The most pressing political task now facing us — “us” meaning all Democrats, and indeed all Americans who understand the current threat to American democracy — is to obtain a Blue Wave as massive as possible in the upcoming mid-term elections.
To help achieve that task, I would like for as many Democrats as possible to join me in issuing this invitation to all Democratic leaders with national standing (and perhaps national aspirations):
“Between now and Election Day, please come forward to deliver a message to the nation whose purpose is to maximize the size of the Blue Wave on November 6.”
Each leader would volunteer him- or herself. Each would create and design his/her own event. Each would choose what part(s) of the American electorate to address, and what message to address to them.
Here’s some of the thinking behind this invitation:
National Leaders Addressing the Nation’s Need
We who are Democratic activists know full well what a national crisis we are in, and how essential it is that the control over Congress is taken away from this “Trump Party” that has chosen to ally itself with the threat to the system our founders gave us.
And we are fully motivated to get to the polls and vote accordingly.
But many Americans do not recognize those high stakes. And many as well whose votes might contribute to the Blue Wave, but who might not be sufficiently motivated to actually go to the polls on Election Day to cast their ballots.
At the same time, for various reasons, many of the Democratic candidates who might benefit from the amplification of the Blue Wave have judged it contrary to their own individual electoral interests to frame their campaigns in terms of this national crisis, and of the nation’s need for power in Congress to be wrested from the Republicans and given instead to the Democrats.
Which means that there’s an important task to be performed — important messages to be delivered– on a national level. And it would be good for the messengers to be one step removed from the electoral fray in which the candidates contend.
The prominent national figures of the Democratic Party are well-positioned to be those messengers. Their prominence will enable them to get attention as they introduce as powerfully as they can into the national consciousness their vision of this moment and of the nation’s need in this coming election.
An Audition of Sorts
These national Democratic leaders would be free to create whatever message, and whatever means of delivery, they think best. And we Democrats, who will soon be evaluating who has what it takes to be the standard bearer of our Party, can take note of what they bring to the battle.
This assignment provides those who aspire to such a role with an opportunity to show us what they’ve got (for 2020) even as they rise before the nation to help, as powerfully as they can, achieve the more immediate task (for 2018):
- How well are they able to create an event that gets through to the American people?
- How able are they to speak the truth about our situation?
- How powerfully can they reach and move the American people in the right direction?
They will show us, with this single high-profile presentation, how much rhetorical power, how much insight, how much ability to reach their audience, how much imagination and strategic understanding they can bring to the political battle.
The ability to summon Americans to magnify a Blue Wave surely will tell us much about the ability to lead the nation out of the wreckage of the Trump era.
How the Rest of Us Can Help Them Magnify the Blue Wave
I believe this idea has real potential, or I wouldn’t be propounding it. But it certainly won’t amount to much unless it inspires many of us less prominent Democrats to work to realize that potential.
First, the invitation needs to have enough support that these “national Democratic leaders” feel positively called to participate. Only if there’s a kind of movement from the base will the idea of such a series of presentations draw the participation of such leaders.
Part of this might involve demonstrating that an infrastructure is being developed to make sure that whatever performances these leaders offer will be disseminated far and wide by various means.
Second, that means that there will be a need for people with organizational experience and ability to step up to create such an infrastructure from which such a series of presentations might be launched.
Third, perhaps people with experience in media relations can come forward to develop publicity for the whole enterprise– publicity before the presentations begin, publicity for each event that any of them stages in response to this invitation, publicity for the perspective on this election that these leaders are highlighting.
Will people step forward to do any of this? I surely don’t know. All I know is that it could happen. And that there’s a chance that if it did, it could make a difference.