Democrats don’t do enough to tie Republicans to Donald Trump, according to veteran newsman Dan Rather. That is one of many reasons he thinks Jon Ossoff lost in Georgia Tuesday.
In a Facebook post, Rather said that the loss doesn’t reflect that Democrats can’t win in 2018, it just means they need to work harder and smarter.
“The way the districts are drawn make that even more difficult,” he said. “However, Democrats have overperformed in heavily Republican districts in every special election, even if they haven’t won. That is a big deal.”
He explained that Democrats will likely continue to be demoralized after the national party spent years intentionally not wanting to win elections. The election will “embolden the Republicans and President Trump” to claim a mandate but that the Republicans just eeked out a win in a wealthy, educated Congressional district that has been held for 40 years. At the same time, Republicans and Congress still have historically low approval.
“But these special elections are skirmishes before the big war,” he wrote. “There will be 435 Congressional races on the ballot in 2018. The Republicans can’t play this level of defense on all of them.”
He urges Democrats to look into races previously not on the radar or thought to be competitive and stop the second guessing.
“Many are saying that the Democrats haven’t made a strong enough case of what they stand for, particularly on economic issues,” Rather wrote. “I think that it always helps to run on something rather than just against someone [sic]. In many ways, Hillary Clinton thought that being not Donald Trump would be good enough.”
That said, Trump continues to be incredibly unpopular and opposition parties run against who is in power. Rather wants to see Democrats to both tie Republicans to Trump and talk about “big ideas to set the debate and rally people to your cause.”
“Say why you think President Trump is a disaster – and then why and what you would do differently,” he encouraged.
As for a party torn apart by moderates and liberals, Rather said the one unifying force is that both want to get rid Donald Trump. Trump might not be powerful enough to drive Republican voters to the polls in 2018.
“Today is another day. It’s the first day of summer. Go for a walk, listen to the birds chirping. Take in the fragrance of the Earth. And resolve to keep fighting for what you believe in,” Rather encouraged.