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George F. Will: To beat Trump, Democrats must practice a policy of modesty

Washington • "It's a great benefit for a president," said the 30th president, "and a major source of security for the country, for him to know that he's not a great man. "

Or, Calvin Coolidge would say today, a tall woman.

While the current incumbent presents himself as an "extremely stable genius" and those who replace him promise a national transformation, it pays to pay attention to the granular details of presidential politics, which suggest that a policy of modesty could result voting changes where they are important, and at least 270 votes for a Democrat.

If the near future resembles the immediate past, which is often the case, the Democratic candidate in 2020 will be, as the Republican candidate in 2016, the person favored by the party faction for whom the government is more a practical than ideological concern. In 2016, for Republicans, the faction – whites not belonging to the university – has felt the victim of the economic dynamism that has benefited the most people who admire this faction the least. In 2020, the decisive Democratic faction in the nomination contest should be, as was the case in 2016, African-Americans, whose evaluation of the government is particularly practical: what will Does it affect health, employment, school? For them, wrapping up the Supreme Court, indicting the president, abolishing the electoral college and other promises of gestures are probably distractions.

African-Americans made up at least 20% of the votes in the 2016 primaries, and in all the primaries combined they gave Hillary Clinton 76% of their votes. That's why Trump did not have the opportunity to defeat Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, who narrowly beat Clinton among white voters in the primaries. These figures are those of Josh Kraushaar of the National Journal, who noted that, according to a Pew survey conducted in 2016, "only 28% of African-American Democrats identify as liberals, a majority describing themselves as moderate". repair of slavery as a badge of irreparable damage. And the importance of ensuring a strong African-American participation in the Democrats is illustrated by this fact: if in 2004, John Kerry had received as many black votes in the Ohio that Barack Obama was to receive in 2008, he would have been the 44th President.

In addition, in the 110-day sprint between the end of the Milwaukee Democratic Appointment Convention and Election Day, the oldest vote – subject to change – will begin Sept. 18 in Minnesota and at least one-fifth of voters will vote ballots before polling day. Decisive voters could be those who aspire not for transformation, but for restoration – for the resumption of national governance that is neither embarrassing nor exhausting. Thus, the Democratic Party, the oldest party in the world, which, for the first time in its history, won the popular vote in six of the seven presidential elections, should focus on how to remove the states from the list of 2016 Donald Trump. taking more than the 487 counties (out of 3,142) that Clinton wore. Democrats could try to decipher the tipping of nearly 41 points in Howard's impenetrable county, in northeastern Iowa, the only US county to have voted for an Obama landslide on Mitt Romney (20.9 points) in 2012 and four years later for Trump on Clinton. (by 20.1 points).

Democrats must make amends with the other 402 counties who voted for Trump after voting for Obama at least once. This will require the progressive lions of the Democrats to lie down with the moderate lambs of the Democrats, a spectacle as biblical as it is inimitable for the progressives' pride in their vigilance. However, they might be encouraged to show more political ecumenism by remembering this: in 2016, Clinton had accumulated a million more votes than Obama in 2012 in New York, Massachusetts and in California, but a million less than anywhere else.

Everything depends however on the release of Democrats, before letting them influence their choice of a candidate, their self-flattering explanation of 2016. As William Voegeli, editor of the magazine Claremont of Books, wrote: "To About the election of 2016 for the fanaticism of your opponents, it is clear that the problem was not that the Democrats were not doing enough to deserve the votes of citizens, but that these- These were not good enough to deserve the governance of Democrats … We imagine that sooner rather than later Even Democrats will suspect that denigrating people until they vote for you lack of some strategic plausibility. "

Earlier than the Milwaukee Convention?

George F. Will | The Washington Post
George F. Will | The Washington Post

George F. Will writes a bi-weekly column on politics and internal and external affairs. He began his column at The Washington Post in 1974 and received the Pulitzer Prize for Commentary in 1977. His latest book, "The Conservative Sensibility," was published in June 2019.

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