Mind the Gap

The space between our wicked lies
Is where we hope to keep safe from the pain.” — Dave Matthews

In England there are signs everywhere to “mind the gap.” If we translate that into English we would discover they are talking about the gap between the platform and the train. Since public transportation really isn’t a thing here in Texas, we can certainly borrow that term and apply it to our politics.

We see two gaps that threaten long-term stability in our country. The first gap is the gap between how many people consider themselves to be moderate, liberal, progressive, or leftist and how many of those politicians actually end up representing us in Congress. Yet, the percentage of total voters registering as Democrats is growing. So, there is a gap between the number of representatives that are Democrats and the number that should be Democrats.

That’s a problem that’s not easily fixed. As we have seen in Texas, the GOP has a stranglehold on the state. Very few particularly like any of the Republicans that occupy state offices and yet they continue to vote for them. This has been a two decade tradition. They have rigged the game to make it easier for them to win. It will take a doubling of efforts to get that turned around and we see the same thing nationwide.

The second gap is one Democrats can address and address immediately. This is the gap between what gets done in Washington, Austin, and any other government center and what people actually think on the issues. Take any issue and you can see clear fault lines of where the public actually is on the issue. You could talk abortion, gun control, health care, public safety, education, or any other issue.

What Americans think on these issues is pretty clear. Overwhelming majorities agree on numerous planks on all of those issues. Yet, we are told America is a center-right country with center-right values. The problem is that this statement has no basis in fact when you actually look at public opinion polling on each of those issues individually. The GOP is on the wrong side of each issue and it isn’t even particularly close.

Democrats collectively make the mistake of getting off message. Either they overshoot these widespread popular opinions by suggesting things beyond what the general public want or they bungle up the messaging with slogans that don’t reflect the will of the people. These things are simple. Let’s keep them simple.

For instance, Americans want background checks on gun sales, don’t want guns in the hands of dangerous criminals, and generally don’t want automatic weapons in anyone’s hands. These are easy things to keep hitting over and over again. Yet, Beto O’Rourke introduced the idea of gun confiscation. That pushed the envelope too far and made him seem extreme. So, stick to background checks, keeping guns away from criminals, and an assault weapons ban. That’s easy messaging that will resonate with the majority.

It’s about simple messaging. When people understand what you are for and they are for the same things they vote for you. When they think you are an extremist or if they don’t understand what you are for they don’t vote for you. It’s really as simple as that. You find out what they like and then keep repeating that you are for that and the other side is against that. You keep repeating that until they understand. You keep repeating it. That is how you close the gap.

Author: sbarzilla

I have written three books about baseball including The Hall of Fame Index. I also write for thefantatasyfix.com. You can follow me on twitter @sbarzilla.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: