The haves and have nots create a dilemma for many candidates running for office. It is not always easy to appeal to both. And the tension between the two is roiling both political parties in the United States, and politics in many foreign countries—the UK, France, Italy, Spain and Greece.
It is spawning a wave of nationalism, nativism and populism. Trade, Globalization and immigration are blamed, but the real culprits are declining wages for those who work with their hands, idle young with expensive degrees who can’t find work, and minority communities populated by failing schools.
We’ve seen this tension in American politics for a generation. Since 1992, every race for president has been won by the candidate who better appealed to the have nots, and promised the most profound change in course.
Hillary Clinton lost for several reasons; one is that young and minority voters who twice voted for hope and change stayed home in 2016.
Populism will be with us for awhile. And if you plan to run for office anytime soon…do something Hillary Clinton did not. Make sure your platform includes appeals to the have nots, and initiatives to help them scale the rungs of the economic ladder. Regardless of your party or ideology, there are plenty of ideas and policy initiatives you can offer.
Debt relief from college loans, school choice, cheaper energy, social and economic mobility, cheaper healthcare, and one of my favorites, overhauling the tax code. The tax code screws wage earners, makes it all but impossible to escape poverty, and allows the wealthy to grab a bigger piece of the pie without creating more wealth.
There are other ideas…greater access to on-line learning, expanding high speed internet, and tax-free zones for small businesses. Use these if you would like, or use none of them. Go to the google search bar and type “Ideas to help the middle class” and you’ll find plenty of material for your campaign platform.
There will always be tension between the haves and the have nots. If you are looking for a special place in the history books, you’ll find that those we celebrate, and accord our highest honors are those who helped the have nots claim a seat at prosperity’s table.
This issue is just one of the topics I have covered in my new E-book, “10 Timeless Lessons from the 2016 election.”
If you’d like it, write “10 Timeless Lessons” in the subject line and email me at [email protected]. I’ll make sure you get a copy.
Political consultant Jay Townsend works with smart, passionate candidates who want to run for office, win elections and make a difference. He has successfully helped candidates learn how to run for the U.S. Senate, how to run for Congress, how to run for Mayor and develop a winning campaign marketing strategy.
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