On a somewhat regular basis you hear people talk about electability. How when you ask a bunch of people would you rather vote for Candidate X or the president who would win in a head-to-head match. This is silly. People who voted for the current president back in 2016 are typically not the sorts of people who will admit that they would vote for anyone else. People who chant about wall-building are not going to be won over by a comprehensive plan to overhaul the corporate income tax structure.
You know what’s more likely to work? Gaming voter turnout. Especially in key locations. Get the people who side with the president to stay home, and get everyone else to go and vote. And that is how I know that the Democrats have no interest in winning because they have laid none of the groundwork for this.
First things first – and they should have started on this over a year ago – there should be an internship program for students at HBCUs where they spend the summer driving around rural areas in the south helping poor people get valid ID. Helping people get copies of their birth certificates and marriage certificates and divorce decrees and whatever else from the courthouse. Driving them to the DMV to get the ID. Getting them signed up with some sort of microgrant program (that, to the best of my knowledge, does not currently exist) to pay for all the copies of the various documents that they need. Replicate as necessary in other communities. Run this as a non-partisan non-profit, so that it can partner with organizations (such as churches) that are supposed to stay out of politics.
Likewise, a non-partisan non-profit should be working with community organizations to develop plans to arrange rides to polling places.
These plans should be focused on locations where there have been closures of ID-granting government offices and consolidation of polling places and limited or non-existant public transportation options. Since we are told that the closures of various offices and polling places was most definitely for-sure not imposed in a biased way, any work to make it easier to get ID in those locations can’t possibly be political either.
But I have seen absolutely nothing about this. No one has asked me for any money to fund such an effort or to to fund a microgrant program for helping people get IDs. And people love asking me for money! I am regularly invited to invest in shady investments that I am not legally allowed to invest in, like funding a Bay Area-based start-up that hopes to disrupt laundry (I am not joking).
There is the other side of the coin as well. There is not a successful propaganda machine combatting the president. And I know this because I have various Facebook friends who seem weakly aligned with him, and if there is any propaganda out there, it is not compelling enough for them to be sharing it on Facebook.
The Russians have spent years developing minor influencers on social media who have been sharing the sort of banal but uplifting content that gets a lot of shares. The celebrity who went undercover building houses for Habitat for Humanity. That sort of thing. The picture of the ugly dog with the caption “I’m so ugly that I bet I won’t even get one share.” This is a key piece of the mechanism to depress turn-out. A small fraction of the shared stories need to be subtle digs at the president.
Here are some examples:
A federal corrections officer (ex-military) who is still suffering after the government shut-down. The prisioners that he guards get to sit around and watch TV all day or whatever, and he had to work without pay, and his truck got repossesed. The government should be looking out for hard-working Americans and not criminals.
The ladies who run one of those Christian adoption agencies that won’t adopt kids to gay couples are sad about the conditions where the immigrant children are being detained. They would be able to take such great care to the surrendered children of drug addicts for $750/day and find them good Christian homes! The government should stop being so wasteful and should help American children first.
Military family with young kids living in substandard military housing. Military dad says that he understands how important it is to protect our country. His pregnant wife has to breathe in black mold in their tiny and terrible home on base because the money that was set aside to fix it was diverted to pay for The Wall. Wasn’t Mexico supposed to pay for the wall? The government needs to support our troops at home so that they can defend us effectively.
Someone in the manufacturing sector whose job went overseas. “We work hard and produce the highest quality widgets in the world.” (Subtext: “those people” produce inferior widgets.) The government sided with The Man and let the jobs go overseas.
Hardworking soybean farmer is watching his crops die in the fields. He is a victim of the trade war with China. He doesn’t want the government handout to “bail out” the farmers. He is not afraid to work hard, and he grows the best soybeans in the world, and he just wants to compete in a fair marketplace.
In October 2020 when lots of people are going through open enrollment for their health insurance plans: Some hard-working person who is faced with terrible yet expensive health insurance plans laments that the government was supposed to fix health insurance. They’ve had four years, and they haven’t done anything. Washington as usual.
There should have been a steady drip of these over the past few years. Every time something happens to hurt hard-working “real Americans,” there should be a hard-working “real American” complaining about “the government” and “Washington as usual.” The goal is not to get them won over to the charms of the Democratic party. The goal is to get them sufficiently disillusioned that nothing is going to change that they stay home on election day. Especially if it is raining.