For progressives aiming to win the hearts and minds of the 46% of American voters who supported Donald Trump in 2016, there is a better and worse way to approach conversations and campaigns.
Trump roadmap chart
For messages about the Trump policy agenda, the villain needs to be Trump flip-flops, not Trump voters. The focus needs to be on Trump not keeping his 2016 promises, not on Trump voters being stupid for being conned in 2016.
Trump voters need a face-saving way out of this, so avoiding polarizing “I told you so’s” is critically important.
Much of what I currently see on social media and progressive media is using the “Trump voters are dumb” approach to messaging. We need to stop. Believe me, I understand why people are going there. It’s very cathartic to say “I told you so,” but you can feel it entrenching Trump voters more deeply and permanently into Team Trump.
The messaging nuance recommended in this chart won’t win every Trump voter, but it gives progressives a more hopeful shot at winning a modest subset of them, such as voters who were more anti-Clinton than pro-Trump. If only a small slice of the 46% of 2016 Trump voters are angry at Trump congressional allies in 2018, the mid-term elections could deal a serious blow to the Trump agenda. Winning in 2018 is worth taking a pass on cathartic “I told you so’s” over the next two years.