The Democrats’ New Chapter

Now that the impeachment of President Donald Trump hasn’t reached the Democrats’ expected goal, it is time for them to change gears facing the coming presidential elections. Until now, the Democrats have let the Republicans take the initiative, using techniques not always politically correct, or right, and in the process losing elections that they should never have lost.

For some time, the Democratic presidential candidates have been fighting against each other rather than focusing their actions to be more effective. It is time to plan new strategies that will allow them to regain power. They will have to regain momentum after the voting fiasco in Iowa and Trump’s effective State of the Union address which, despite its many misinformation of facts, has resulted in an increase in Trump’s popularity.

The Democrats have an ample array of arguments to offer as an alternative to a Republican agenda that disproportionately favors the rich and hurts the environment and, as a result, the quality of life of all people in the world, including the rich. In that regard, the complicity of Republican legislators with legislation that hurts their own and their children’s health is beyond comprehension.

The last few years have seen an unprecedented attack on the environment, from loosening restrictions on regulations, to failing to keep a clean environment, to denying what is now accepted by most scientists in the world: climate change is bad and, unless it is contained soon, it will irrevocably damage health and cause enormous economic loses worldwide.

As an immigrant from Argentina, I have benefitted considerably from American openness and of welcoming to foreigners. This is the America I, and the world, admires and respects. Not the America that puts innocent immigrant children in cages as dangerous animals and separates them from their parents, a policy of unprecedented cruelty.

Aft a recent visit to the Matamoros migrant encampment in Mexico -where migrants are forced to wait for weeks and months while their asylum cases are processed, Dr. Ranit Mishori, a Senior Medical Advisor for Physicians for Human rights said, “As doctor, as a human being, I am shocked by the conditions at Matamoros and other camps at the border where thousands of asylum seekers are trapped. And I’m outraged because I know that their suffering is a direct result of the Migration Protection Protocols (MPP) policy, which forces any person seeking asylum to wait in Mexico, in limbo, were conditions are dangerous and often deadly.”

In 1961, television advertising pioneer Rosser Reeves, developed the concept of unique selling proposition (USP) to explain why some advertising campaigns were successful in the early 1940s. One of the USP basic rules is that the proposition should be one that the competition cannot or does not offer.

The Democrats have a unique proposition: to implement policies to improve the health and wellbeing of most Americans and promote peace in the world. They can do that by strengthening legislation to improve the climate, make health care accessible to all, create effective and fair immigration policies, and reach international agreements to stop countries from developing nuclear weapons and truly promote peace in the Middle East, one of the most contentious regions in the world today.

These issues mentioned above could all be an important rallying cry for the Democratic candidates. Instead, they prefer to focus their message on defeating Trump, thus keeping him relevant, rather than trying to advance their own agenda. The main goal of the Democrats is not only to defeat Donald Trump.

Their main goal is to regain power to establish an agenda to improve the environment, increase Americans’ access to quality health care, and create immigration policies that would take advantage of the best things immigrants can offer while respecting their basic rights. They should frame their message using these basic concepts, at a moment of unrelenting attacks against people’s basic rights. Otherwise, they will lose a unique opportunity to implement a truly progressive social agenda, more in agreement with true democratic values.

Dr. Cesar Chelala is a co-winner of the 1979 Overseas Press Club of America award for the article “Missing or Disappeared in Argentina: The Desperate Search for Thousands of Abducted Victims.”