Is Trump the Democratic Party's Single Issue?
In 2010, the Republican leader of the Senate, Mitch McConnell, controversially proclaimed, “The single most important thing we want to achieve is for President Obama to be a one-term president.” Fastforward to 2017. The same Democrats that attacked Republicans for the GOP's steadfast opposition to the policy goals of the Obama Administration are acting in a similar show of opposition to the Trump Administration. As the first 100 days of Trump’s presidency have come and gone without any true outstanding legislative accomplishment and as the stories of Russia and Comey start to pile up, the 2018 midterms present a strong opportunity for the Democratic Party to regain a foothold. However, do they have any true vision or message to run on in 2018? Does the DNC have any goal beyond making Trump a “one-term president?”
Well, what about the “Women's March” and other social issues? Nancy Pelosi described abortion as a “fading” issue within the Democratic Party. Ivanka Trump, a significant and vocal presence within the Trump administration, is arguably the single leading voice currently calling for paid maternity leave and an end to the nonexistent “wage gap.” In many respects, Americans lack commitment to the transgender bathroom issue. According to a Rasmussen national telephone and online survey conducted in 2017, “38% of American Adults favor allowing transgender students to use the bathrooms of the opposite biological sex. Forty-nine percent (49%) are still opposed, while 12% are undecided.” Does the Democratic Party have any major social issue to stand on?
Immigration? According to a Business Insider article about Trump’s refugee executive order, “The order has a 55% approval rating among voters polled, with 35% saying they "strongly approve." Thirty-eight percent of voters said they disapprove.” (Other polls report that a majority oppose the order.) Within the same article they reported that “The only executive order more popular than the travel ban is the one revoking federal funding for so-called immigration sanctuary cities. That order has a 55% approval rating, with 33% disapproving.” Pew Research reported that 62% of Americans disapprove of Trump’s plan to build a wall, but many conservative pundits and politicians question the President’s commitment to the wall plan after the failure to secure funding for it in the most recent budget. Without such commitment from President Trump, the wall would essentially become a nonissue. Does the Democratic Party have any major immigration issue to stand on besides opposing the wall?
Environmental issues? According to Pew Research, 74% of those polled said that “the country should do whatever it takes to protect the environment.” However, the issue lacks much importance to many of Americans in comparison to others. Pew reported further that “defending the country from future terrorist attacks (76%) and strengthening the economy (73%) were at the top of the public’s priority list.” Will the Science March and Bill Nye build an effective Democratic coalition centered around the issue of climate change?
Where will the Democratic Party focus their interests? Recently, Obamacare gained a majority approval. We need to wonder how long this approval last considering that for the last eight years the Republicans road a wave of opposition to Obamacare into election victories in 2010 and 2014. Will Obamacare survive as the hill for the DNC to die on? Beyond that, a number of their seemingly major issues appear to either lack much support or fail to resonate as being truly important to many voters. Maybe the Democratic Party will move further to the left and stand as the party of single-payer healthcare and free college. As of right now, they really only seem to be the party that opposes Trump and exists as "The New Party of No." Beyond the 2020 presidential reelection, there is very little substance to that type of approach. Republicans need to band together, stabilize the party, and pass some true legislation before the Democrats decide they want to stand for something Americans truly care about.