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PA-18 lessons.

March 14, 2018

Although the outcome is still uncertain, the election in Pennsylvania’s District 18 may point out what American voters have been saying for months now.

Trash-talking may not be working for anyone in the next elections, and that goes for Donald Trump as well.

If Rick Saccone loses, it’s a pretty sure bet that calling all Democrats God-haters will share some of the blame for that loss.

That’s right up there with Hillary’s “deplorables” comments.

Attacking whole groups of people instead of focusing on the specific comments of specific people just ain’t cuttin’ it anymore, especially at the local level.

Saccone’s opponent, who many feel ran on a GOP platform while using Democrat money, certainly never disparaged Christians.

Lamb, should he win, may very well be pressured by the DNC to vote more in line with the far left of his party if he wants another massive cash infusion when and if he decides to run after D-18 disappears.

Be that as it may, in this election his public stance was all about shoring up the things people in D-18 like about Trump’s policies to date.

President Trump takes a few generic jabs at Democrats, as when he calls all Dems obstructionists, but largely he calls out people by name.

That may infuriate the supporters of those specific people, but it doesn’t alienate all voters.

That said, the GOP has to do something about attracting better candidates, or at least improving their messaging.

Over the past decade or so,  it has become popular to demonize groups of people instead of lasering in on specifics. That’s a classic propaganda tactic, and thanks in no small part to social media and a clickbait-seeking media, it works at the macro, or national level.

One current example of that is the demonization of all NRA members.  What you have now is well more than 5 million pissed off gun owners who feel they are being made scapegoats to cover up many very bad decisions made by some FBI and Broward County law enforcement personnel.

Not everyone who owns a gun belongs to the NRA, and Democrats own guns too.

Or take the sanctuary city debate.

Notice that President Trump focused his criticism of the policy on specific people he feels are responsible for that policy. He didn’t call all Californians open border advocates.

The point is that at the local level candidates need to spend the time to ferret out the other person’s weaknesses and not just parrot some national party’s fundraising jargon.

If District 18 proves nothing else, it should prove that.

From → op-ed

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