Yo Robert, I get it. I hate the guy too. His attitude, his policies, they way he handles the press. But it might be time to hold elected officials to the standards you set for the attendees of the Tony Awards, or better yet change voters’ minds.
As progressives we need to preach an American message that appeals to the public beyond the (let’s be honest) saturated echo-chamber of social media and comedy programs. To be clear, I LOVE The Opposition, Last Week Tonight, and the occasional Rachel Maddow Show, but we need to switch it up.
The issues that Americans care about are economic, education, and safety; while social issues tend to take a back seat. Weirdly enough, our Twitter debates tend to take a different approach. To begin I’d like to acknowledge that there is a cost associated with education, education for a medical degree, an electrician’s license, and complex socio-economic issues. Some Americans still grow up, myself included, operating within a paradigm where the amount of genders is as constant as the number of fingers. That the family unit of male female and child is as old as time itself, and that equality of opportunity means there is not a system of privilege, because they themselves experience hardships. If we merely stop there it is understandable that many Americans make mistakes when misusing pronouns, are hesitant to relationships that have been deemed “other”, and shy away from admitting they are given a leg up even though they are not the 1%. Let’s just start there.
To convince the American public that a progressive future is the right one, we need to appeal to their sense of history, culture, and pride. We need to preach messages that capitalism and global trade teach us, such as a rising tide lifts all ships. On that same token, we need to show how a healthy and responsible relationship with other nations are a benefit to this generation and those to come. We need to condemn corporate welfare in many forms to show that we stand for a fair and balanced (thanks for ruining that one, Bill) view of innovation and economic mobility. And we need to be inclusive. Look to Queer Eye for inspiration. They do not change peoples minds through attacks, name calling, or twitter rants, they change peoples’ minds through understanding and compassion.
The next time that your friend from high school posts a video about “destroying liberal snowflakes” treat him or her like any ole’ bully. Look past the language and understand where it comes from. Maybe they’re tired of being yelled at for things they don’t understand. Maybe they’re scared about the social fallout that questioning the status quo might cause in their friend group. Or maybe they’re just an asshole. But try and see where they’re coming from.
Very few people are like Tomi Lahren and Sean Hannity, but many are like Shepard Smith. Don’t conflate the two, but rather attempt to find common ground with the Smiths. Discuss how supporting unions give workers an edge when they are treated unfairly by their bosses. Discuss tariffs and trade wars in the context of how those initiatives harm U.S. businesses, and even discuss a mutual friend’s hardship and why policies should be put in place to protect them.
I love love LOVE throwing easy punches on Twitter as much as the next guy, but saying “Fuck Trump” doesn’t change anything. If anything it solidifies support and isolates voters who feel ignored, insulted, and lesser-than because of the constant berate on social media.