I’ve never been shy writing about the weaknesses and poor decisions made by leaders and spokespeople of the Democratic Party. They more often than not, snatch defeat from the jaws of victory. In doing so, they often look as if they can get nothing accomplished. Which, more often than not, is true.
Universal health care, voting right, and the infrastructure bills are some of the recent major failures of the party. Because of the inclusionary nature of the Democrats (a good thing), the different factions are often at odds with one another, meaning nothing gets accomplished (a bad thing).
One of their most egregious mistakes is their story telling, their narratives, are just so, well, non-existent. They (the leaders and spokespeople) almost always allows someone else to control the narrative, and therefore the lens through which the American people see and hear what is happening in Washington. They speak in policy and procedure, which is a losing proposition from the beginning. They speak over the heads of most of the population, thus never truly relating to those in which they need to relate.
Right now, they are allowing Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema to control the infrastructure narrative, after just letting them control the narrative of the voting rights bill, and the ongoing filibuster debate. They have not learned to manipulate and guide the press, and social media, in the masterful way the trumpists and Republicans have been able to do for decades.
For the press side, Democrats are at a disadvantage, and one of their own making, it is run by very wealthy people, often trumpists or Republicans. These owners are not about having their profits or power taken away in any manner, even if it means the demise of the democracy that allows them to exist as a Free Press.
If you are paying attention, the current “big” story are the infrastructure bills. Very few stories I have seen talk of anything but the cost of the bill, and how Manchin and Sinema are obstructing its passage. Because of this, all the American people hear are $3.5 trillion and the Democrats are fighting. No one knows what is in the bill, and no one knows why Manchin and Sinema are resisting (as they say, follow the money).
Very few of us know how the two, and yes there are two, infrastructure bills will truly benefit the country. Nor do many of us know of how it will be paid for over its lifetime. Very few of us know that Manchin receives a great deal of money, or has some dealings, with large coal producing companies who give to his campaign. Very few of us know Sinema has met, and receives, money for her campaign from some very conservative organizations. That is a major problem!
On every network in every “red” state, the Democratic National Committee should have had ads running telling the story of the infrastructure bills. The ads should have real people, real neighbors—blue collar workers, laborers out of work, moms talking about childcare, students talking about student debt—in these ads, telling the story of their current lives and how the bills will help them, meaning it will help others like them. The ads should then encourage people to contact their elected officials to say they want these bills to pass.
There should also be boots on the ground in each of these states, at every grocery store, daycare center, welfare office, library, and anywhere else the 99% visit in their daily lives. The boots on the ground people should have postcards ready for these people to write a personal note on, then placed in the mail to their U.S. Senator to let their voices be heard.
The Democrats should also hire some of the best social media gurus they can find. Their mission would be to get these stories on Facebook, Instagram, Tik-Tok, YouTube, and any other place that will get the stories in front of faces. Each of these stories should have a hashtag, Twitter handle of elected officials, and webpages for viewers to go to and let their voices be heard.
We can’t move forward as a nation when elected officials forget who they truly serve. We can’t move forward as a nation when elected officials write off entire states because someone far removed from those states label them as a “red” state. We can’t move forward as a nation when our stories are silenced or ignored. We can’t move forward as a nation until you, the Democratic Party leadership and spokespeople, do better.
Democrats—elected, appointed, spokespeople, voters—need to fully engage! Time to get our collective heads out of the sand! Time to come together for the future! Time to take action!
Our time is now…let’s get to it and get ‘er done!