Last year’s election cycle has changed American politics forever. The Democrats have taken a sharp turn left toward Democratic Socialism, while the Republicans became much more conservative. Though the presidential election has not single-handily done this, it has brought the separation of parties to light in the public eye.
Donald Trump’s presidential campaign was marred by his insults and repulsive language. But nevertheless, he was able to defeat Hilliary Clinton in the most divisive election in the history of the United States of America. Protests, rallies, and much more have seized the headlines in the aftermath of Trump becoming President. These types of grassroots organization are what will bring about real and effective change.
Now I am going to say something that I never thought I would say. We need to disregard Trump’s rhetoric as much as we can if we want to see a change in Congress and in policy. This may sound crazy, but I am being 100% serious.
When all the news focuses on his words, we are able to solidify our supporter base but unable to expand. The reason for this is that many people try to look beyond Trump’s words and only focus on his promises. These people do not understand the consequences of his promises, so we need to explain why and not just say that they will hurt us.
This way of thinking was on display in a Democratic debate between Bernie Sanders and Hilliary Clinton. Anderson Cooper was giving Clinton a hard time about her email scandal, when Sanders jumped in to say, “the American people are sick and tired about hearing about your damn emails,” and, “Enough of the emails – let’s talk about the real issues facing the American people.”
Bernie Sanders knows that the best way to sway people is to give reasons and talk about policy rather than negative campaigning. This is why he has never run a negative campaign ad because policy is much stronger than words.
Our slogan, “Policy not Politics,” represents our belief that we need to talk about policy and not the conventional status quo negative politics. This is the only way for effective change that will last.