The Democrats are getting a lot of content to work with. Unsurprisingly Trump is lying and setting policy recklessly with no proper thought. His minions are lying to show their loyalty (welcome to 1930’s Russia). Some policies will be dangerous or absurd and others are populist in nature and should be endorsed or at least left alone.
Issue #1 The Mexican Wall
Enforcing the US southern border is logical and appropriate. To argue that it shouldn’t be protected is to be in favor of open borders. That puts you in a tiny minority, completely out of the mainstream. You will win no votes by arguing to let everyone in, in a sort of immigration free-for-all. You can say you object to the price but now you are changing the conversation to one about fiscal responsibility. Almost no one seems to care about that especially Dems as they allowed a $600bn deficit to go on and on and on under Obama.
Issue #2 Immigration Restrictions and Reductions
We have a global labor glut and wages have stagnated for 30 years. How are you going to solve that problem by allowing everyone in or raising the number of entrants every year? Humanitarian examples are easy to find but they make for bad policy. Why are there so few parallel anecdotes about suffering US workers? Underpaid or unemployed American workers will not vote to save every poor family in Somalia. If you want to win, Mr. Democrat, you need to start promoting policy that helps Americans, not Iraqi’s.
Issue #3 Save Muslims from discrimination
Everyone hates discrimination but no one relates to Islam. We associate it with Jihad and Sharia law. It doesn’t support the separation of church and state, or the rights of women, apostates, atheists and homosexuals. I stand with mistreated people from Afghanistan but I sure don’t stand with their religion. Democrats who want to wear hats in favor of Islamic solidarity will not win any converts. Repubs who favor Christian over Muslim immigrants may.
Go After These Issues
There are some big fat juicy policies that will grow the Democratic party base – the repeal of Obamacare, the cozying up to Russia, crazy tax policy that may blow up the budget and benefit only the super-rich. Dems will be given many gifts. They need to choose the right battles that make sense and win them more votes. They must avoid the failed obsessions of the past.
If Trump wants to promote a populist item like Made in America then Dems must get on the right side – even if it makes them sick.