What Democrats Must Do to Win in November
Local & National News | July 10, 2024
Unmistakably, the First Presidential debate left much to be desired for the Biden-Harris re-election campaign...

Written by: Richard Massey

Despite Former President Trump’s blatantly false statements around the magnitude of the Jan. 6th insurrection, his environmental record, “late-term abortions”, migrant violence, etc, the broader political media ecosystem has geared its attention towards President Biden’s lackluster debate performance. The New York Times, arguably the nation’s most notable publication, released an editorial calling for Biden to drop out. This is despite the fact that Trump spewed dangerous rhetoric throughout nearly the entire debate, including a reference to an alleged conversation held with Russian President Vladimir Putin who Trump claims expressed that it was his “dream” to invade Ukraine. Trump also refused to reprimand the actions of Jan. 6th insurrections, and meandered around the question of whether he’ll accept the results of the election. With internal dialogue around potentially swapping Biden for another nominee, the Democratic Party has descended into a frenzy. Notoriously panicky, Democrats have a track record of underestimating themselves. However, it’s more important than ever before during this election season to buckle down and strategize. Here’s what Democrats should do to build momentum heading into November:


1. Elevate Democracy

Democracy continues to remain a premier issue among voters across the political spectrum. Republicans have continued to dismiss the January 6th insurrection as nothing more than a guided tour, while voters continue to oppose the idea of pardoning insurrectionists embraced by Trump and his allies. A YouGov survey fielded across 43 battleground congressional districts found that “57 percent of Republicans, 97 percent of Democrats, and 71 percent of Independents oppose pardons for those who assaulted law enforcement; and 59 percent of Republicans, 97 percent of Democrats, and 71 percent of Independents oppose pardons for those who used a deadly or dangerous weapon”. During Thursday’s debate, Trump downplayed the insurrection as a “small number of people that went to the Capitol and in many cases were ushered in by the police”, a stark contrast from the well-documented events that actually transpired. Trump’s fake elector scheme has also come front and center, as his efforts to orchestrate a nationwide syndicate of illegitimate electors to undermine American voters and subvert the outcome of the 2020 election has resulted in multiple Trump allies being hit with charges connected to the plot. This is a winning issue for Democrats, and the urgency around the issue is capable of captivating both moderate Republicans and swing voters alike.

2. Highlight SCOTUS Selections

Yesterday, the SCOTUS conservative majority, half of which were appointed by Trump, ruled that Presidents are reserved immunity from prosecution for official acts. This decision is a major blow to democracy, as an American president has formally been handed down unprecedented power, declaring a President immune from criminal prosecution. This SCOTUS bench has more appointees selected by Trump than any other President (Gorsuch, Kavanaugh, and Barrett). It’s a SCOTUS that has been rife with internal corruption and blatant conflicts of interest. Justice Thomas, namely, has failed to disclose multiple lavish gifts ranging from direct tuition payments for his grandnephew, the purchase of his mother’s Georgia home, private jet flights, yacht vacations, and resorts from GOP mega donor and benefactor Harlan Crow according to a ProPublica report. Justice Alito failed to disclose private jet flights and exclusive fishing trips from billionaire Paul Singer who has brought at least 10 cases among the Supreme Court on behalf of his hedge fund. Alito has also been subject to scrutiny over his resistance to recuse himself from the Trump v. United States case around immunity after a photo circulated of an upside down American flag (a symbol embraced by J6 insurrectionists and election deniers) at his home days before President Biden’s Inauguration. The Biden team must hammer down messaging around the stakes of looming SCOTUS nominations, as Thomas (76), Alito (74), Sotomayor (70), and Kagan (64) could all be potentially retiring in the foreseeable future. We’ve seen a 6-3 conservative majority unwind decades of precedent, from Roe v. Wade, to Affirmative Action, to the Chevron Deference. We’ve seen a 6-3 conservative majority hand down rulings to gut essential environmental regulations such as the EPA’s “good neighbor” plan that limits power plant emissions that drift across state lines, as well as delegitimize the nation’s gun violence crisis by rescinding a ban on bump stocks and the literal criminalization of homelessness. Imagine if Trump is granted four more nominations, and the court is oversaw by an 8-1 conservative majority. These decisions have had immediate implications for Americans across the nation, and there is no understating how critical it is to alert Americans about what’s on the line. Biden must center this argument amidst these rulings.

3. Turn the Tables on Immigration

Democrats have largely been on defense around the issue of immigration for nearly a decade. They’ve played damage control on the national political stage, and have largely failed to counter erroneous Republican talking points rooted in xenophobia and fear-mongering. Immigration is an increasingly complex issue, as the global migrant crisis has continued to intensify due to violence, climate change, economic collapse, etc. Our immigration system is overwhelmed by the influx of migrants at the Southern border and an inadequate number of border agents, asylum officers, and immigration judges to successfully process cases. Republicans have dominated on the issue, confining practically any and all dialogue around immigration to conversations around border security only. Biden should prioritize going on the offensive against MAGA and Trump, especially amidst the failure of a bipartisan border security bill that Trump encouraged his allies to vote against. Biden should mention that Republicans aren’t genuinely serious about correcting the structural issues that exist within our immigration system, they care about narratives. Otherwise, they would’ve overwhelmingly supported a bill that would’ve substantially increased the number of border officials and personnel. Democrats are the party of DACA, and other pivotal reforms that worked to safeguard undocumented communities and create simpler pathways to citizenship. Recently, the Biden Administration signed an Executive Order to place undocumented spouses who’ve lived in the U.S. for at least 10 years on an easier path to permanent residency. The Biden team has an opportunity to not only rebuke the moral and humanitarian failures of Trump’s Title 42 and family separation policies, but also a chance to expand the horizons of the conversation. To address Republican hesitancy to even consider systematic immigration reform, as well as bipartisan work on border security measures. Congressman Tom Suozzi went on the offensive in his special election campaign in New York’s 3rd Congressional District, and brandished Republicans as ineffective on the issue following the killing of the bipartisan border security bill. This proved to be a solid blueprint, as Suozzi bested his Republican challenger Mazi Pilip 54% to 46%. The issue of immigration continues to be among the most important issues to voters heading into the election, and Biden must relay to voters that Republicans are playing politics as opposed to delivering results.

4. Target Trump’s Failures

The Biden campaign should stay on course with targeted advertisements around Trump’s several failures both as president and a post-president. Given how fast paced our media ecosystem is, the Biden campaign must constantly reiterate the number of historic failures beneath the Trump Administration, from a lackluster jobs record to his botched COVID response to unrest around race relations. Many Americans have memory-holed the fact that Trump rejected the American medical community and pushed unsubstantiated COVID remedies. Many Americans have also forgotten about Trump violently dispersing a peaceful protest in Washington by deploying the National Guard following the murder of George Floyd, just for a photo op with a Bible. Trump also enacted the single largest tax cut for the wealthiest Americans and corporations in American history, ballooning the national debt and worsening income inequality. To afford this massive tax cut, Trump proposed deep cuts to both Social Security and Medicare every single year that he was in office. These are reminders of how Trump divided the nation, and undermined working class Americans throughout his administration. Biden could also lean into even more messaging around Trump’s unraveling of reproductive rights, as his SCOTUS picks stripped the right to a safe and legal abortion from millions of American women. The Dobbs decision has emboldened Republicans across the country to target IVF and contraception. Biden should also highlight Trump’s post presidency failures, from his civil cases to his felony convictions, incessantly. Remind Americans who are unclear about supporting Biden of the stakes. Energize anti-Trump swing voters who were crucial to the Biden coalition in 2020.

5. Rally Around Joe Biden

Frankly, the Democratic Party needs to chill out. Talks of potentially replacing Biden have amplified after Biden’s underwhelming debate performance. As modern political history shows, debates haven’t particularly moved the needle for candidates as much as the media suggests. President Obama’s lackluster performance in the first 2012 Presidential debate against Mitt Romney, Hillary Clinton arguably winning all three debates against Trump in 2016, and John Kerry comfortably winning against Bush in the 2004 Presidential debates should all indicate that debates are not make or break for campaigns, especially incumbent Presidents. Democrats shouldn’t project chaos over a one and a half hour debate performance. They should project confidence in Biden’s track record over the last three and a half years. The American Rescue Plan, the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, the Safer Communities Act, the Inflation Reduction Act, expanding NATO, 15 million jobs added to the economy including 800,000 manufacturing jobs and over 300,000 green energy jobs, the PACT Act, record HBCU funding, expanding OT pay for 4.3 million workers, CHIPS Act, etc are all notable accomplishments of the Biden Administration that can’t be reduced to a single debate performance. Swapping Biden less than 20 weeks ahead of the election would be a strategic nightmare, and would create an internal power struggle. Democrats can’t allow a single debate performance in June to completely derail their confidence in President Biden.

Learn more about Richard Massey

Richard Massey

Voter Education Activist

Richard Massey

Voter Education Activist