Muftic: Playing fair with the American people |

Muftic: Playing fair with the American people

Felicia Muftic
Courtesy Photo

The other day my son asked, “I know the Democrats are against Trump, but what are the Democrats for? I can run off Trump’s campaign slogans by heart, but I can’t think of one for the Democrats.” My first response, I can’t either.

So, I gave it some thought and noticed the issues supported by Democrats all have something in common: treating people fairly. “Playing fair with the American people” could work as a slogan because Democrats need an inspiring, positive umbrella theme that uses plain English to describe how people would benefit.

Both partisan sides like to throw “fair” around, but the advantage of using the word “fair” favors Democrats. It is not only the underlying foundation of Democratic party thought but being fair appeals to the better angels of American nature, a positive value in sports and in life. I could see Democrats saying they fight for fair and secure elections, promote economic policies that improve standards of living and quality of life for many, not just for a few, comply with the rule of law and the Constitution, support truthful and factual communications, advocate for opportunity and respect for others, and value a foreign policy that is fair to our own national security interests. There is an attack flipside to the slogan, too. For example: It “isn’t fair” the President lies about the facts to persuade you he is right. It “isn’t fair” he makes our health insurance more expensive and wants to make pre-existing coverage unaffordable. It “isn’t fair “he drives us into debt by giving tax breaks to those who do not need it. Donald Trump claiming it isn’t fair that media criticizes and fact checks him is the cry of a wannabe dictator, not the cry of someone concerned about fairness.

The only tie that binds the Democrats now is opposing Donald Trump. That is a powerful driver, but it is also risky because it depends on the timing and findings of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’ final report about Russian intervention in the 2016 election. Mueller is highly unlikely to present his final report before November 2018 if he follows the Department of Justice’s guidelines of no surprises close to elections. Even then, such a finding may or may not be damaging to the President himself, though others around him may spend jail time. The House may turn the majority blue in 2018, but the Senate must turn deep blue since it takes two thirds vote to unseat a president by impeachment. The odds are the GOP may even pick up Senate seats in November. Control of the House by Democrats still has value. They would oversee hearings and subpoenas, will at least be able to give the GOP and the Trump administration a blacker eye, and provide the missing checks and balances to a wannabe autocrat president. Combatting Russian manipulation of our elections may be critical for our democracy’s survival, but such issues do not relate directly to how voters’ day to day lives are affected.

There is a looming danger for Democrats, too, Democrats, are about to blow a blue wave if they get themselves tied up in this progressive v liberal v socialist knots. There is no better way to shoot themselves in the foot and there is no better way for the GOP helped by Russian interference to pull the trigger than to stir the pot of Democratic divisions. Democrats need to emphasize what binds all factions of the party while respecting there are various ways to achieve the same results.

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