, 12 tweets, 3 min read Read on Twitter
1/ As a follow-up to my thread on Sunday, which touched such a nerve (mostly positive) w/people, let me bottom line one thing I didn't make clear enough, but which those of us who fought David Duke also learned (don't worry, this won't be as long as the last thread!)...
2/ When confronting a candidate whose entire politic is rooted in racial/ethnic/religious resentment--the politics of prejudice--there might be a couple of ways to squeak out a victory, but only one way to really win, if by win we mean more than just beating one individual...
3/ And we need to do more than just beat one individual in these cases, whether it's Duke or Trump. Because Duke-ism and Trumpism present long term existential threats to the country. So normal rules (all we need is 50% plus 1) don't apply the same way...
4/ So in the 1990 Senate race, sure, we beat Duke with a muddled, mixed message (about his Klan and Nazi ties, AND about his paying taxes late, AND draft dodging, AND his Dem opponent talking about his experience and accomplishments), but Dukism had a second life...
5/ Why? Bc there was no moral mandate in his defeat, in large part because we had all muddled the message rather than stay focused on the fact that a racist was seeking higher office. In the 91 Governor's race, everyone stayed on message and made the election a moral referendum..
6/ And not only was Duke beaten handily, his movement was entirely crushed. He was no longer an electoral threat. He's still out there, of course, causing trouble, but not in the way he could have had he won or come close again...
7/ Dukism itself had been derailed and the people of LA sent a message about what we stood for, and against. If, in 2020, the Dems want to just beat Trump by a couple of electoral votes, there might be a couple paths to that...
8/ And sure, maybe talking about your super spectacular plan for x, y or z might do it; or talking about his taxes, or Russia, or temperament, etc. Maybe (though I still doubt it for reasons I explained in the previous thread Sunday). But one thing I know for certain is this..
9/ The only strategy that can defeat Trumpism & break the political back of the cult, so it can't effectively re-form under new leadership, is 1 that makes this a moral referendum & says it isn't just him we repudiate. It's what he stands 4. It's the politics of prejudice itself
10/ Otherwise, best case scenario is that the Dem wins but Trumpism lives on and gets taken up by these robots in the GOP who see this as a winning strategy, or the Turning Point USA clones who are being bred for this approach as we speak...
11/ In which case we're dealing with this indefinitely. Worst case scenario is we don't inspire enough people to stop Trump in the first place and he wins again because the Dems again decided to bring a spreadsheet and debate evidence to a pep rally...
12/ Trumpism must b stopped by a clear mandate. And I can't think of an approach that does that other than one rooted in a moral appeal that says Trumpism is antithetical 2 the values we claim 2 hold dear as a country. And makes this not just part of the message, but THE message
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