The North Carolina Democratic Party is in the midst of a building season; organizing precincts, preparing for county conventions, settling in with a diverse new batch of state party leaders, etc. There are also several formal and informal groups putting their collective heads together to try to fashion new messages, reassess priorities, and check boxes we've previously ignored or only paid lip service to. There's a lot of brainstorming going on, and that's a good thing. But I think it's important we keep some things in perspective, and not allow ourselves to chase after people we really don't want to catch, because, as they say, you are what you eat. Follow me below the fold if you want to hear more, but leave the small children behind, because I'm taking the filter (what little there is) off for a few minutes:
First of all, let's talk about evidence. Evidence these voters that I'm supposed to reach to had before they made their decision. They had ample evidence that Donald Trump was either a racist himself or that he was willing to blow the racist dog-whistle loudly enough that it would actually endanger the lives, health, and security, of a major segment of our population. African Americans, Latinos, people of Middle Eastern descent, were all nothing but fodder for Trump's plan to win over as many white voters as he could. He appealed to the worst common denominator of his target market, the generational fear of brown-skinned others. In 21st Century America, this alone should have led to a landslide defeat of Donald Trump, but it didn't.
There was also ample evidence he regarded women as nothing more than sexual objects; to be criticized for their appearance, have their opinions reduced down to merely effects of their menstrual cycle, fondled, molested, economically prostituted, even young girls who were barely out of puberty. He wasn't a silent predator, that we might discover later on and wonder why nobody warned us. He bragged about it, flaunted his opinions on the record more than once. Even in the 1950's, these personal attributes would likely have cost him the election. And now, after decades of slow but sure advancement for women? He shouldn't have made it through the first two weeks of the Primary. But he did.
And there was ample evidence Donald Trump has a severe lack of ethics. We've *all* followed his business antics over the years, with puffed up plans for development that often ended up in bankruptcy, because he misled investors, cut costs that were critical to the structural integrity of his properties, or was simply running a scam from the outset. These things we've known for years, but we had no clue just how fond he was of telling untruths. It would be a conservative estimate that 75% of what he says is total bullshit, either not-so-cleverly crafted beforehand or simply made up on the spot. Hell, you don't even have to fact-check him to know he's lying to your face, because a lot of it is glaringly obvious as soon as the words leak out. If he was a snake-oil salesman back in the mid-19th Century, the dude would have been lynched before his first wagon wheel needed repairing. Again, our inability to trust a word he says should have killed his campaign in the early days. But it didn't.
There are countless other examples of his lack of qualifications for the office, but those main three are each equally detestable. And when put together as a whole, they underline the reasons I will never forgive, or forget, the Trump voters who put him in the White House.
And don't tell me they had "legitimate complaints" because they've been suffering economically. Those three things above cancel out whatever legitimacy they might have had. Even if they believed they might somehow benefit financially from a Trump administration, they were willing to sacrifice families of color to get that. They were willing to discard decades of struggles for women's rights to get that. And they were willing to put a reckless, untrustworthy man into the most powerful position in the free world to get that.
And you want me to reach out to somebody like that? Try to find out what I can do to "please" them? I don't give a fuck what they want, because they don't give a fuck about anybody but themselves. And they're willing to burn the whole goddamn world down so they can eat steak twice a week instead of once.
Here's the thing, folks: Younger voters are a hell of a lot more progressive than seventy-somethings, or even fifty-somethings. The Democratic Party has always been ahead of its time on social issues and policy approaches, and we cannot roll that clock back. We are the future, so we should act like it. When we go into rural areas (and we really need to), we need to carry that vision of the future with us, not a snapshot from the past.