For nearly a year, Establishment Democrats have stirred Russia hysteria. While the Democratic establishment have banked on Russia to succeed against Donald Trump, they have so-far failed. Fear of Russia has not helped the Democrats win recent special congressional elections. If the Democratic Party continues to focus on Russia going into 2018, they will repeat further loses.
Since WikiLeaks revealed the DNC emails last year, establishment Democrats have fixated on Russia. Democrats have invested political capital in tying Trump to Vladimir Putin. Trump has been cast as an agent of the Russians who “hacked” the 2016 election to favor him. While these have remained unproven assertions, Democrats continue to use so-called Russian collusion as their main talking point.
The hysteria around Russia has proven ridiculous at points. It’s the Red Scare all over again, yet one without any Reds. It’s comical when politicians harp about Putin and Russia, as if Putin’s Russia were the old Soviet Union.
The fear-tactics are identical to those of the Cold War. Russia is no longer a communist power, however. Quite the opposite is true. Putin’s Russia is a vulture-capitalist nation, fairly similar to the United States in many respects. What exactly Americans should fear about Russian “interference” today isn’t clear.
Set geopolitics aside here. American voters are not concerned with Russia. This fact is evident in the poor showing of Democrats is recent special elections to Congress. Democrats have lost four races so far. In each of these races, the Democratic establishment sought to infuse Russia hysteria as part of their candidate’s main talking points. This strategy proved ineffective, to say the least.
It is fair to note that these elections occurred in primary red states. It should also be noted these elections were also close. However, a loss is still a loss. If the American people truly cared about Trump’s supposed collusion with Putin, why wasn’t the talking point effective enough for the Democrats to win at least one of these elections? If this was the case, why didn’t Hillary Clinton beat Trump in 2016? Russia was used as a scare issue then as well.
The Democrats must accept reality. The American people are not concerned about Russia. TYT’s Jordan Chariton was in North Carolina recently covering Dupont’s contamination of locals rivers. When Chariton asked an average voter what she thought about corporate media coverage of the story, she responded that she “doesn’t care about Russia.” Shocking, I know. What this voter in North Carolina does care about are issues that corporate Democrats lack in their speeches; good-paying jobs, living wages, and clean water.
Chariton’s reporting only reveals the obvious. American workers are not concerned about Russia. They have more pressing matters close to home to worry about. This disconnect in Democratic lawmakers and voters is potentially crippling. The Democrats invested so much time in cultivating this hysteria. It has led them nowhere and brought only defeat.
There is a light at the end of the tunnel here, potentially. Certain Democratic lawmakers and pundits are beginning to understand that Russia has become an albatross to the party. Senator Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) stated that the Russia investigations have become a “distraction.”
Democrats, according to Murphy, need to focus on economic issues rather than stay focused on Russia. Murphy’s comments came in the aftermath of another Democratic loss in Georgia’s 6th District. Democrats were confident their candidate, John Ossof, would win. Not only did Ossof lose however, he lost to a Republican who claimed to not support a “livable wage.” Ossof did not focus primary on progressive economic issues though, he stuck to a centrist script while the party continued to play on Russia. The result was losing the district by a greater margin than Hillary’s lose to Trump.
Democrats must abandon Russia hysteria if they want to win going forward. As Nina Turner said in a recent interview on CNN, “no one in Ohio is talking about Russia.” Establishment neoliberal Democrats hate to hear this, however, and Turner was attacked for this comment by the establishment. However, there is nothing shocking about what Turner said. All the evidence points to her being correct. Progressives have been warning Democrats for over a year now.
If Democrats want to win and beat Trump, they must drop Russia. The only way to beat Trump is to speak to the issues Americans really care about. Americans want good jobs, living wages, healthcare, universal education, and ending the corruption of money in our government. If the Democratic establishment fails to grasp this soon, not only will they lose 2018, but 2020 as well.