Massachusetts Daily Collegian

Why Liberals lose elections

By Matt Heffler

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Many liberals are still recovering from the shellacking that Democrats received in the November elections, resulting in a fierce debate over what went wrong, who should run the Democratic National Committee and how to fix the Democratic Party. Regardless of where you stand on these debates, all liberals should realize that there a few key things holding them back from winning elections. First, “it’s the economy, stupid,” a slogan James Carville and the Clinton campaign hit on the head in 1992 and helped lead Clinton’s campaign to two landslide electoral victories. While many liberals enjoy living in a bubble where the biggest problems facing the country are things like global warming and college debt, it simply isn’t the case for the swing state voters that decide presidential and legislative elections.

Think about the states that carried Trump to victory (aside from the votes Hillary lost by people just not showing up to polls). They are stereotypical “Middle America”, white, working-class families. According to FiveThirtyEight, Trump excelled the most in areas where economic anxiety is high. As notable as the causes like global warming and college debt are, these people have to first worry about putting food on the table and holding on to their way of life. The Democratic Party needs to recognize this. The second point is marketing. Despite being an avid Bernie Sanders supporter, one thing I always hated about him was how he presented many of his ideas. He consistently brought up a policy proposal, talked about another country or group of countries that have this policy and how well it works for them, and then said it was time for America to be like that country or group of countries.

Liberals need to drastically improve their marketing strategy, and it’s not very hard. Americans enjoy hearing about how America is better than the rest. So, instead of telling voters we want to be more like Denmark, explain how these policies will make us even stronger and better than every other country. The third point is Global Warming. To be honest, I’m taking this idea from the late, great comedian George Carlin, so I’ll just quote him: “the environmentalist doesn’t care about the planet, not in the abstract they don’t. You know what they’re interested in? A clean place to live. Their own habitat…The planet isn’t going anywhere. We are …The planet will shake us off like a bad case of fleas, a surface nuisance.”

While this is a very crude assessment of global warming, it provides a good roadmap of how to shape the fight against global warming. Average people are sick of hearing about the liberal self-righteous crusade to save the planet. Tell it like it is: we need to fix this situation for our own good and our own survival, plain and simple. The fourth issue is political correctness. Here’s where all the liberals start to get mad at me. Let me preface this with saying there is nothing wrong with political correctness.

However, people get upset when liberals try to push their political correctness onto others. Liberals have an odd fetish of fighting intolerance by being intolerant of anyone who doesn’t think like them. Remember Hillary’s whole “basket of deplorables” comment during the election? That was the epitome of liberal self-righteousness, which is something many in the country can’t stand.

The political correctness problem that liberals generate for themselves manifests itself in a host of topics. For example, former President Barack Obama, representative of the Democratic Party, wouldn’t say the term “Radical Islamic Terrorism”.

While I completely understand that Islam is a religion of peace for the vast majority of those who practice, and that not all terrorism is based in any kind of Islamic teaching, you can’t just pretend that Radical Islamic Terrorism isn’t a thing. I personally could not care less what it’s called, but the fact that some Democrats won’t say it really ticks off some key swing voters. Why are liberals shooting themselves in the foot on this?

It’s a noble cause to do your best to avoid offending people and sending the wrong message about your beliefs. However, when you’re trying to win an election, it might be prudent to allow for offending a couple of people instead of angering thousands of swing voters. Try fixing problems after you win the election, not during.

It’s time for liberals to get out of the bubble and start thinking a little more like the rest of our country during election seasons. It’s our only path toward progress.

Matt Heffler is a Collegian columnist and can be reached at [email protected]


14 Responses to “Why Liberals lose elections”

  1. David Hunt 1990 on February 6th, 2017 8:16 am

    The problem is really very simple. Conservatives believe we have better ideas. Liberals believe they are better people. Thus, it is so so so simple to look down on those who don’t believe the same way.

    On “climate change”… you ARE aware that it’s coming out about NOAA faking data, outright inventing it?

  2. Mike Danger on February 6th, 2017 11:01 am

    Global Warming?

    Esper et al (2012) > Mann, Bradley and Hughes (1998).

    When you are wrong about nearly everything than persuasion becomes a problem…

  3. David Hunt 1990 on February 6th, 2017 11:02 am

    About NOAA faking data:

    For those with an open mind, consider reading something besides the echo chamber:

    Notice from this site a key observation:

    Quote: “Over the course of the committee’s oversight, NOAA refused to comply with the inquiries, baselessly arguing that Congress is not authorized to request communications from federal scientists. This culminated in the issuance of a congressional subpoena, with which NOAA also failed to comply.”

    If your data and methods are not strong enough to withstand INDEPENDENT SCRUITINY, your conclusions are suspect… independent verification of data and methods is a core of a science. The fact that, across the years, “climate scientists” have conspired to hide data, delete data that didn’t match the pre-determined conclusion, silence critics, and so on SHOULD indicate this is a scam. But it’s a convenient scam to concentrate power.

  4. Stefan Herlitz on February 6th, 2017 11:38 am

    David, that statement on global warming is a conspiracy theory debunked by all available evidence and the research of many government agencies and non-government organizations from multiple countries. See:

  5. David Hunt 1990 on February 6th, 2017 12:43 pm

    Stefan: Snopes? Seriously?

    NASA and NOAA have been caught RED-HANDED faking data.

  6. snafubar on February 6th, 2017 1:54 pm

    The Democrats keep losing because they have lost their center. Donald took it in the last election. Good luck getting it back, since all that remains of the Democrat Party is left wing kooks. And just think, only a year ago the Democrats were forecasting the demise of the Republican Party, for ever!! Too freakin’ funny. Have fun wandering the desert.

  7. snafubar on February 6th, 2017 3:24 pm

    “Exposed: How world leaders were duped into investing billions over manipulated global warming data”

  8. Bradley Polumbo on February 6th, 2017 3:28 pm

    The fact that you were a Bernie supporter aside, this is an EXCELLENT article. You are spot on, if the liberal movement had a stronger economic message & focused more on marketing of their ideas and less on political correctness, entire voting blocs could easily be swayed.

  9. Sitting Bull on February 6th, 2017 4:13 pm

    David Hunt and the author are spot on. Liberals lose elections because they suck. Their smug self-righteousness often invalidates what may actually be worthwhile aspiration. Man did I have a good laugh at all of the crying and hysteria when Democrats lost an election that is virtually rigged in their favor. When a friend of mine asked me if the world is going to end, I reminded her that I felt the same way for the past 8 years and it hasn’t. America may have been irreparably harmed since 2008, but it hasn’t gone under (yet).

    David, I often feel that it’s not just left vs. right that is the problem. It’s not even so much that we disagree on so many issues, but rather we VALUE completely different things from our government to the point where we aren’t even discussing the same topics. Case in point: many Trump supporters care about the economy, law enforcement, taxes, the national debt, illegal immigration and infrastructure; liberals care about the environment, fostering illegal immigration and a number of other topics.

    I’m glad I went to UMASS because once I entered the real world, I saw the college fantasy world for what it is. On the other hand, as an out of state student, I think UMASS owes me about $65k for trying to brainwash me instead of being an institution of higher learning. If I could do it again, I would go to a place more intent on preparing me for life after college and a little lower on the commie-scale.

  10. Colin on February 6th, 2017 11:09 pm

    Sitting Bull you are a whacko!

  11. Colin on February 6th, 2017 11:10 pm

    David Hunt you are definitely wrong!

  12. Colin on February 6th, 2017 11:37 pm

    Sitting Bull you sound like a Right Wing Conservative Republican Nut Job! You are a Right Wing Conservative Republican Nut Job!

  13. David Hunt 1990 on February 7th, 2017 6:29 am

    @Colin: Methinks some time actually, you know, reading critics of AGW might be in order.

    But that would mean reading information that doesn’t match what you already “know” is true. It would mean having an open mind.

    Let me tell you, my young friend, that I used to be on your side… until I learned about “climate scientists” hiding data, threatening to delete their data rather than have it accessed by skeptics. I learned they secretly conspired to make sure skeptical papers did not appear in journals. They concealed their methodologies of analysis from independent review.

    That is the exact antithesis of what science is.

  14. Sitting Bull on February 7th, 2017 2:20 pm

    Colin – a little redundant much? Has UMASS lowered its entry standards (again)?

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