Earth to Democrats: Republicans are telling you something when they gleefully schedule votes on proposals like the Green New Deal, Medicare for All, and a 70 percent marginal tax rate. When they’re more eager to vote on the Democratic agenda than we are, we should take a step back and ask ourselves if we’re inadvertently letting the political battle play out on their turf rather than our own. If Trump’s only hope for winning a second term turns on his ability to paint us as socialists, we shouldn’t play to type.
That’s not to say Democrats should abandon our priorities. We should work hard to combat climate change. We should fight to expand health-care coverage and reduce costs. We should find ways to make the tax code more progressive. But we shouldn’t fall for Trump’s sucker punch. By a margin of 56 to 33 percent, Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents would prefer us to nominate “someone who would be a strong candidate against Trump even if they disagree with that candidate on most issues.” In other words, this campaign is going to be less about ideological purity and litmus tests, and more about how voters size up the candidates’ personal qualities.