I am fearful that the Democratic presidential candidates are not going to heed President Obama’s warning about not employing the “circular firing squad” on the campaign trail. Kamala Harris’s use of an arrogant, aggressive tone to make her point against Joe Biden at the debate off-putting, pointing out one’s differences without tearing each other down should be the standard mode of political discourse between Democratic candidates. Trump already speaks falsely and insultingly towards every opponent, so it’s sabotage to our effort to beat him if we write the put-downs for him to use against us.
I agree with Biden’s comment today that explaining the past is important, but talking about present beliefs and policy proposals are more relevant when assessing which candidate you want to support. Forcing opponents to repeatedly apologize for every piece of their past records is a losing political strategy. Weakening each other’s credibility is not a positive strategy for the success of the party.
Clarifying past policy positions that have changed with the times and where the party stands now is important. But if the goal is to misrepresent the current, core values and positions of opponents to elevate oneself, that will weaken our chances of beating Trump by damaging the public image of our own candidates.
The candidates should better spend their air time using accurate language to describe the dangerous traits of Trump that threaten our Democracy:
Accurate Trump Adjectives:
A co-conspirator, liar, hypocrite, criminal, tax evader, authoritarian, unqualified, impulsive, opaque, anti-allies, obstructor, lawless, aggressive, etc, etc. etc.
Democrats must keep their focus on the contrast between the dignity and qualifications of their candidates and the crass, immoral, and unqualified reality of Trump.