If I Were A Democratic Strategist

 Long-term visions should not be achieved through short-term vitriol. In the run up to the general election, all Democratic candidates should spend their energies drawing distinctions against Republicans, instead of each other.

I would point out that we, as the Democratic party, have collectively decided to refuse super-PAC money, so why haven’t the Republicans gotten on board? Don’t you, as a Republican, agree that money influences politicians? Don’t you as a Republican agree that the rich have an outsized voice in politics because their money grants them direct access to the subject of their donations? Isn’t at least part of your support for Donald Trump that he doesn’t need money from others, and is thus kept removed from undue influence? Demand that Donald Trump’s second run is self-funded like his first (or that he only accepts individual contributions), so that he may maintain ideological purity!

I would ask why they, as Republicans, are okay paying for government wars they don’t want, but not okay with government that would pay for services they do. I would ask why they want healthcare, but only if they have to pay for it. Because they still want healthcare. No one is advocating for no health care. The only debate is, who should pay for healthcare? You through the private market or you through your taxes. Do you realize that you end up paying anyway? So why not pay less because everyone is contributing? That’s universal healthcare!

I would ask why they, as Republicans, support the mistreatment of the great majority of Americans, in the form of its workers? I would ask them why they, as Republicans, should tolerate corporate tax cuts and tax benefits, ballooning corporate pay, and tax avoidance all the while their pay barely increased, if at all? I would ask them why the wealthy, through their money that’s wielded as influence and power, should be afforded special privileges that workers could never receive, because they couldn’t afford it. Why would they, as Republicans, support that? That’s worker unions, protections, and pay increases! We’re mandating decency—nothing more!

I would ask why they, as Republicans, should accept someone’s questionable behavior when they haven’t had to before? I would ask them why they, as Republicans, shouldn’t want the qualities of this leader in a more respectable package? I would ask them why they want to be so viciously and negatively caricatured because of whom they’ve been forced to associate with? I would ask them why they should feel the need to compromise their support and justify their apologies, when they could just choose a better leader?

I would ask them why the word “choice” gets translated into “mandated” in their minds? Pro-choice means having the ability to do, but not the obligation. Pro-choice means making the informed decision, not the directed one. Pro-choice means educating our youth about their bodies, not leaving them in ignorance. Pro-choice means protection from, rather than protection to, unwanted pregnancy. Pro-choice means desiring to bring a joyful life as free from struggle as possible, not one instantly born to it. Pro-choice is not murder, but life—when one is ready to give it.

I would ask them why they, as Republicans, should accept dirtier air and water, when it was possible to clean both? I would ask them why paying for purifiers and filters is acceptable, but not marginal taxes that improve the air for everyone? I would ask them why they should want to poison themselves through contaminated water, not because they desired to be poisoned, but because they were unknowingly so. I would ask them why it’s okay that a company which is directly responsible for the deaths of real human beings should not be instantly shut down. I would ask them why they think those protections are necessary—and worse: fair.

I would ask them why, as Republicans, their minds translate a military reduction into military ineptitude. I would ask them why, after looking at the disparity in military vehicles between us and the next country, another warship is necessary, though the next powerful country doesn’t intend to build another one soon. I would ask them why the biggest military is better than the efficient one. I would ask them why it’s better to be strong and feared, than strong and admired. I would ask them why they would forgo the opportunity, through their ability and through their means, to become the leader of the free world.

I would ask them why, if in the face of these things that one agreed with, one would not vote for them because of the name of the side that it came from. I would ask them why blind allegiance is a respectable trait. I would ask them why America should ever be thought of as a laughingstock, for curses it brought onto itself. I would ask them why America wouldn’t want to achieve the best education, the best healthcare, the best environment; the most peaceful; the most generous; the most envied population, when it had more than the means and the ability to do so.

I would ask them why they, as Republicans, wouldn’t want any of that.

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