LETTER: To succeed, Democrats need strong ‘working class’ appeal

To Ozaukee Press:

Buoyed by recent electoral victories, it’s understandable why Democrats are bullish about the November mid-terms. In fact, many political pundits have predicted a “blue wave” this fall that will enable the party to flip 24 house seats to gain a simple majority.

Democrats, however, face serious headwinds, as the electoral map is rigged in favor of Republicans and many states still have voter suppression laws. In fact, one prognosticator thinks Democrats would have to win the national popular vote by 11 points to gain the majority.

Even more vexing is the party’s lack of coherent economic message, leaving many voters unsure what the Democrats stand for. That was a quandary for Hillary Clinton in 2016, as Donald Trump connected with many working-class voters on a visceral level and seized the mantle of an economic populist.

House Democrats will need to craft a strong “working class” narrative that will resonate with both disaffected Trump voters as well as newly energized voters, many of whom sat out the 2016 election. Their platform should be aimed squarely at the working, and not the investor, class.

It should start with rewriting the GOP tax plan. Other planks would be a raise in the federal minimum wage to $15 per hour, free college tuition in exchange for community service, paid family leave, protection for contract workers and those seeking to join unions.

Finally, stop defending the Affordable Care Act; scrap it and offer anyone not covered by an employer group plan the option to buy-in to traditional Medicare.

Greg Melcher

Port Washington


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Ozaukee Press

Wisconsin’s largest paid circulation community weekly newspaper. Serving Port Washington, Saukville, Grafton, Fredonia, Belgium, as well as Ozaukee County government. Locally owned and printed in Port Washington, Wisconsin.

125 E. Main St.
Port Washington, WI 53074
(262) 284-3494


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