It feels that now more than ever the political landscape is stratified; republicans and democrats entrenched in their positions with a government that is characterized by national events. As a result during this year’s 2018 primaries, candidates are falling into the trap of representing their political party instead of their constituents in communities across America.
Both Democrats and Republican candidates, who are fighting to represent people in a more and more divided country, are sticking to party politics instead of representing the people that compose their local towns and communities.
As a result, 2018 candidates have been campaigning on divisive policies to drum up the base and fruitless measures that endear support from party leaders to help campaign.
In Georgia, a Republican gubernatorial candidate proposed a deportation bus for illegal immigrants in a state that is hundreds of miles away from an international border in order to appeal to a president who has made illegal immigration a hallmark of his presidency. While in Nebraska the democratic winner of a local primary has made the decriminalization of Marijuana the centerpoint of her campaign in which marijuana is used on average by less than 10% of the total state population.
These tactics may work to spark a primary upset or two but if either party wants to gain serious ground it has to advocate for policies that substantially affect the citizens of each voting district appeal to more than just a primary electorate.
In the wake of Donald Trump’s implementation of protective tariffs that have hit rural farmers in the midwest hard the best way for democrats to pick up ground in the midwest is to advocate policies that help unemployed farmers who are more concerned with their economic stability than their ability to recreationally smoke marijuana.
Some of the best ways to convince disenchanted voters that can help swing control of local and national legislatures may require policies that are not traditionally democratic or republican.
A chief example of this candidate is Representative Connor Lamb of Pennsylvania.
Lamb ran in a special election in a seat won by Donald Trump by over twenty points with policies ,supported by Donald Trump, that were aimed at helping laid-off factory workers who saw their jobs exported overseas.
It may seem unheard of for a democrat to vocalize support for Trump, but reaching across the aisle is the blueprint for success for all parties in November.
People who are disillusioned and disenchanted with government gridlock and polarization are making a stand in voting for the people who will listen to them and make actual progress by working with the other side and getting results for their citizens.
This strategy will result in candidates who are not at the will of their party affiliation and a Congress that is willing to make a compromise and get things done for their people.
Even though this shift significantly reduces the power of the seemingly oligarchic political establishments in our country it is becoming clearer and clearer that the path to success in november is on candidates who represent the people and not the party.