As a political independent, I get to be critical of both Democrats and Republicans.
This week, it’s time for a message to Democrats.
First, please stop acting like idiots.
Not to offend my Democratic friends, but the Democratic Party is perhaps the most inept conglomeration of politicians I’ve ever seen.
Democrats lost the presidential election against a flaky-reality-show-host-who-pretended-to-be-a-Republican.
Democrats couldn’t even beat Donald Trump.
Let that sink in.
Democrats, you need to step back and take a deep breath.
I understand you want to stand up as the loyal opposition to Trump. He is, after all, the most inexperienced man to ever hold the Oval Office. He’s surrounded himself with extremist nuts who think we’re about to face a Muslim Armageddon.
And don’t get me started on his so-called spokesmen.
“Alternative facts,” anyone?
Still, Democrats are idiots to think they can push against Trumpism with a head-on assault.
Women wearing pink hats and marching in the streets won’t do it.
Sen. Elizabeth Warran’s ranting won’t do it.
Protesting on college campuses won’t do it.
Hyping opposition to all of Trump’s cabinet nominees won’t do it.
All of that is just giving Trumpites more fuel.
Here’s an idea for Democrats: Try reconnecting with Middle America. Try to understand why you lost the rural vote, especially among working-class white voters.
As a part of that, do some soul-searching about the memes you embrace.
Your liberal followers have turned many college campuses into jokes. Safe spaces and speech control have become the bywords of snotty liberal kids who don’t want to hear anything they disagree with. Those kids — and they are know-nothing kids — are as bad as the “deplorable” Trump followers you disdain.
Tell your young liberal followers on college campuses to buck up. Hell, they are a bunch of snowflakes as Trumpites say. Tell them to get a grip.
And don’t be blind to the very real concerns many Americans have about the technology revolution that is leaving some of them behind. These changes are happening fast, much faster than most of us can really grasp. Automation is replacing people — good jobs have become more demanding.
Not everyone can adapt to these changes. Some people are getting left behind. As a society, we need to help those who are getting lost in this new, high-tech economy.
Democrats should also see just how scared many Americans have become beyond economics. People are scared for their security and the security of the nation. Trump captured that fear, stoked it, hyped it and built his successful campaign on the backs of that fear.
Democrats need to calm that fear. They need to become a voice of reason, of truth, of facts in a world being flooded with propaganda.
You won’t change everyone’s mind, but a sense of calmness will serve you better than hysterical ranting.
In short, Democrats, you need to move back to middle America from whence you came. You moved too far to the left and in doing so, lost your connection with those you used to represent.
And Democrats, you should try one more thing: Silence.
Just shut up for a while.
Don’t feed the flames of hatred and extreme polarization by pushing back on every Trump tweet.
Your push-back is often just as nutty as his tweets. Don’t prove Trumpites right for being “liberturds.”
Don’t act like the “Demorats” they say you are.
Trump will eventually crumble under the weight of his own incompetence. The cracks are already showing up.
He rode to office on a wave of hysteria and he will fall when the hysteria subsides and reason returns.
The currents of time will erode his credibility.
Just give him the rope and he’ll hang himself, no protesting pink p&%$y hats will be necessary.
Meanwhile, Democrats, follow some of your own advice and build bridges rather than walls.
Build bridges with moderate Republicans and independents who will eventually turn on Trump as he implodes. Build bridges with Middle America who fear for their jobs.
Build bridges with voters who fear Islamic terrorism.
Build bridges with the business community that fears a devastating trade war.
Build bridges with law enforcement; you’ve lost their trust.
You will need all of those people to help the nation recover when it moves away from the ugliness of Trumpism and back to real Americanism.
Trumpism and its perverse view of America as a wasteland of carnage will fail.
Trumpism’s embrace of White Nationalism will fail.
Trumpism’s embrace of social and economic Isolationism will fail. Trumpism is not Republicanism.
Trumpism is not conservativism.
Trumpism is a cult of personality. It’s centered around a narcissistic billionaire who mostly talks about himself and who is obsessed with his media image.
Trump stepped into a political void — a void partly created by failed Democratic policies — and filled it with a larger-than-life personality. He won over voters who thought, “what the hell do we have to lose.”
That’s in large part YOUR fault, Democrats. YOU failed to stay grounded. YOU became a part of left-wing elites. YOU put forth a weak candidate who was worse than Trump in the minds of many voters. YOU lost and now should stay quiet until you fix your own leaking ship. The flame of Trumpism will eventually fade because it’s being fueled by our worst instincts rather than our best.
It is being fueled by fear rather than courage. It is being fueled by ignorance rather than enlightenment.
It is being fueled by lies rather than facts.
It will collapse.
The question, Democrats, is this: Will you stay stuck in your own narrow mindset, your own failed liberal-wonk world? Or will you return to the political center and stand ready to help heal the nation after Trumpism’s cult of personality gets tossed into the dustbin of history?
Mike Buffington is co-publisher of Mainstreet Newspapers. He can be reached at email@example.com.