In only a few days we'll finally know which of our nation's two candidates has won the presidency. No secret that I'm rooting for you, and that I have no earthly use for Donald Trump, but I'm begging you to stop talking about him. Right now.
We know what he is. We know how you feel about him. He's vile, he's an opportunist, he's so far from being a logical choice for a viable candidate we can't stop thinking, you and I and everyone in our camp, about how impossible, how improbable his rise to being this close to the presidency really is. We're shocked. Okay, we're shocked. But there it is, and the next million words about it and a million words after that won't change a thing.
Stop obsessing over him. Forget about him altogether. You need to spend the rest of your valuable time convincing voters you feel their pain and, what's more, you've got pretty good ideas about how to heal.
We want to know exactly what you plan to do about trade, joblessness, poverty, health care, education, infrastructure, the military, the environment and everything else that impacts our daily lives. We need to feel comfortable with handing you the keys to the highest office in the land, and it's obvious a whole lot of us are not there yet.
We are a country so afraid, so on edge, so wary of our future, we've allowed a hate-filled, utterly ill-equipped demagogue to take over and build a ridiculously flawed case for his leadership. The crowds his hateful taunting has been drawing for many long months should have sent shock-waves all over every single campaign throughout the land, both Democrat and Republican. He's pushing buttons you all can't seem to dismantle and it's working for him.
I don't mean to pile on you. Lord knows you get that enough of that, but if you want to get those young people, those undecideds to vote for you, you'll have to give them reason to believe in you. Right now, less than a week before the election, they still don't. They're beginning to think your repetitive attacks on Trump are a way of sidestepping the real issues. That can't be good.
Do I need to bring up Bernie Sanders? Do I need to remind you that he built a huge following by addressing real-world issues wholly abandoned by the Republicans and seemingly abandoned by our party, the Democrats? While I've always been your loyal supporter, I can't help but love Bernie's message. Who wouldn't? It was, in a nutshell, "I care more about the have-nots than about the haves." The undecideds need to believe that's your message, too. Bernie is now working to get you elected, but you'll remember that he was able to climb half way up the mountain by making his followers believe you weren't with them. It's your job to make them believe otherwise.
Let's remember, too, that Donald Trump rose to astonishing prominence by demagoguing his followers into believing he was the only one who could ease them out of their misery--an existence forced on them by a corrupt, uncaring government of, by, and for the establishment. (Not unlike Bernie's populist message, it should be noted.)
So let's pretend Donald Trump is out of the picture. Let's pretend your opponent is someone who knows something about politics He or she is a Republican, a member of the same party that set out to ruin Barack Obama's--and the nation's--chances at any kind of social or economic success, simply because they couldn't stand the thought of watching our first black president get credit for a win. These are the people working to take us down, and they'll go on working at it until we pull the rug out from under them.
Your-opponent-who-is-not-Trump understands government and policy as well as you do, and can go head-to-head over what our future will look like under either regime. They know a little something about demagoguing themselves. You need to get your game on. You need to push the Democratic platform, which, as you know, is stronger on equity, equality, and opportunity for all. You need to ask favors of every blue collar leader you know and get them to push our agenda--the one where we win and the other side loses and the country is the better for it. You need to energize our young voters by giving them a reason to dream.
We are a country of hard workers. We need good paying jobs, we need good benefits, we need good retirement packages. We need good, low-cost health care, we need education packages that build learning and literacy. We need to get back to building a solid middle class. We need more of what we used to have.
We can only get those things if you and the Dems win. If you want those things, too, then tell us. For God's sake, tell us! The script is there; we've written it before. Now go out there and deliver it. You only have a few more days. You're wasting your time on Trump. Leave him in the gutter. The country and its citizens are far more important.
(Cross-posted at Ramona's Voices)