What the Democrats don’t understand.
I was watching The View on TV and they were discussing the upcoming election. They were asking themselves (rhetorically) why Trump isn’t in jail. He has done things which would get most politicians incarcerated, or dumped, or at least reprimanded, in more normal times. Yet, he has escaped any attempt by Democrats to hold him accountable or to punish him. Trump was called ‘Teflon’ on The View (probably a thinly veiled reference to the famous gangster John Gotti whose nickname was ‘The Teflon Don’) because of his ability to break the law and still get away with it. Accusations simply slide right off of Trump seemingly never sticking.
The question put to Jill Biden (Joe’s wife) was,“Why do you think Trump is Teflon?” and she was unable to answer it. Her exact words were, “I don’t know.” And that’s the problem Democrats have. They don’t seem to know or completely understand the electorate, and that will get Trump reelected.
Joe and Kamala have done well enough in their public speeches since the convention. But there are commentators and other Democrats who are totally missing the boat emotionally. Emotional appeals are some of the main Trump strong points, he appeals to emotions rather than logic. Here’s what all Democrats should know before arguing with a Trump supporter or, even more importantly, trying to convince a skeptical voter to vote at all.
An overview of 8 Democratic Party mistakes
(there’s probably more but let’s keep the number manageable)
[concrete examples and specifics for #1 & 2 see below]
[concrete examples and specifics for #3~8 to follow in later posts]:
1. You seem to have no idea how much education has been missed by the average American voter.
2. It doesn’t matter who is in the White House if Republicans still control the Senate. You need to emphasize “Get Out The Vote!”
3. Do not try to win just on morality.
4. This goes with #3. You’ve got to shine a brighter light on “What’s in it for (or the motivations of) his enablers?”
5. Stop framing every sound bite in absolutist terms. It doesn’t have to be all or nothing.
6. Stop talking about race and diversity.
7. Focus on having someone answer Republicans/Fox News/Trump when they make outlandish statements.
8. Get some levity.
That’s why I’m not giving the Democratic Party any money.
I AM sending my money to Democrats in individual Senate and House races. That way the people who need it the most are getting it right away and I’m not paying for all the stupid stuff (emails, mailers, surveys, etc.) the Party wants to throw out there. Yes, I am “Ridin’ with Biden”. I do plan to vote the straight Democratic ticket. So… Stop telling me what’s at stake, or what the poll numbers are. I know better than you what’s at stake. Stop telling me about poll numbers. I warned against complacence with the poll numbers in 2016. The polls all said Hillary would win. I said, “I don’t think so.” It was one of those times when I hated to be correct.
If you get nothing else from my suggestions, you must remember this one factoid:
One reason Trump is Teflon is, people don’t want to lose a friend so they do not, or can not, and therefore will not debate (I was on my high school debate team, so I’m ready, willing, and able to rock & roll; i.e. debate ’til the cows come home!). I always advocated not dropping friends over politics or religion or race but… I have close friends who have told me of dropping friends because they just couldn’t talk to them without an acrimonious argument ensuing.
I had just such a friend. I called her and left a message that if we were to remain friends we couldn’t discuss politics until at least January 21, 2021, if then. She responded by calling me names and saying that since I abruptly ended our friendship… Yadda! Yadda! I abruptly ended our friendship??? Here I thought I was saving our friendship.
So… to give the Democratic party supporters some additional support… Or maybe to avoid conversational traps in order to preserve friendships… Or maybe simply to get a sane government elected… I offer the following:
Mistakes for Democrats to avoid.
1 You have no idea how much education has been missed by the average American voter.
Seriously. There are many reasons why so many are missing so much but unless you rephrase some of your rhetoric (language AND pictures) in the most simple way you can, you will lose. Why is this important? How do I know?
It’s important because those who support Trump believe (quite correctly) that Trump speaks their language. He does. Rather than say, “We’ll build a 30 ft high, steel reenforced…” Trump will say, “It will be a big, beautiful wall and Mexico will pay for it.” Because he speaks in such simple, moronic terms (among other more vulgar personality quirks) they believe (quite incorrectly) that he is one of them. I mean, come on… How many average American voters hang out with friends who own golden toilets?
This frustrates most college educated liberal Democrats because so many of them are NOT working class (particularly those who speak and write in the public forums). They will say things like, “I don’t understand why they can’t see the logic of …” And you were surprised when Hillary lost! You had no idea how many poor thinkers there were out there who could, would and do vote (but don’t answer polls and surveys). They wanted some thing or some one who wasn’t the status quo. They got it. And they’ll take it again if you aren’t more aware.
I am the Teacher From Planet Reality.
Why do I say I believe/know that there are a lot more poor thinkers out there than you realize? I am a teacher. Jill Biden is a teacher. Have her look at my website TeacherFromPlanetReality.com to verify my claims, which are to follow.
I’m the only member of my immediate family to have graduated from college (not counting my niece who graduated from college years later). Grew up working class, a greaser from the south side of Chicago. I still know lots of working class people from the old neighborhood (see: I Grew Up In Roseland Chicago Ill. for the most right wing Trump lovers & voters, illogical thinkers, and just plain nut jobs – I’m considered a libetard troll on this page). Have you ever been called all kinds of nasty names (even by family members) because you went to college? I was. The rationale given for the name calling being that I don’t understand people
(even though I worked for
5 years as a successful incentive substitute teacher in the hood in L.A.
and then worked successfully for 20 years at a CDS school).
A prophet is not without honor,
save in his own country,
and in his own house.
Try as I might, I could not get the school district to believe me when I said we need to really examine social promotion.
I am/was getting 14 ~ 16 year olds who test out at 2nd grade skill levels. (the following Quote is from: For Educational Policy: Reject Standardized Tests, Embrace Facts Part 1 follow the link for the complete statistics and rationales)
In 20 years of teaching, the mean computational grade level skills (an arithmetic test for grades 2nd~6th) of students entering my Algebra class (ages 14 to 17) was 3rd grade and the mode was 4th grade. The mean and mode skill level of Algebra readiness (ages 14 to 17) was barely 2nd grade. Yet I was required to call the class Algebra, and give every government mandated standardized test as if the students had entered my class at grade level! As a result, despite turning their lives around, students who worked hard to make up for lost time, students who made up three or four or five years of missed learning might still test out as ‘below basic’ which was demoralizing to them.
And I’m supposed to be teaching them Algebra and Geometry when they can’t add or subtract? It’s a pretense. I’ve kept my records in case someone should question my motives or my expertise. Also, I kept a journal in which I wrote down everything. Entries included those I threw out of class and the justifications. I also noted the quotidian: the weather, every time I caught a cold/flu, problems with other adults, and my back pain. I’m sure that Ms. Biden has encountered at least a few students who were woefully unprepared for the rigors of college level work. Multiply that number by millions and you have the Trump electorate!
Even my Principals didn’t believe me!
Students came to our school with a mind numbing myriad of issues, problems, and deficiencies. They were told that they could make up credits as quickly as they could learn the material. I had students who had taken Algebra 1 but hadn’t received credit (they usually has gotten thrown out of school in the last month or so) and they knew the material and they knew what they were doing. So they passed Algebra 1 in two weeks (by taking and passing the chapter tests). Those students were very rare, but every student thought that they could pass that easily. Mr. D’s class was/is not a diploma mill. So, every year I got complaints that students couldn’t pass my class.
My defense was that those who were complaining either did no work at all (few) or as was the the majority of them, they were so behind in their math and reading skills that they (i.e. students who would be voting [18 or older] in the 2016 and the 2020 election) couldn’t pass (i.e. earn high school credit for) Chapter 2 in the District mandated text, which was a junior high text book! Chapter 2 was entitled ‘Properties of Real Numbers’ which was simply dealing with positive and negative numbers. I taught it as if we were dealing with money, most of the time. I felt it was important to know about positive and negative numbers for personal banking, and for understanding complex budget issues as voters.
Don’t criticize me.
Walk a mile in my shoes and do it better.
I finally had a boss who, like all the other bosses and the school district, didn’t believe me. But… She alone, like any good scientist, put me to the test. First, she took a class of random students who needed Algebra 1 credit. She taught a regular CDS Algebra 1 class (like mine). Aside from the girl who tried to fondle the Principal’s belly while she was giving instructions to the class! Her experience was the same as mine! She ran up to me one day and gushed, “You were right. We’ve got generations of 14 to 18 year old high school students can’t get past Chapter 2 in an 8th grade Algebra textbook!” We lamented the parents as well with the idea that, “It may take a village to raise a child, but it starts in the hut!”
What Democrats can do about it now.
Believe me! Please do, or at least read my blog. Next, look at your speech (speeches and any thing you put out there) and ask yourself, “Would a middle school child understand what I’m saying?” If you are saying anything that you feel would be over the heads of middle school students, either rewrite it or don’t say it. Why do I say middle school? For example:
Look at TV romantic situations either comedy or serious (see also: Sex Abuse 105: How Hollywood Romances Teach Sex Abuse). They all have a middle school mentality. The only TV shows with adult males acting like good adult males is Have Gun Will Travel, and more contemporarily the show called Castle. These men act like sex is normal for an adult male. They always treat their ladies with respect. Most importantly, they are articulate.
The ability to explain your motives and your fears is an adult skill that few adults have. The Trump supporters are particularly bad at explaining things beyond, “Fake news,” and “Obviously you are a Democratic Trump hater,” and other such illogical foolishness.
They don’t read.
I posted a story from yahoo.com on I Grew Up In Roseland Chicago Ill. of how much Trump’s golfing trips were costing the taxpayers. The article gave figures for both Trump and Obama. I haven’t got time or space to rewrite the torrent of illogical comments I got. The most obviously stupid was the one that said, “Where is your proof?” I say, ‘Read the article Fool!’ The more ignorant the comment the less likely they have read the article. They don’t read. But then neither does Trump.
No matter how busy you think you are
you must find time for reading,
or surrender yourself to
So next time Trump starts in with his fake news comments you can quote Confucius and point out Trump’s ‘self-chosen ignorance.’
Distance yourself from Obama on education. Bush II!
I was at a NBCT meeting and the moderator was complaining about the latest “new idea” to be foisted on us as teachers. He said, “…President Obama, who frankly is Bush II when it comes to education…” That phrase stuck in my mind. I saw nods of agreement in the room. We were teachers who voted for Obama and basically loved the guy. Yet we disapproved of his choice of Secretary of Education and we felt betrayed. Many of us thought that Obama understood that the best way to end the divisions (racial and economic) in our society was through education and HOLDING ALL STAKEHOLDERS ACCOUNTABLE. As I read this I’m reminded that the Republican mantra is one of personal responsibility, with which I tend to agree, but… They like to ignore the fact that it’s a lot easier to be personally responsible if you can get a small loan of a million dollars from Daddy.
I heard Mr. Obama speak early in his campaign.
I thought I heard him say that he would get parents more in involved in their children’s education or words to that effect. This was the first important reason which made me vote for him. That was the last I heard about parents from him or Mr. Biden. I probably didn’t hear about parent accountability from Mr. Obama and Mr. Biden because I was kept mighty busy with all sorts of educational reforms that didn’t help my students at all.
Just this year while arguing with a close friend about what’s at stake in the upcoming election, she blamed me and Ms. Curtis and all public school teachers for all the stupid people she has to contend with. I lay that at your feet, Democrats. What to do now? How do you distance yourself from Obama on education without blaming him or yourself?
Emphasize the importance of education more than you do.
Here’s a suggestion as to what you could say.
When Obama is thrown in your face and reporters ask, “You and Obama had 8 years to fix education. Why should we expect anything different?” You should say words to this effect, “First off, I wasn’t President. I didn’t make all the decisions. I advised. Secondly, anyone who thinks that education can be fixed is asking the wrong questions. Education doesn’t need to be fixed. Our attitude toward education has to change.
Let me ask you, When does learning stop? The answer is, ‘Never!’ I have learned and continue to learn a lot from the things we did right and the things we did that weren’t the best. As President, I will get to make the final decisions using the best and most current information we have. And I have an excellent guide to help me in my wife, Jill.
I firmly believe that eduction is the path to both racial and economic equality for all Americans. I will improve both the quality and the access to education based on what we have learned over the years. And based on what we have seen in the present administration there is no accountability except to big monied interests. There is never an admission that they could have done better for the little guy.”
2 It doesn’t matter who is in the White House if Republicans still control the Senate.
You need to emphasize “Get Out The Vote!” WAY MORE! People need a civics lesson. If Biden wins the Presidency and the Democrats don’t win the Senate it will be 4 or 8 years of battles and accusations of ‘Do Nothing Democrats.’ The reality is, it’s the ‘Obstructionist Republicans’ who are the ‘Do Nothing Senators’. You’ve got to be shouting this from the rooftops. Instead for relying on the old game plan of, “People vote for the lead of the ticket and then vote down ballot.” Remember, Trump won spending almost nothing, comparatively. It’s a new game. Use the media better!
Play that ‘Grim Reaper’ tape of Mitch McConnell laughing with his Republican cronies about how Obama would be a one term president and he wouldn’t get anything through the Senate (and I’ll gladly send the party money for that!).
This is what you say to the voters who don’t like Trump but they don’t feel comfortable with Joe (he’s too old, he’s forgetful, he lies, he’s a Devil worshiper – whatever). This is what you say to all those who hate (justified or not) Kamala Harris for putting so many Blacks in jail for marijuana. Or for how she lead the movement which got Al Franken to resign.
Wait until Trump does something wild to capture the news cycle and say the following:
“Trump is not the only cause of our suffering. Mitch McConnell and his Republican enablers in the Senate are equally responsible for our suffering. I know there are those out there who don’t like President Trump and want him constrained but they don’t feel comfortable voting for me or Ms. Harris. That’s okay. Even if you don’t like me, you can stop Trump’s policies and his enablers by voting the Republicans out of the Senate.
If you want to get out of this mess we are in,
Don’t vote for President if you are confused, but definitely vote and
vote for every Democrat, wherever Democrats show up on the rest of your ballot.”
Joe Biden would seem like a real patriot if he got up and said that.
Can you imagine the press he’d get?
Next Parts 3, 4, 5, & 6:
3 Do not try to win just on morality. Why? You end up sounding like hypocrites when your humanity shows.
4 This goes with #3. You’ve got to shine a brighter light on “What’s in it for (or the motivations of) his enablers?”
5. Stop framing every sound bite in absolutist terms. It doesn’t have to be all or nothing.
6. Stop talking about race and diversity.