Trump Resistance Roadmap

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 Slide1

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.

4 thoughts on “Trump Resistance Roadmap

  1. Nice idea, and correct messaging advice, but much less effective than in the past because most Trump voters are “faith based” voters. They will be little affected by the fact that you are not rubbing their noses in it, but much affected by the faith they have in the truth of everything the Donald tells them, and he tells them that you are rubbing their noses in it.

    For example, the intelligence community is and will continue to be seen as out to get Trump by most Trump voters because he says they are, even though in fact they bent over backwards to do just the opposite, to the point where they are factually one of the fifty or so things that, in the recent very close contest, can accurately be said to have, “cost Hillary the election”.

    Instead of Marquess of Queensbury rules that give you ulcers from trying to be ever so nice to people who richly deserve to be yelled at, try yelling as loud as you can, not at them personally, but at Trump. Call him a pathological liar who is more politician than the very worst of Washington and who deserves to be drawn and quartered for stealing our money, stealing our votes, and laughing his ass off at us all the way to the bank. Maybe even add that he has also stolen our country, the one so many are giving their lives to defend, and is laughing his ass off again as he sells it to Putin for big time private favors to his Trump empire.

    No perfect evidence for every word of all that? No double or triple confirmations from ultra reliable sources. Who gives a F—. Trump doesn’t, and neither do those who follow him. They think with their hormones, and until you start appealing to them that way you lose!

  2. We might be in danger of mostly agreeing. I certainly agree with your point about “try yelling as loud as you can, not at them personally, but at Trump.” I have no problem with more volume, to a point, I just want the messaging to be directed at Trump, not Trump voters.

    As for “much less effective than in the past because they are faith based voters,” I also agree. But the loser of the popular vote in 2016 doesn’t have a big political cushion moving forward. We only have to win over a few percentages of Independent Trump voters to win some more elections, and approval ratings for Trump among those Indie voters has already fallen, from 47% on election day to an abysmal 33% now.

    The task of taking Trump down gets more hopeful post-election, now that the task is Trump Promises v. Trump Deliveries, instead of Trump v. Most Unpopular Democratic Candidate In Modern History.

    • Thanks Laura. It’s not as satisfying an approach, but I think it’s an important nuance on our issue appeals. Progressives love “I told you so’s”, but it’s not a great way to win people over.

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