By Ralph Nader
With just over four weeks to Election Day, the Democratic Party still has time to realize its limitations, which have led to them losing winnable races, or barely squeaking by at the federal and state levels. Imagine the worst, most corrupt, lying, dictatorial GOP since its creation in 1854 having their most dangerous and extreme candidates win elections.
To liberate the many policies, messages, strategies, rebuttals and ground-level ways to get out more votes, Democrats need to escape the controls of their incarcerating political/media consultants, who are too often conflicted by their ongoing corporate clients and their 15% commissions received from placing repetitive, vacuous video ads.
With their ample funds, the Democrats have to aggregate the case against the GOP’s morbid opposition to humanity and contrast it with the Democratic Party’s own lawmaking, votes and positions. For example, the Dems need to compare all their pro-children work with the GOP’s ugly record of cruelty to the little ones once they are born. (See my column: Big Campaign 2022 Issue: GOP’s Cruelty to Children). Trump’s GOP went out of its way to keep federal Medicaid funds from insuring children in GOP-dominated states, lunged to revoke an Obama rule to ban a pesticide, especially deadly to young children, and blocked all attempts to enact paid sick leave, family leave and daycare. In 2017 the Republicans also slashed the already low tax rates for their Rich and Powerful paymasters.
Dems should move fast with a winning “Protect and Nurture ALL Our Children” platform.
The GOP is chronically antagonistic to freedom and equality for women. Republican opposition to the Equal Rights Amendment, equal pay mandates, corporate marketplace discriminations and reproductive choice, and other serious biases can form the basis for a Democratic “Freedom for Women” platform plank.
With lives and public infrastructure being regularly destroyed by floods, ocean surges, winds, and wildfires from Global Warming, GOP candidates respond with a curled lip: NO! Republicans voted against, or successfully blocked the public works bills backed by Congressional Democrats, costing lives, jobs, community stability and using tax dollars not to benefit the people, but to the corporate greed hounds of Wall Street and its plutocrats.
Most Democrats have been reluctant to take on the 800 lb. gorilla in the political arena – the widely despised, by both liberal and conservative voters, Big Business controls coercions, bailouts and exploitations over people’s livelihoods. Over 70% of people, regardless of political labels, bear the brunt of abuses by corporate barons every day where they live, work and raise their children. Plenty of press reports, pointed studies, and litigation data make the case that Democratic candidates who commit to All the parents, All the workers, and All the consumers to make giant companies our servants, not our masters, will garner large majority voter support. People are tired of double standards. They want corporate crooks to go to jail. They want runaway CEOs to be held accountable. Such stands would immediately contrast with the GOP’s coverups of Wall Street, the big banks, insurance companies, and avaricious drug and health insurance companies. Many Democrats can point to their pending legislation holding these Goliaths to account that the Republicans have stifled.
The central point of these proposals – among others available – is to energize Democratic candidates and enliven their repetitive daily campaign routines and rhetoric. It is time for the Dems to go on the offensive against the GOP’s made-up fake accusations and give a hungry media compelling substance. Reporters are tired of covering campaigns as horse races, and mainly reporting on campaign contributions and polling results.
Headlines could emerge by injecting fresh issues and slogans to grab more of the 120 million eligible voters who are expected to stay at home. Some examples follow.
“Go vote for a raise to $15 per hour, you’ve earned it and it’s long overdue.” The GOP hates the very idea of a minimum wage and has frozen the federal minimum at $7.25 per hour, while letting the likes of Apple’s CEO Tim Cook, make $833 per MINUTE with low tax rates! Raising the minimum wage will help over 25 million voters.
“Go vote to extend the $300 a month child tax credit that reached 58 million children and cut the child poverty rates by a third, until the Congressional GOP blocked its extension in January 2022.”
Democrats who show they mean what they say, stay on the offensive, and hone debating skills to provide memorable contrasts with the GOP can win a working majority in the legislatures to get things done. Moreover, exposing the GOP’s Death Cult that can’t help opposing the concrete existing and proposed health, safety and economic rights of American families, will motivate voters.
GOP Florida Senator Rick Scott, in charge of electing Republican Senators, wants to sunset laws, including Social Security and Medicare as indicated in his “An 11 Point Plan to Rescue America” (https://www.politico.com/f/?id=0000017f-1cf5-d281-a7ff-3ffd5f4a0000). Run against this outrage daily.
These contrasts can be summarized on a single-sheet Voter Self-Help Guides distributed in the tens of millions everywhere on paper (and online). One side can poll the voters on a dozen positions. The other side can show that the Democratic candidate is “On Their Side” and the GOP candidate is not (supported by the facts and their record).
Together with civic leader Mark Green and two dozen experienced and accomplished civic advocates, we compiled a collection of such policies, strategies and messaging to attract voters and retire GOP candidates who follow their leader, Herr Trump, in further wrecking our fragile climate, democratic institutions, voting procedures and public health with their early denial of the Covid pandemic.
The Winning America effort has been endorsed by Senator Edward Markey, Reps. Hakim Jeffries, John Larson, Jim McGovern, Peter DeFazio, Jamie Raskin, and Carolyn Maloney, among others.
There is still time for candidates to listen, learn and self-galvanize electoral energies. The question is: Will Democrats in the close House, Senate and state legislative races be willing to break out of their managed cocoons and become Winning Monarch Butterflies on November 8, 2022?
Will the Democratic Party stop the GOP Party of Anxiety, Dread, and Fear from anointing Trump lackey Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) as Speaker of the House and the corporatist Mitch McConnell (“The Guardian of Gridlock” who says he “will tell you what we’re doing to do AFTER we win the Election”) to resume his control of the Senate?
Voter turnout will decide which future awaits America.