Friday, November 16, 2018

2020 update. John Kasich has a path to the White House.

John Kasich is in New Hampshire running for president. He's been there 5 times. (Jeff Merkley has been there 19 times.)

Both have the same niche: the nice guy.

It could work for Kasich.

"Peter--I was in new Hampshire today, meeting with old friends and new supporters, and I spoke about what we can all do to make a difference in our communities during these times of deep partisan division."
                                               E-mail from John Kasich

John Kasish in Medford

John Kasich writes me about once a month, reporting some new Trump outrage, and then asking me for money. I got on his list 3 years ago. There is a theme to his updates and solicitations. Trump does something distasteful and Kasich points it out. 

In August it was Trump's comments about LeBron James being so stupid he made Don Lemon look smart. (Dog whistle racism.)

In July it was about Trump's $34 billion in new tariffs. (Job killer.)

In June it was about the child-separation policy. (Cruel.)

John Kasich has been in New Hampshire five times this year, including this current trip. This one involves a meet-and-greet in Concord and a speech in Manchester. No other Republican has been as open and forward about a presidential exploration, although Jeff Flake has made one speech there this year, on October 1.  

For comparison Oregon's Senator Jeff Merkley has been there 19 times and Joe Delaney has been there 35 times. Jeff Merkley has been low key in Oregon about his presidential campaign trips and this may be new information to Oregon readers.

I consider Merkley and Kasich both to be pursuing similar tracks in long shot campaigns. Both peg their hopes that by the fall of 2019 the public will have become throughly sick and tired of the Donald Trump high drama schtick. Both are the opposite-of-Trump candidates. The quiet, earnest candidate, the civility candidate. 

Kasich, May 2016
This is a familiar dramatic trope, a love triangle, a cliche that embeds a fundamental truth about attraction and choices. By the rules of romantic comedies,Trump is the exciting fling, the rogue boyfriend, a mis-step taken by the girl who chooses the unreliable but oddly attractive guy. After a period of bad-boy infatuation, the girl realizes his selfishness and dishonesty gets himself and others in trouble. She realizes she was a fool. 

Meanwhile, the good guy was there all along, the boyfriend who was honest and true, the less flashy one, the one the audience knew all along was right for the the girl if she would only come to her senses. Some crisis comes along and opens her eyes.

We know that story. We have seen versions of it. It rings true to people.

It is not hopeless for Kasich. It just takes a certain chain of plausible events, starting with a major reversal of fortune for Trump that causes him not to run for re-election, or to run for re-election while deeply impaired by circumstances. It could be something from the Mueller investigation, some health event, some family crisis, some geo-political or economic event, lousy polls, GOP defections--all easily imagined events. Trump does high risk things and bad things sometimes happen to risk takers. Under those circumstances those Republicans who clung to Trump (e.g. Pence or Cruz) are weakened by the association.  

Kasich would be Mr. Clean, the one who didn't get suckered in by Trump.

Under those circumstances the leading candidates would be Kasich and Mitt Romney, a tough head-to-head that Kasich might win. John Kasich would be the one who had not previously run and lost, the one who didn't go hat in hand to Trump Tower. 

Kasich in New Hampshire, Nov. 2015
Democratic voters are likely to have many choices, starting with the old, familiar faces (Bernie, Hillary, Elizabeth Warren, Joe Biden) or one of the new faces (Beto O'rourke, Kamala Harris, Cory Booker, Mitch Landrieu, or the other candidates who are showing up in New Hampshire including Delany, Martin O'Malley (9 visits), Julian Castro (6 visits), Eric Swalwell (5 visits). 

Merkley has a harder task because he has competition for the role of quiet good boy. 

In movies, the exciting bad boy eventually gets exposed and the good boy gets the girl. Kasich has a shot.

But in the real world of American politics Trump still has his base. He does things Kasich finds distasteful, but that is what voters like about Trump.

Thursday, November 15, 2018

Letting Go: a look at Senator Alan DeBoer

He gave up his Senate seat. He isn't dropping out.

70 is the new 50.

Even people too old to be Baby Boomers don't want to let go. And why should they?  Nancy Pelosi is a young 78. Diane Feinstein is a young 85. Bernie Sanders is a young 77. Joe Biden is a young 75.  

DeBoer at North Medford High
Thad Guyer wrote a comment saying that power is not willingly given up. It is seized. The next generation is ready for the power only when they can take it from the grasping hands of their elders. "Leaders, accomplished people, they don't surrender power for the sake of advancing the political or career ambitions of more youthful aspirants. To the eager replacement who says 'stand aside,' the incumbent says 'earn it yourself.'"

This blog wrote that the presence of the older generation perpetuated the old grievances of the past. Hillary Clinton needs to disappear so that the public debate within the political left is about the problems of present and future, not the past.  And besides, some people have simply gotten tired of the old and want something new. Another commenter, a man of Sanders' age, called Bernie and Biden "the "B team" and "too old like Nancy and Chuck. Blowhard Biden stands for nothing. Bernie has one song and he has driven it into the ground." 

Alan DeBoer wasn't a State Senator long enough to have become tiresome. He will have served in office for two years. He was perhaps the only Republican who could won the special election in 2016 or kept the seat in Republican hands at this time of strong partisan fealty. Democrats vote for Democrats, Republican vote for Republicans, and his Senate District had a 13 point Democratic edge. 

He had developed credibility in Ashland as a civil leader, having been on the Ashland School Board and been the City of Ashland Mayor. He is a Republican but his language is moderate and bi-partisan. It is the non-Trump style of Republican, one that is sufficiently Republican on issues like taxes and abortion funding to keep Republican voters' support, but mild enough that he had a shot at crossover party-switcher votes, if any of those still exist. 

He says he thinks he can have more influence out of office.  

Listening to Kate Brown, with School Board members
In office, he is swamped by the day to day business of representing 120,000 constituents. And as a Republican in a caucus he is part of a team that has certain expectations of its members on party line votes, a role that defines him with a partisan label. He told me that he proposed a tax bill that would have increased taxes on the wealthier Oregonians and raised some $600 million dollars. It was dead from day one, he said. The very fact that a Republican proposed it made it impossible to get Democratic support.

He said that as a Republican state senator the Oregon Education Association perceives him as dangerous per se. He has reached out to Ashland area teachers hoping to meet and discuss problems and potential legislative solutions, and was rebuffed sharply. Not by the teachers, who were happy to meet, but by the OEA leadership which was adamant that local teachers were not to meet with him. He will try to trick you, or soft sell you, they warned. Do not meet.

DeBoer says he has the background to help create real solutions in education and he has done the homework necessary to know what to do. He is hopeful that he had developed a reputation for having serious, responsible, informed ideas, and that as a former legislator he can assist Governor Brown and the State Department of Education to do its job better.  He says Oregon needs to "Go Big" on controversial ideas. 

Click: Joint Interim Committee, minute 2:19
Teachers should be considered "essential personnel" for the purposes of requiring mandatory arbitration in negotiations over salary and working conditions. "Strikes destroy a community and it takes years to heal," he said. "I want to put us back in a win-win, where the Oregon Education Association and the School Boards are all on the same page,"  he said in comments at the State Capitol. 

He proposed a $2,500 voucher program, based on financial need, to expand pre-K education. He said he recognized that education vouchers are red flag controversial, but he wanted to put that one out there in public session along with his proposal for mandatory arbitration.

DeBoer said that as a Republican legislator he is part of the structural problem that keeps reform from happening in Oregon's education system.  He said the OEA acts like a labor union, not a professional guild. "The OEA controls the Democratic Party in Oregon," he said. They won't build bridges to a Republican Senator because it would reduce their power. It is a locked-in conflict situation, he says.

He told me he doesn't think he is giving up power. "The system in Salem is broken," he said, "and I want to find solutions." He said he thought he could do it better from the outside.

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Direct Democracy. Facebook, Twitter, and unmoderated comments.

Social media groups reveal direct unfiltered opinion. 

We can learn from it. 

Trigger warning: This post mentions Biden, Hillary, and Bernie

From a leftist site: Hard bargain.

In some arenas of life, crowds are presumed to be smarter than the individuals in it. 

Also, in economic theory, investment markets are presumed to be efficient. The "crowd" consisting of all investors creates the accurate price, as the theory goes. The crowd knows best.

In politics, it is different. 

The writers of the Constitution were afraid of the tyrannical impulses of democracy, so they created a Constitution that is deeply un-democratic. We elect representatives who are presumably wiser and cooler heads than the public that elected them, and they make the decision. It is the "republican form of government."

I read the chatter on social media. Unfiltered chatter creates a primary source document. It reveals the split within the political left.

Can he overcome not being Bernie Sanders?
Social media chatter is opinion democracy in pure form, unleashed because individuals operate in isolation. People don't get cues from body language or tone of spoken voice, so writers are incautious. People denounce one another. People pile on. The angriest and loudest voices dominate. People who disagree stay quiet out of fear or prudence. Facebook pile-ons show the chaos of pure democracy and also its authoritarian tendency. Bullies gang up together and enforce conformity. But it also reveals who can lead a coalition of revolt against the main tide of consensus politics.

Certain names trigger outrage. Joe Biden and Hillary Clinton are two of them. They are lightning rods. To some on the political left, they epitomize "corporate Democrats," establishment Democrats irrevocably tagged as sell-outs who made peace with the business establishment of America. Worse, they worked against Bernie in 2016.

Facebook comment
If either of them were to get traction in the 2020 race, or especially the nomination, they would fracture the left.

So would Bernie Sanders. His endorsement of Hillary in 2016 was perceived by many Democrats as insincere and weak, and his immediate reversion back to the Independent Socialist brand after the 2016 election signals that he, in fact, rejects Democrats.

So do many of his supporters.

"Regular" Democrats who focus on not losing elections misunderstand those voters to their left. Democrats think those progressives are allies. Many are not. They dislike Democrats because progressives aren't Democrats, and they resent being confused for them. They doubly resent Nader and Stein being blamed for the losses to Bush in 2000 and Trump in 2016. They say Democrats lost on their own because they nominated unelectable people. Democrats did not earn their votes, they write, and they are not "owed" those votes to  anyone. They consider it presumptuous and offensive for Democrats to think they should compromise with some "lesser of two evils" argument.

It backfires badly when Democrats suggest "compromise." or "being reasonable."  It annoys progressives. They believe they are being reasonable.

Democrats should take no for an answer.

The fracture on the left may persist for another election. The solution is new blood, and nominating someone who was a non-combatant in the Nader-Gore-Bernie-Hillary battles. Someone young. 

But that may not happen. There will likely be a multitude of younger people hoping to catch fire in Iowa and New Hampshire, and they will divide the vote among themselves, thous elevating Biden and Sanders. We have seen this before. The anti-Trump vote was a sizable majority in 2016 but Trump had the plurality in a fractured race. 

Now it is the Democrats' turn. The pluralities may well go to the big names, Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders. This could work out badly.

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Sick to death of the current political environment and people? Push reset.

Maybe it's time for the old guard to let go. There is a new generation out there.

Let's look at two of them. 

"Let the word go forth. . .that the torch has been passed to a new generation. . . .so let us begin anew."
                               John F. Kennedy, Inaugural speech, 1961

In the public memory, Kennedy's speech was about patriotism. Ask what you can do for your country. But most of the speech was about taking a fresh look. You old guys had your turn, Kennedy said, in the presence of outgoing President Eisenhower. Now it is our turn, he said.

Kennedy had charisma. 

Today I present two short video clips, one from Saturday Night Live and one from Fox, two poles of the media environment. I pair them because each of them show relatively young people with ambition, and each of them are in enemy media territory.  Both look comfortable, likable, and easy to watch on the TV news. 

They have charisma.

Lt. Commander Dan Crenshaw, 34, is a newly elected Republican congressman. He is on Saturday Night Live, accepting an apology from a SNL comedian. Crenshaw has "star quality," whatever that is. He seemed easy with himself. Gracious. This blog has gotten severe criticism in the past for daring to mention the obvious. Here it is, again: Crenshaw is nice looking, attractive

A second clip is 6-year congressman Eric Swalwell from California, on Fox News. Swallwell is 37, turning 38 this month. He is a familiar face on television now as a frequent guest on cable TV, mostly mainstream news, but also Fox. He is openly considering running for president and has appeared multiple times in Iowa (as this blog described yesterday) and in New Hampshire. He, too, is attractive and good on TV.

Democratic candidate support
The Democratic Party old guard is not letting go, yet. They are frontrunners still and probably going to run again. At this moment they have name familiarity and a reservoir of supporters: Bernie Sanders, Joe Biden, Elizabeth Warren, Michael Bloomberg.  (There is an outlier in the group of frontrunners, Beto O'Rourke--the new guy, the guy who creates some excitement. More about him in upcoming posts.)

What Iowa and New Hampshire are all about is the opportunity for new people to emerge. In a meeting hall in Davenport, Iowa or Concord, New Hampshire new people can create an element of "wow." Activist tells activist. Crowds grow. In these two early-primary states It is just the candidate and whomever he or she can get to come to the meeting. It is open casting. Everyone has a shot. Charisma matters.

I watched Trump and Bernie create excitement in New Hampshire in September of 2015. I watched Martin O'Malley and John Kasich try to create excitement, and fail. People were polite and interested, but that wasn't enough. 

Today, let's look at the two new guys, these politicians in their 30s. People in Iowa and New Hampshire will soon decide which of the dozen or more choices will move ahead politically.  At some point it will be people like the two shown here.  They are the next generation.

Perhaps the public is ready to push reset and pass the torch.

Click: 4 1/2 minutes.

And this clip from Fox News, a conversation with Eric Swalwell. He projects confidence and competence. 

Monday, November 12, 2018

Jeff Merkley in Iowa. Update on 2020.

He is doing what people do when they are running for president.

Merkley in Medford

Maybe running. Looking at it.

The first step in running for president is exploring a run for president, and it is done in Iowa and New Hampshire and seeing what kind of response one gets.

Oregon's Jeff Merkley is attending events in Iowa. He presents himself not just as the alternative to Trump but as the opposite of Trump.

Jeff Merkely has his niche and he is exploring whether that niche is what the times and circumstances want. Jeff is an unabashed progressive, with political positions generally consistent with the most progressive in the U.S. Senate, alongside Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren. 

Merkely's differentiation is primarily one of manner and style. Jeff is blue jeans and a North Face vest. He is the anti-charisma candidate--a style that has its own form of low key appeal, one captured by Frank Capra's Hollywood in the character of Mr. Smith Goes to Washington or George Bailey in It's a Wonderful Life. Jeff Merkley is soft spoken and earnest--the opposite of Trump.

We have been seeing Merkley on cable news off and on for a couple of years, but more often now. He caught national attention when he was turned away from inspecting a holding facility at the border where children were held separately from their parents.

Merkley's travel to Iowa isn't a secret, but I haven't been reading much about it either. It is visible in Iowa. He has been there 8 times, starting in September, 2017, when he headlined a Progress Iowa Corn Feed in Des Moines.

He was there for three days in June of this year, speaking at fundraisers in Iowa City, Waterloo, Cedar Rapids and Des Moines. 

He was back in July for two days, speaking at fundraisers in Des Moines, Fairfield, Cedar Rapids, and Davenport. 

He headlined a Flip It Iowa event in August

He was there twice in September helping Iowa candidates and speaking at a Polk County, Iowa Steak Fry.  

John Delaney
He made two trips in October, for a total of four days. He met with
college Democrats, spoke at fundraisers, and helped campaigns.

Jeff Merkely is the most active member of the US senate in Iowa, but three other potential candidates have appeared more often than him.. 

John Delaney, a Maryland congressman has been there 18 times. He has openly announced that he is running for President in 2020. His district represents western Maryland, the outer exurbs of Washington, DC, which had previously been represented by a Republican. He founded two companies, one of which is traded on the NYSE. He is all in, having both announced his run for president and announced he would not run for re-election this year. He has a negligible national reputation.

He has been in Iowa for 35 days, and like Merkley, has spoken at fundraisers, met potential volunteers, done door knocking, in a wide array of locations. His trips there include swings through county after county so in August of this year he completed the "99 County Tour." Appearing in all 99 Iowa counties was a big talking point for Ted Cruz back in 2015. Cruz won the Iowa caucuses.

Eric Swalwell
Eric Swalwell has been there 12 times. Readers who watch cable TV know Swalwell.  He is turning 38 years old, has movie star good looks and his multiple appearances on TV have given him visibility. He is on the House Intelligence and Judiciary Committees, which has given him opportunity to represent Democratic positions in opposition to Trump. He represents the East Bay area of California--Fremont, Union City, Hayward.  Swalwell's
events have a higher profile than do Delaney's. Swalwell headlines events: a Future Forum, a Wing Ding Dinner, a Summer Sizzler fundraiser.

Martin O'Malley, the former governor of Maryland, has been there 9 times.  This is his second run for president. He was one of five Democrats who I saw speak at a convention of Democrats in New Hampshire in 2015. His campaign then was steamrolled by the Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton campaigns. His positions were generally progressive left Democratic but they never got noticed. Bernie had his crowds; Hillary had the inertia of four decades of work and network.

O'Malley started very early, having made his first appearance in Iowa in December of 2016, immediately after the 2016 election and before Trump's inauguration. He made appearances in January and March of 2017 campaigning in special elections for Iowa candidates, and he stepped up his appearances this summer.

More: Bernie Sanders has been in Iowa 4 times, as has been Montana Governor Steve Bullock, and Tulsi Gabbard, a Hawaii Congressperson. Tom Steyer, a billionaire activist, has been there 3 times.

Iowa's caucus system emphasizes the power of political activists. Politicians need to motivate highly motivated people who organize, county by county, meetings of other motivated people who show up physically to be counted. So far Merkley has not developed "star power," that elusive quality that causes people to show up in excited crowds, but Iowa's system is uniquely suited for a candidate whose appeal might show up best in small, one-on-one conversations.  Jimmy Carter in 1975 went from near-invisibility to front-runner by way of the Iowa caucuses. His low key earnest message--I won't lie to you--caught the tenor of the times in the aftermath of Watergate.

We will see if this is Merkley's time. Watch this space.

Sunday, November 11, 2018

Democrats vote for Democrats. Republicans vote for Republicans

Maybe campaigns don't matter much, at least for partisan offices.

(Except Jamie McLeod-Skinner. She brought Walden down from the heights. Her campaign showed that he wasn't invincible.)

Democrats supported Brown
There's all that work, the money raised and spent, all those ads, all the signs, the "elevator speeches" prepared, the policy papers, the carefully thought out messages, the issues, the meetings with supporters, the joint appearances.  

In the general election, in partisan races, Democrats vote for Democrats and Republicans vote for Republicans. Well, duh.

If candidate quality mattered much, or if campaigns mattered, one would expect to see some dispersion in outcomes. There isn't much. 

Jackson County, Oregon, is a good place to gather evidence because the county is mixed and nearly even in partisanship. There are 91,300 voters who are either Democrat or Republican, of which 44,600 are Democrats and 46,700 are Republican, about a 51-49 edge for Republicans countywide.

(I have excluded minor parties in this discussion. They didn't seem to matter much, and they complicate things without good purpose.)

No surprise on the two county commission races: Republican Rick Dyer won with 55% of the vote over Democrat Amy Thuren, counting only the votes for Democrats and Republicans, and Republican Colleen Roberts won with 54% of the vote over Democrat Lanita Witt, counting again only the major party vote.  In both races a libertarian candidate took 2 or 3 percent. Dyer and Roberts ran a bit better than the partisan edge. Their incumbency might explain it.

In the State Senate race between Golden and Gomez, where the District boundaries give Democrats a 13 point edge, 56.5% to 43.5%, Golden won by ten points. In the State House seat won by Kim Wallan there is a Republican edge of 54% to 46%, 8 points, and she won by exactly that percentage.

Republicans supported Buehler
Does anything but party matter?  Maybe a little. Incumbent US Representative Greg Walden got 53% of the Democratic/Republican vote to McLeod-Skinner's 47%, which meant that her campaign made her fully viable head-to-head contender with Walden, so the outcome was within two percent of the countywide partisan split.

Walden was not "weak." Rather the election showed he was just one more standard-issue Republican when he faced a strong campaign from a Democrat. All that seniority and power, all that money spent on his campaign, all that name familiarity built up over two decades in Congress, and the result is that Walden is brought down to the normal votes "owed" any Republican.

Jamie McLeod-Skinner did better than Kate Brown, the Oregon Governor.  Knute Bueher and Greg Walden got almost exactly the same number of votes, about 50,800. McLeod-Skinner got 3,737 more votes than Brown. Brown slightly underperformed, getting only 45% of the Democratic/Republican vote. 

Knute Buehler was widely thought to be an unusually strong candidate, very well funded, with a moderate image, a physician, a Rhodes scholar, young and good looking. The fact that he ran even with Walden and with Colleen Roberts--but 800 votes behind Rick Dyer, the big winner among Republicans in contested races--suggests simply that Knute Buelher got exactly the Republican votes he "deserved."  Buehler wasn't "strong;", Brown was just a bit weak. 

McLeod-Skinner spent a lot of time in Jackson County. She excited people. Her volunteer activity may well have increased the vote for every Democrat in Jackson County. Her campaign mattered because it showed she was viable. Walden, at long last, had a real opponent.

 Kate Brown spent much less time here, but presumably she spent it wisely in more fertile ground.  She carried Multnomah County over 3-to-1, and got a margin of 190,000 votes in that county,  nearly double the amount by which she won statewide. That is where the Democratic voter were. Jackson County didn't hurt her much. 

Take-away: Pundit speculation about Trump turning off Republicans and somehow ruining the Republican brand seems not to have been the case with voters, based on Jackson County evidence.  Republican voters voted Republican. Greg Walden has been an ally of Trump on national issues; Knute Buehler stuck a more independent tone on abortion, immigration,  the Kavanaugh nomination, and generally in his tone. It didn't seem to matter much. Republicans voted for both Walden and Buehler.

Democrats voted for Democrats. Republicans voted for Republicans.

Saturday, November 10, 2018

Bystanders at the Night of Broken Glass

Eighty years ago: November 9, 1938.

On a day known as Kristallnacht, across Germany mobs of state sanctioned hooligans set synagogues on fire, damaged store fronts and looted Jewish businesses, beat Jews in the streets, murdered 91, and rounded up some 30,000 Jews to send to concentration camps.

Hitler had defined Jews as dangerous outsiders, not real Germans. They were an infection poisoning Germany, he said. A lot of people agreed. 

Or didn't disagree.


There had been oppression since Hitler became Chancellor in 1933. They were made second class citizens. Some fled. Some endured and stayed. After all, Germany was among the more modern, cosmopolitan, open minded countries in Europe. Surely this would pass.

Kristallnacht unleashed an era of state sanctioned physical violence against Jews. A young Jewish man from Poland had assassinated a German diplomat, justification for now treating Jews as a mortal threat to German safety.

There were no widespread public protests.  Jews were identifiable as a group, there were stories of conspiracies and cabals, and there was an economic incentive to confiscating their property. And the German leader was so decisive. Besides, the bystanders weren't Jews, so it was happening to someone else.

In America this month Donald Trump made a bold political decision in the buildup to the mid-terms. He focused on immigration and invasion by outsiders, not the economy. 

"Mass invasion." "Leprosy." "Smallpox."
He found an excuse, the caravan. He said those brown skinned Latin American walkers were an invasion force! They were criminals, rapists, drug dealers, and they were hiding among them Muslims from the Middle East! The ones who aren't criminals are freeloaders. 

It worked. 

The blue wave was matched with a red wave. Republicans turned out in the socially conservative states. 

The GOP electorate is not energized by policy. Trump reversed course on policy and voters went along. GOP voters are energized by sentiment for a traditional America that has disappeared over the past fifty years and resentment that new people with new legitimacy are changing America. The again in Make America Great Again, looks back to postwar America, when un-bombed intact American manufacturing was the most productive on earth, before black civil rights, women's liberation, and substantial immigration from Latin America and Asia. It was a white, Christian nation, and men were the head of the household.

Trump's language of contempt for outsiders is not a bug. It is a feature. He openly mocks and picks fights with people outside the core team: sons of bitches NFL players, lying women, criminal Mexicans, cheating Chinese, terrorist Muslims, phony transgenders, low IQ Maxine Waters, Pocahontas Warren. He knows who his enemies are. 

Charlottesville: "Jews will not replace us."
This is the fundamental fault line in the culture war. Democrats perceive blacks, Latinos, Asians, women, the LGBTQ community as fully part of America. Democrats consider this inclusive coalition to be our demographic future, both inevitable and benign. Democrats, in their own urban political and social bubbles, think that everyone agrees with them, and certainly should. But everyone does not. 

Kristallnacht is a warning bell: ethnic fear and resentment are a potent political force--real then and real now.   Trump leads majorities in many states. Audiences cheer Trump's speeches, and a great many share Trump's sentiments on targets of contempt.

Trump is not Hitler, but Trump has tapped into something powerful in America.  

What to do? 

would like Republican officeholders and opinion leaders to protest Trump's language and dig in their heels at language of ethnic division. They have the power to stop Trump, but do not. He is too popular with too many. And they like his judge nominations, so they pretend the race talk isn't audible. GOP Leaders are quiet bystanders, which makes them enablers of Trump. 

I would like Democratic officeholders to address immigration in a way that reassures Americans that their borders are secure and laws are enforced, and that therefore language like Trump's is not just un-American, but also utterly unfounded and ridiculous. That, too, has not yet happened.

Note: I have learned I need to say this. I do not agree with anti-semitic or anti-immigrant language. I am pro immigrant. But I recognize that America and Europe are facing an emerging tide of ethno-nationalism especially among its rural and working class populations, and Trump (and the GOP) is exploiting it. I want our political process to get in front of this and turn it around. That means Democrats need to be smart and reduce concerns. If they do it badly--"deplorable"--they make things worse.