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What the Democrats need to Do

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Message Pete Rottier

Democrats need to start to stand for something, not just stand against someone. Most people know Trump is incompetent, thin-skinned and actively shredding the constitution. Despite this knowledge, 32-35% of the country agrees with his not so "straight-talk." How do you combat a president and party who have spent the whole last administration as proud obstructionists? One answer includes coming up with detailed plans on how to fix the Affordable Care Act (ACA), how to transition coal miners to coders and other high-paying jobs, and invest in infrastructure and clean energy. Clear solutions need to be the pillars of the Democrats' new slogan--Driving America Forward on the High Road. (Imagine a young democratic star such as Cory Brooker emerging from a Tesla Model 3 or a Chevy Volt plug-in hybrid, parked in front of a clean "energy farm" of wind mills and solar panels.)

I live in Arizona where Senator McCain, whom I greatly respect, is openly stating that "Obamacare is imploding." There are ads on TV and in other media titled "Victims of Obamacare." At first, I thought Democrats should run ads titled "Survivors BECAUSE of Obamacare," but then realized that this sort of negative back and forth leads to stalemates and the least productive Congresses in the history of the U.S. Instead of responding negatively democrats should acknowledge the shortcomings of the ACA. Some people, especially small business owners and states who were light on Medicaid to start with, were hurt or will be hurt by the ACA. Democrats need to piggy-back on these ads saying that they are correct, that 68-year-old "Bob Jones" shouldn't have his premiums rise 400% because more insurance companies stopped selling policies because of certain ACA mandates such as birth control and free mammograms. More than likely Bob won't need these mandates and there should be a way to fix the policy without destroying it. In fact, Democrats should stand in unison in Congress and declare that we don't need to repeal the ACA, but rather Democrats, Republicans and President Trump need to work together to fix the bill so small businesses don't have such a high burden and extend the federal Medicaid benefits until a sustainable solution can be found.

By addressing problems with clear, simple solutions, Democrats would relate more to the common person and win back some of the blue-collar folks who voted for Trump in 2016. Instead of his unsubstantiated claims that he could negotiate more US manufacturing jobs, the Democrats need to show where the real job growth lie--in renewable energy. Imagine turning water-intensive farms in the drought plagued Southwest into clean energy farms of sun-tracking solar panels and wind-mills, none of which use water, but still provide a commodity we all use--energy. Set a realistic goal to cut fossil fuel consumption and challenge the thinkers of this country to find ways to better harness renewable and clean energy sources. This need not be a movement painted green, but energy independence also helps national security. For example, America becoming oil and gas independent would cause oil prices to plummet, severely crippling Putin's attempt to rebuild his military. The time is now to get to work to lead progressives to retake the House and Senate.

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I have a PhD in Central Asian, Russian and Islamic History from the Univ. of Wisconsin. I enjoy political discussions and lean left.
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