It's branding, as 2016 demonstrated, that gets you elected. For all his idiocy, Trump could brand. The other Republicans had a branding problem, generally unremarkable slogans and personalities that weren't loud enough. As for the Democrats, Hillary Clinton’s pathetic mustering of “I'm With Her” was self-serving garbage. A hundred campaign reboots and they couldn't manage to get past the ego and her embarrassing sense of entitlement. Of course, there wasn't much to work with; the Obama Era left the Democrats with nothing to sell but the Obamacare tax, abortion on demand up until birth, and nuclear Iran. Instead of focusing on Americans, the Democrats veered off into foolish crusades no one else wanted to join. While the federal government decided it's priority was fighting for gender-neutral bathrooms, Americans were concerned about jobs, taxes, and of course the heavy weight of Obamacare. Those voices were ignored and dismissed, and on top of that, routinely mocked. The gloves came off for illegal immigrants, but the American was left to ask, “What about me?”
So there was no message for Americans. The inability to grasp any kind of core message was devastating. Things got so confusing that by the time the convention rolled around, the Democrats were trying to sell American Exceptionalism and even talked up the Constitution. They knew their own ideas were crap so they put up a cardboard front of American ideals. No one was buying: not even the Democrats. The charade wasn't working, and Trump was able to capitalize on the simple fact that Americans didn't feel like Americans anymore.
The traditional Democrat theater is predictable: The promises of going after greedy corporations and banks and fighting the good fight for the “little guy,” but we've seen the targets of the left. It's the bakers not making a cake. It's the guy selling cigarettes on the street without tax stamps on them. It's the nuns who want no part of birth control mandates or the Crisis Pregnancy Center who didn't want to promote abortion. It's the conservatives targeted by the IRS or the farmer getting fined by EPA for building a pond on his own land.
From the high-rises of Democratic cities, the liberal politician watches the poor neighborhoods languish in poverty and crime. Every few years he comes down, blames “the man,” and makes dramatic but stale promises of education and funding that will supposedly set their future generations free from the chains of poverty. Then he turns around and taxes them in the name of nutrition and squanders the money for education. Rinse and repeat for sixty years. “Sticking up for the little guy” is the greatest myth of the left, and people are starting to wise up.
Democrats have only demonstrated that they don't understand, much less sympathize, with the American worker. They don't understand America. They don't understand freedom, they don't understand the Constitution, and they don't understand that people largely want to be left alone. Rather than rectify these issues, they've decided that knowing average Americans isn't worth the trouble, and they never really liked them anyway.
The Democrats are only the party of the working man until the working man wants to keep his own money and make his own decisions. Just like the “party for the minorities” shuns any minority who does not join their ideology or the “party for gay rights” openly denies the legitimate voices of gay conservatives. The “party for women” has no place for pro-life women. Ad infinitum.
All of this is indicative that the left finds its own agenda so indefensible that its first inclination is always to shut down criticism. That's why pro-life women aren't welcome at the Women’s March and men are forbidden to speak about abortion. It's why a black conservative Senator gets called a sellout and a “token” and an ambassador to the United Nations gets mocked over her heritage. No one plays identity politics harder than leftists, and they play both sides. “You can't speak about (insert political issue) because you are (insert identity trait).” The left cannot see Americans as equal Americans because equal, free Americans might have an opinion contrary to their own.
At least now they aren't even pretending. Year one and the Democrats have descended into complete madness. Yes, good luck in 2018, convincing people that tax cuts are theft and that they need to arm themselves with do-it-yourself abortion kits. Rage against the private sector giving wage increases and bonuses. The most ridiculous president in recent history and the Democrats are so insane that they’ll get him re-elected. Obama's echo chamber even reunited, but with every criticism, they just end up implicating themselves in corruption. Their effort might have been more sustainable if “death” was the peak of the policy criticism and not the immediate go-to. Democrats don't even give the narrative a chance to breathe anymore. Now It's all hyperventilation, fainting, and seizures. A whiff of a policy they don’t like and it’s a ninety-second bullet train ride to “everyone's gonna die.” If the arguments against policy or legislation were legitimate, they wouldn't have to lie about them.
Even in the midst of their hysterical cries of a dictatorship and authoritarianism, you try to explain, “This is why we don't want government involved.” Rather than concede, they insist that government is the solution and things just have to be done the right way, as they see it. They delusionally ramble and wax poetic about the utopia of the Obama years and are adamant that problems never existed before 2017.
The disingenuous liberal recruitment of conservatives to fight Trump disintegrated when conservatives had to check their basic principles at the door. The left wasn't looking for allies, they were looking for allegiance. They can't help themselves, but it’s the obvious end product of community organizing. The moderates find this kind of generalizing unfair and unhelpful but it's a truth they need to accept, as cynical as it might be. Moderates trying to ally with the far left eventually get dragged or ostracized, and the sooner they recognize this the better.
In the meantime, conservatives are brawling with each other, name-calling and butting heads all day long. We don't even like each other. Then comes the left with their culture-policing echo chamber, identity politics, their disdain for everyday people, and an ideology hellbent on destroying the unborn. Hard pass. None of that feels American.
It is no wonder that the simple yet powerful brand of putting Americans first resonates with large swaths of the population, when the alternative is a morass of incoherent insanity that alienates and mocks the average American. For all his infantile blather, cringe-inducing rage tweets, and general asininity, Trump, against all odds, comes across as the lesser of two evils, or at least has convinced enough people to believe it. This is pretty depressing, but there is a powerful lesson to be learned here, and hopefully one day a rational, intelligent and principled leader will catch on.
Just a gaggle of people from all over who have similar interests and loud opinions mixed with a dose of humor. We met on Twitter.