Michael Moore in his comments to Bill Maher at the Republican National Convention makes a strong point. Complacency by Democrats and independents who think Trump has no chance of winning and then not voting could tip the election to Trump.
Voter turnout has been going down in our elections as voters disengage. Progressives will contribute to this problem by not voting for Hillary and continuing to dwell on her negatively rather than looking at her pluses compared to Trump.
There is no way progressives win with a Trump victory. Progressives can put pressure on Hillary and Democrats in Congress if we take back the Senate and the House. Nothing will happen positively with a Trump win and Republicans holding both houses of Congress.
Some of us have lived through numerous Republican Administrations and seen the power of the presidency. And as President Obama has shown the President does have the power to affect a lot of things despite not controlling Congress. including Supreme Court nominations and who gets appointed to run the Government and executive orders. But a President Trump combined with a Republican House and Senate would be a wipeout for Democratic programs and American society in general, reversing decades of progressive action.
We win by being involved, not by sitting on the sidelines and complaining or disengaging. Turnout for Protest votes like Brexit have consequences. Who turns out to vote can have tremendous impacts. Younger voters were expected to vote “remain” but voted in lower numbers than older voters.
The same impact of low voter turnout by particular groups supporting Democrats happened in the US in the 2014 Senate and Governor’s race resulting in the US Senate being taken over by the Republicans. As Sam Wang noted in his post in the American Prospect entitled “One reason the Democrats Lost So Big in Midterms:Exceptionally Low Voter Turnout”:
A larger question is why voter turnout hit a new post-World War II low. Compared with 2012, the number of votes cast dropped by about 42 percent. Democrats lacked a coherent message, de-emphasized their own policies in immigration and health care, and sidelined their highest-profile messenger, Barack Obama. Instead, issues such as Ebola and ISIS dominated the news. Relative media inattention to the election may have depressed turnout more than usual. These and other factors affecting turnout are inherently difficult for pollsters to anticipate. In 2014, the Midterm Curse, which this year afflicted both pollsters and Democrats, was in all likelihood caused by exceptional voter apathy.
Lower voter turnout by Democrats this year could help Trump become President despite lagging in the polls. Some of the reasons for lower democratic voter turnout could include:
- Lack of a strong motivating message by Democrats that Hillary will move forward strongly on addressing issues like income inequality, increasing job creation, opposing bad trade agreements, funding educational opportunities and expanding health care for all.
- Progressives sit on the sidelines upset because Bernie Sanders was not nominated.
- Progressives vote for a third party candidate like Jill Stein.
- Democrats think there is no way someone like Trump can be elected and don’t bother to vote.
- Young voters who supported Bernie Sanders become disenchanted and don’t vote.
- Voter suppression efforts prevent enough Democratic voters from voting in key states
- Progressives and others believe FOX News, Roger Ailes and other right wing media that Hillary is “evil” and don’t vote.
- Progressives and others help spread the right wing message that Hillary is “evil” and cause others to not vote.
- Conservatives continue to believe Trump represents the middle class rather than the 1% he really represents.
There can be other reasons also but the real challenge is convincing Democrats and independents that this election is a change election and that Hillary is the change agent. Put the blame for income inequality on Republican tax policy. Lowering taxes on the wealthy as Trump proposes will only make things worse.
Not raising the minimum wage means that more people may have jobs but can’t afford basic things like food and housing in the current economy. Trump and Pence oppose raising the minimum wage. Hillary has proposed significantly raising the minimum wage to $15/hr.
Trump and the Republicans oppose acting on climate change and support continued mining of coal for producing energy. Hillary proposes shifting to green jobs and renewable energy.
Hillary has proposed overturning Citizens United with a Constitutional Amendment to help get Big Money Out of Elections while Trump has been silent on this and Republicans oppose any changes.
These and other issues point to a clear difference in the direction the country would move under their Presidency. Hillary’s positions represent a significant change from the direction Trump wants to go and that Republicans have so far prevented us from going. Elect Hillary and boot the Republicans out of Congress and the people of America can really move forward to a better American future for all, not just the 1%. That is real change!