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Democrats Need Their Own MAGA

by Kevin Kelton

As we head into the 2018 midterm elections, it’s astounding that the national Democratic Party still has yet to formulated a coherent message to voters. While President Trump and the GOP rally around simple, bumper sticker messages like MAGA, Build The Wall, and Drain The Swamp, the Democratic party cannot form a coherent message that can appeal to both liberal voters on the coasts and midwest working-class voters. This was a critical failing of the 2016 Clinton campaign, and it will be just as damaging to Democrats going forward if the party doesn’t speak to the voters it needs to win.

Here’s a proposal for a simple, clear four plank Democratic platform to retake congress and the White House. I call it The Campaign for American Justice:

1) Healthcare justice — expanded, reasonably priced healthcare using a mixed economy approach with the goal of quality healthcare for all.

2) Economic justice — tax incentives and economic incentives to get private employers to raise wages and decrease the wealth gap; make higher education more accessible and affordable to all.

3) Social justice — working with courts and local authorities to promote racial justice and reduce violence. This includes smart gun laws and better police training to reduce accidental deaths.

4) Political justice — reducing the power of money in politics and increasing voter participation.

The overriding theme of justice was chosen because it appeals to Americans across ideologies and demographics. Instead of promoting specific programs like “medicare for all” or “guaranteed jobs” (both toxic ideas to free market conservatives), the focus should be on the goal of finding a range of bipartisan solutions to promote justice in healthcare, the wealth gap, racial and social issues, and politics.

Rather than insisting on one pre-measured legislative cure like single payer health insurance, Democrats would be better off to identify the problems we face as a nation and offer a variety of proposals to solve them. “Drain the Swamp” isn’t a policy, it’s a goal. So is “Make America Great Again.” Even the seemingly specific “Build a Wall” is a euphemism for the goals of a stronger border, cultural hegemony, and economic security.

People want to vote for ideas that reinforce the good in America. They don’t need a position paper on each issue with cost breakdowns and detailed legislative language. Tell them what you stand for, and give them a reason to stand for it, too.

And without saying it explicitly, a campaign for “American justice” suggests a counter-balance to the corruption and lack of candor that is the hallmark of the Trump White House. A subliminal message that Democrats will stand for a better America, a fairer America, a just America.

Whether it be the Campaign for American Justice or another theme, Democrats need to start branding their party now so voters fed up with Trumpism have something to vote for in November.

 

Kevin Kelton is a cohost of The More Perfect Union podcast and founder of Open Fire Politics on Facebook.

Roseanne & Donald: Life Irritates Art (Ep. 147)

This week’s MPU podcast looks at Roseanne Barr’s love affair with Donald Trump,  the differences between what liberals and conservatives watch on TV, Laura Ingraham’s cheap shot a Parkland shooting survivor, and what a remake of Red Dawn might look like.

The Fault Lies In Ourselves

by Kevin Kelton

While we watch the slow, painful destruction of our political system, we should take a moment to reflect that we did this to ourselves. Every one of us. We bought into the politics of hate. We bought into the politics of cults. We devoured negative ads and delighted in dirty, underhanded campaigns. (This goes for the liberals as well.) We believed the worst in our candidates and pilloried them for being human. We gave ratings to hate. We rewarded crassness and punished civility.

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God In Politics

On this special episode of the “A More Perfect Union” podcast, Greg interviews Lutheran Pastor Lorne Hlad, co-host of the religious podcast, “To Hell With The Hotdish” (http://tohellwiththehotdish.com) about the role of religion in the 2016 presidential campaign.   

Afterward, the gang discusses how religion has become a hot issue in the finals weeks of the presidential race.

Like what you heard? Subscribe on iTunes and don’t miss a podcast! And please don’t forget to Rate and Review us on iTunes.

And if you like talking politics, join us on Facebook in OPEN FIRE, our political group where you can discuss news and politics with Kevin, D.J., Greg, Emily, Cliff, and lots of other smart, fun people.

Rigged Election?

On this week’s “A More Perfect Union” podcast, the gang looks at what it takes to rig an election, claims of media bias, Trump’s “first hundred days” speech, and song titles that sum up this year’s election.

Like what you heard? Subscribe on iTunes and don’t miss a podcast! And please don’t forget to Rate and Review us on iTunes.

If you like talking politics, join us on Facebook in OPEN FIRE, our political group where you can discuss news and politics with Kevin, D.J., Emily, Greg, Cliff, and lots of other smart, fun people.

Trump Goes Nuclear

In this episode of the “More Perfect Union” podcast, co-hosts Kevin Kelton, D.J. McGuire and Greg Matusak analyze the second presidential debate between Donald Trump and Hilary Clinton, and the guys respond to Trump’s claim that controversial Billy Bush audio clip was nothing but “locker room banter.”

Like what you heard? Subscribe on iTunes and don’t miss a podcast! And please don’t forget to Rate and Review us on iTunes.

If you like talking politics, join us on Facebook in OPEN FIRE, our political group where you can discuss news and politics with Kevin, D.J., Emily, Greg, Cliff, and lots of other smart, fun people.

Trump’s Taco Trucks

 

Segments:
Taco Truck Tuesday for the Trump campaign

Gary Johnson’s big endorsement

Great debate flops (including Ronald Reagan)

Who’d gain most if Johnson is in the debates?

Jill Stein’s city mixup

Why John Kasich is a donkey butt (of sorts)

Send us your questions!

Check out this episode

If you like talking politics, join us on Facebook in OPEN FIRE, our political group where you can discuss news and politics with Kevin, D.J., Emily, Greg, Cliff, and lots of other smart, fun people.

An Undecided Voter Decides

This is episode 49 of the “A More Perfect Union” podcast series featuring Cliff Dunn, Kevin Kelton, Emily Brewer, Greg Matusak, and D. J. McGuire. This week, the hosts talk about Trump’s one-eighty on immigration, Clinton’s surprising new endorser, and one of the gang makes a  shocking revelation about who is getting that person’s vote.

Segments:

  • Trump resets (again) on immigration
  • Hillary picks up a surprising endorsement of sorts
  • D.J.’s ode to the architect of the Iraq War
  • Emily’s shocking announcement !
  • How do friends make sense of their friends’ vote for Trump?
WANT TO BE A PART OF OUR DEBATE? JOIN OPEN FIRE, THE SMARTEST, COOLEST POLITICAL DISCUSSION GROUP ON FACEBOOK!

 

The Trump Shake-up

Segments:

  • The Trump reset (“Regrets,” he’s had a few, but then again, too many to mention)
  • Trolling for black voters
  • How clean is The Clinton Foundation?
  • Will lefties lift Jill
  • My Blue Senate

 

Bye-Bye, Debbie Downer

Segments:

Republican Convention post-mortem

Trump’s speech

Citizen (Tim) Kaine

Debbie Downer gets dumped

Democratic Convention preview

 

The Problem Isn’t Our Candidates

by Kevin Kelton

I keep hearing the same forlorn complaint: “Why do we have such bad candidates this year? Why must we choose between the lesser of two evils?” But the truth is, our 2016 presidential candidates are not any worse than ever before.

Donald Trump, for all his personal peccadillos, is no worse on policy than Mitt Romney, who also promised anti-choice judges and a repeal of Obamacare, wanted to press immigrants to self-deport, and proposed tax cuts just as massive and just as onerous as Trump’s. And they are both just as recklessly hawkish and just as wealth-gap enabling as John McCain or George W. Bush. Take out Trump’s antipathy for trade deals (one of his few plusses), and you could line up all their policy positions in a spreadsheet and not be able to tell who belongs to which column.

Hillary Clinton, for all the GOP-inspired caricature myths about her trustworthiness and cozy relationship with Wall St., is very much in line politically and temperamentally with previous nominees Barack Obama, John Kerry, Al Gore, and Michael Dukakis. Read More

Couples Counseling for a Hill-Man and a Berner Babe

by Kevin Kelton

Romantic couples sometimes need the help of an objective outsider to break bad interpersonal habits and patch up hard feelings, and Facebook friends are no different. As a Facebook group moderator and Psych minor (and former dorm R.A.), I’m often called on to mediate conflicts among couples who are struggling politically. Here is one Private Message counseling session I had recently with a Bernie Smathers supporter and a Hillary Clayton voter. (NOTE: Names have been changed for privacy.)

Moderator: Good morning. You two seem unusually distant today. What gives?

Kathy: Him! Or more accurately, he doesn’t give. He is the least giving person I know. Ever since his Queen Hillary was crowned the nominee by the corporate media, he’s been gloating all over our news feeds.

Rick: I’m not gloating. I’m celebrating. My candidate won, and I’m happy. Why can’t you just accept that and be happy for me? Read More