-hour weeks since last summer. I've seen a network of driven and dedicated Democrats who will do whatever it takes to elect Hillary Clinton as our 45th president.
But I've also seen the other side.
I've seen the gentleman sporting the Make America Great Again Hat. I've seen the Bernie or buster refusing to vote in the general election. I've seen the independent voter debating between which of the two candidates is the lesser of two evils. I've seen the apathetic eighteen-year-old who has no interest in registering to vote in this or any future election. And I've seen how these individuals exist throughout this country. In Ohio. In Virginia. In Pennsylvania. In North Carolina. Individuals that leave you speechless. Ones who call Hillary "crooked" but openly support Donald Trump. Ones who are worried about the national debt but don't care that Donald Trump's policies will add another $30 trillion to it. Ones who think that if everyone was armed then the Orlando shooting would have never happened. Women who support Donald Trump. Latinos who support Donald Trump. African-Americans who support Donald Trump. LGBT individuals who support Donald Trump. They're all out there and their vote counts just as much as yours or mine.
Which is why the 2016 in more than simply Donald Trump versus Hillary Clinton. It's about what kind of world we want to create for our children and our grandchildren. Fifty-five million people will vote for Donald Trump because he has an (R) next to his name on November 8th. Fifty-five million people will vote for Hillary Clinton because she has a (D) next to her name on November 8th. It's those twenty million people in between that will decide the fate of our nation moving forward. Many of them will be low-information voters. The kind who consistently vote against their best interests. The kind who hear something on TV and automatically take it to be true. The kind who vote for a candidate because they like that candidate's appearance/fashion sense/spouse/birthplace and that's the one thing that wins them over. These voters are out there and their vote also counts just as much as yours or mine.
Don't believe me? Ask all those British voters who googled what the EU was hours after having voted to leave it. Now imagine millions of people googling "Donald Trump foreign policy" on November 9th after he won the election.
That simply cannot happen. But this election is about more than simply winning 50% +1. It's about asserting what America is and what she has the potential to be. It's about punishing Republicans for a half-century of subtle racism, sexism, nativism, xenophobia, and misogyny that Donald Trump not only represents but also openly expresses on the campaign trail. It's about punishing Republicans for ignoring their 2012 autopsy report and refusing to acknowledge the changing demographics of this country. It's about punishing Republicans for peddling the myth of trickle-down economics that has left our country with stagnant wages. It's about punishing Republicans for being on the wrong side of women's rights, civil rights, and now LGBT rights. It's about punishing Republicans for a disastrous foreign policy that left a power vacuum in the Middle East which led to the rise of ISIS. And it's about punishing Republicans for creating a political environment in the year 2016 where Neo-Nazi organizations feel they can freely and openly demonstrate on our city streets simply because a Black man has had the audacity to occupy the White House for the past seven years.
Those 20 million people that will decide this election won't care about what I've just written. Most of it will go over their heads. But that shouldn't stop each and every one of us from now until November to engage these voters and make them aware of what's at stake. This isn't a vote for funsies to see what might happen if we elect Donald Trump. This is a vote for the future of our democratic republic. The GOP openly nominated a racist, misogynistic, sexist xenophobe as the face of its party. Republicans running for all levels of government agree with Trump on most of his policies, even if they don't admit it. Incumbent senators like Marco Rubio, Kelly Ayotte, John McCain, Ron Johnson, Mark Kirk, Pat Toomey, and Rob Portman are all vulnerable and should all be forced to justify their support for Donald Trump. Every Republican congressman or woman is now inextricably linked to Donald Trump's candidacy. His views and policies can and should be brought up whenever the opportunity arises. Donald Trump is the face of of the modern-day GOP and every single member of the party should be pressured to publicly state their support or disapproval of him.
Which is why this election doesn't simply need to be a Democratic victory; it needs to be a Democratic landslide. I'm talking 360+ electoral votes for HRC. A flipped Senate. Significant gains in the House. It's not enough to simply beat Donald Trump, he and his kind have to be destroyed. Forever. As in, the GOP needs to have such a resounding defeat that Reince Priebus hangs 'em up for good on November 9th. A party that has shifted so far to the right that it now exhibits all traits of fascism has no place in modern American politics. It is a party that needs to die and come back as something, anything, that resembles a viable conservative party. Because the Republican Party we have right now has officially jumped the shark. It still will get its 55 million votes come November 8th. But the party has done nothing at all to earn the vote of those 20 million undecided voters that will swing the election to either one side or the other.
And it's up to all of us to remind those voters of this fact.
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