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One thing Democrats need to do in the 2020 presidential election is to dramatically change the image they have projected to the American people; an image that portrays them as always being on the defensive, constantly reacting to attacks by Republicans, who seem to know exactly how to keep them off balance, off message.
That kind of reactionary behavior has to stop and stop right now. Democrats took over the House in the last national elections and now have the momentum to gain more control of the government, adding both the Senate and the White House in 2020. So to make that happen they need to take the initiative and refuse to take the Republican bait to engage in petty backbiting.
Americans are sick and tired of watching and listening to continual battles between the two political parties that results in nothing of substance getting done by this Congress. Message to Democrats: don't waste time criticizing Trump and saying how bad he is; the majority of Americans know how far less than presidential he is.
Identify all the important issues and associated problems that Republicans continue to refuse to address and then show how you would do things entirely different ly.
Democrats should exhibit what I would refer to as "controlled" anger, making it clear they are just as angry with what is going on in this country as the people; about how this Congress has not, in the past, done what it should have. Democrats must show that they are determined to change things for the better in order to regain the trust and confidence of the people.
Here's an example of that kind of controlled anger. Former VP Joe Biden, who will soon decide if he will become a candidate for the presidency, during a recent speech to a national firefighters' association, showed this kind of controlled anger at the cutbacks that are planned to be made to the funding that was appropriated for 911 responders. He sincerely looked very troubled and, said this was a national disgrace, and vowed that he would get this situation straightened out if he became president.
Now, what should Democrats really concentrate on, removing Trump by impeachment or, rather, speaking to the key issues facing America and how to deal with them? Of course, they must do both. The House committees on Oversight, Intelligence, and Judiciary should continue to concentrate sizable efforts on appropriate investigations of Trump and those in his administration that may have violated laws.
The larger body of House and Senate Democrats should use a majority of their time in working on the many problems facing this country and presenting specific ways to solve them, thereby showing the American people that they are just what this country needs during these times of massive partisanship and divisiveness.
For every key issue each Democratic candidate must clearly identify its root causes and then provide positive, concrete solutions . It's not good enough to simply say that you are for health care for all or attacking the problem of the massive inequity of income between the top 1% and the rest of Americans. That's not good enough, Americans want specific , viable plans to solve these problems. Candidates, in their presentations, must c hoose and concentrate on no more than 4 or 5 key issues that are of the greatest concern to Americans.
To a certain extent, while not lapsing into their well known reactionary mode, Democrat candidates must respond to some of the vicious Republican attacks that cannot go unanswered such as:
Republicans attack Democrats as being Socialists. Of course that is an empty accusation but it must be answered. The candidates under attack need to inform Americans that there is nothing wrong with socialism itself. There are numerous definitions of socialism but the one I would advise Democrats to use in discussing this matter is "a system in which there are social functions and programs administered by the government rather than the private sector."
And guess what? America already has a host of these critically important government-administered functions already in place. We may not know it or we may refuse to accept the fact that America is currently a socialistic/capitalistic country which has in place government-administered functions such as Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, the US. military, and many others that are run by state and local governments such as teachers, police, and firefighters.
There are social democratic governments in Europe proper and Scandinavia in which government socialistic functions and capitalistic economic policies work well together. For example, Germany has many socialistic government functions and also has one of the world's strongest manufacturing sector.
Republicans say that Medicare for all or some other universal health care systems are far too costly.. Democrats must counter that by pointing out that this is an incorrect assumption. They need to show how the per capita costs of the US healthcare system are 2 to 2-1/2 times more than those of the majority of the other 31 developed nations that have some form of universal health care; and that if the US adopted the same kind of health care our overall costs would be dramatically reduced over time.