As to why the Donald’s approach works, I believe it is tied to a couple of things. First and foremost, there are lots of understandably frustrated folks who not only feel they have been left behind but that the establishment doesn’t care. They, for the most part, don’t follow the issues in great depth. They don’t have the time given the pressures they are under. That greatly helps someone like Trump, with his tweeting approach to communication. He understands salesmanship and the value of entertaining an audience that is looking for something to again give them hope. They don’t know for sure if what he says will work, but for the moment, it certainly appeals to them more than the opponent who was written off automatically as a member of the establishment.
Bottom line for the minority party in Washington is that their slinging tweets and personal attacks will not work. Donald Trump is better at that, and if we continue to fight him on his turf, his home field advantage will only serve him, his message, and his agenda. I also hope that the Democrats will not miss opportunities to compromise and partner with the new President when it is in the best interest of the American people. Some of his comments, for example on health care, seem to indicate an opening. I certainly do not want them to repeat what the Republicans did when President Obama came into office: making it clear that their number one priority was seeing to it that he wouldn’t get re-elected. Well, he was re-elected. But, because of their approach, a lot of important and needed change was not accomplished, even in areas where the two parties may have been able to find common ground. That approach didn’t work for the Republicans, it won’t work now for Democrats, and it especially won’t work for the best interests of the country.
What we need Saturday from the marchers protesting in Washington D.C. and capitols around the country is a clear message that there will be strong, yet responsible, opposition to many of Trump’s ideas. There are alternative and better ideas in most cases, and the agenda certainly should include some of the concerns of those who voted for him. For example, the changing and increasingly more technology-driven economy puts real pressure on finding new ways to create opportunities for the many that currently are left out.
Repeating the old ways won’t work, in rhetoric or in practice. We need all hands on deck for this one, and that includes citizens staying informed, staying involved, and pushing for action.