My Facebook page looks like a mass therapy session for Democrats cycling through the various stages of grief.
They not only vent their anger at Trump and his angry voters, they also lash out at other Democrats and lecture them on how they should feel and what they should do.
No. You should feel how you feel and do what you need to do.
And especially for men: Don’t try to tell women how they should feel about the country not electing its first woman President.
Instead, let this scarred, but still standing, veteran of painful defeats and glorious victories offer you a menu of possible coping strategies, in addition to consulting Dr. Jack Daniels and a wide range of bottled and chemical therapies.
First and foremost, remind your friends here and tell your friends out of state what North Carolina Democrats did despite the Trump tsunami. Roy Cooper won, Petulant Pat’s whining notwithstanding. Josh Stein won. Elaine Marshall and Beth Wood won. Mike Morgan beat the Gerrymandering Justice. Cynthia Ball and Joe John unseated incumbent House Republicans in Wake County.
(And pardon a proud father for noting that Cynthia’s campaign was managed by my son James.)
Ask your Republican friends if you should show Trump and his family the same respect and magnanimity that Republicans showed to President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama.
Help usher in the new, young blood that the Democratic Party needs. We are now in the post-Obama and post-Clinton era. One reason we lost this year is that millennials, even women, weren’t as enthused about Hillary as they were about Obama in 2008 and 2012. As one young Democrat said, “Obama feels like he’s ours. Hillary feels like our parents, or grandparents.”
Read this excellent piece by my old friend and pollster Harrison Hickman and a colleague, “Dos and Don’ts for Democrats in the Era of Trump.” One Do:
“Listen to the voters, even if they do not fit the notion of our ideal coalition….Let’s admit it: we dismissed the economic hardship of many working class voters because they do not fit into our idealized constituency.”
Read Ruy Teixeira’s essay, “Trump’s coalition won the demographic battle. It’ll still lose the war.” A taste:
“Here’s one way to think about the 2016 election. We are witnessing a great race in this country between demographic and economic change that’s driving a new America, and reaction to those changes.”
As for President Trump, you could enthusiastically support his plan to spend a trillion dollars rebuilding roads, bridges and airports. The country needs it. And a big-spending stimulus program like that will drive half of the Republican Party bonkers.
To balance things out, loudly oppose Paul Ryan’s plan to do away with Medicare. Let’s see how working-class white voters like that.
Finally, take some advice from two battle-wise Democratic warriors.
Jim Hunt once recalled how devastated he was that North Carolinians elected Jesse Helms over him for the Senate in 1984. Months later, shaving one morning, he came to a realization: “Sometimes the people just make a mistake.”
Terry Sanford, right after an election that went bad, was approached by a woman who said, “Terry, I could just cry.” Sanford took her arm and said, “We don’t cry.” Then he looked her in the eye, “And we don’t forget.”