What Democrats Should Do Now ?

So, here is the disaster we’re embarking on now, with disaffected voters voting for insurrectionists and unknowns, because the Democrats don’t seem to know what to do, in order to appeal to the majority.

One question is: Is there a majority? In other words, are Americans too confused, unsatisfied, angry, fearful, to even know what they want? If so, there is no viable majority.

What can Democrats do in response?

I think the best they (we) can offer is responding to recognized problems—need for income supports, family leave, higher livable pay, etc. in return for mask and vac mandates?

I’m arguing, that the only way to get control over the pandemic are masks, distancing, and vaccines, because we won’t be able to return to “normal” until the pandemic is reduced to just an inconvenience for a few.

That won’t happen, until vaccines and masking, etc. reduce cases to a few a day.

If people see that this is a successful strategy, they (enough?) will stop their wholesale opposition to anything Democrats propose, or try. And begin to see the benefits (that Republicans are blocking).

But a real problem is the differing understandings of reality.

If a stolen Presidential election is their understanding of reality (70+% of Republicans) then we have a big problem.

There does seem to be no way to disabuse such people. With Fox, OAN and NewsMax all reinforcing the “Steal” story, and the anti-everything Democrats, that leaves a lot of people convinced that only the Right is at all believable.

Then, it doesn’t matter what the Dems do, as far as those people are concerned. We will need to appeal to all the others, but ignore the Trumpists, unless we can identify a policy/or problem that could help disabuse them and gain their support.

The school problem demonstrates the complications.

If you mandate masking and vaccines?

Vaccines may be easier, to promote as a way back to normality, when masks and distancing will no longer be necessary.

One way to promote vaccines, is to offer benefits: 14 days after vaccination, no masks necessary for all recipients, nor social distancing—

Unless new surges of the virus overtake us.

That’s just happened in the UK and the EU, because the Delta variant is so infectious. It also could happen in the rejectionist states, especially in the South: Florida, Mississippi, Alabama, Louisiana.…

We have to emphasize that we MUST respond to any unexpected surges of Covid. This is not arbitrary: masking and vaccines do work: they reduce the spread and severity of the disease. Pretending that there’s no problem DOES NOT WORK! Covid 19 has killed more people than any other modern disease. It is dangerous.

People and parties that promote no restrictions and no response should be held responsible for the attendant cases and deaths. In effect they have blood on their hands. A case has been made that Trump’s reluctant, inadequate response to Covid is responsible for 40,000 deaths that could have been avoided.

Biden has attempted more responsible responses, but Covid is a wily, dangerous adversary, so they’ve not all been so successful.

Mostly, that is true because states like Florida have refused to cooperate (banning mask and vaccine mandates, for example, and pretending the pandemic is nothing to worry about, compared to the costs of the response). In other words, arguing that we can’t afford lockdowns or virtual schooling. We can’t afford to prevent people from dying? Especially young kids?

Democrats should campaign on that! Governments should protect their citizens, not pretend that there isn’t a dangerous disease roaming the nation.

What we should really do is campaign against Covid 19, and put out the idea that anyone who pretends that the virus isn’t dangerous and doesn’t need to be responded to with different social rules, etc. is actually un-patriotic and dangerous to everyone, including themselves.

What, are you not willing to get a vaccine, proven safe by more than 390 million Americans? Only .0021% of recipients died (118 out of 56,245) while on these vaccines ( most likely not from the vaccines), not clear if the vaccines helped, or hindered them. How many died from not having vaccines?  In Colorado 189 unvaccinated died in August, while only 60 vaccinated died. Rejection is just acting blindly.

We can’t protect the unvaccinated, and they blame us for insisting on making people take the vaccine! And saying you have to wear masks inside.

Funny, they don’t blame the unvaccinated if their infection spreads to others, just blame the Government because we’re still subject to the spread of this deadly disease.

So, a lot of anti-vac, anti-Democrat sentiment is because the Dems can’t do magic: making the virus go away without taking the actions that would help make it go away.

Perhaps, if Democrats advance the Reconciliation bill of $1.78 trillion, and it begins to take effect, more of the disaffected will see that Democrats are actually trying to solve problems we all are aware of, while Republicans will only block almost all action of this kind, not act to make people’s lives any better.

But in order to pass the Reconciliation bill, all Democratic Senators need to vote for it, yet Manchin and Sinema are still withholding their support!

If only the Democrats in their caucus could make these two see: not only will their obstruction make it more likely that Republicans and Trump take away their majorities in 2022, but their actions, ironically, will be most damaging to their two respective states: West Virginia (flooding) and Arizona (deadly heat spells).

One thing Democrats should try to impress upon Manchin: coal is not coming back, because it’s not only too polluting, but it’s also more expensive than wind, solar, oil or gas. Therefore his efforts to protect the coal industry will ultimately be ineffective and very costly to his constituents.

If he went along with the Build Back Better bill, his constituents would be eligible for aid, tuition, etc. to learn the needed skills for the better jobs that de-carbonization will require.

It’s even possible, that by next year many West Virginians would be thankful that they can get new, better paying, much less dangerous, “green” jobs, if Build Back Better is finally passed and implemented.

And in Arizona, the BBB would provide something similar: new jobs, new skills and substantive responses to the killing heat, for example. Other Democrats should point out to Senator Sinema that someone else could campaign on that, and take away her seat, if she continues to block action on the bill. There is already a Primary Sinema organization collecting money for a candidate to run against her.

Published by douglascsmyth

Writer, gardener, former political science and economics professor, free-lance writer, 81-years old, married to Elizabeth Cunningham, father of Darshann, Julian and Marina. I live on the western slope of the Shawangunk ridge, NY, in a house powered largely by solar and heated and cooled by it. Associated with High Valley, Clinton Corners, until 2014.

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