Here’s a secret to winning election: the voters in the middle usually decide elections, and they don’t like losers. If all you do is complain about how the other side is “getting away with it all,” you’re painting your own side as losers – so you’re unwittingly telling people in the middle to vote for the other side. Be smarter than that.
While highlighting how corrupt, dishonest, and extremist the other side is, be sure to point out the ways in which they’re also inept idiots. Voters in the middle like to believe that both sides are corrupt and dishonest to begin with; it helps comfort them with their decision to keep themselves parked in the middle. But they don’t like incompetence. In fact they see one side’s inept idiocy as a good tiebreaker, because it makes it easy for them to reject one side without having to care about policy issues.
Donald Trump has no chance whatsoever in 2024. But if you want to breathe some life into his nonexistent chances, keep yelling around about how he’s “getting away with it all” or “has us right where he wants us.” That’ll send a signal to the voters in the middle that Trump’s resurrection from the political dead is somehow inevitable. Instead, if you want to make sure his 2024 prospects remain at zero, keep talking about what a defeated loser he is.
Keep in mind that when it comes to winning elections, you’re not trying to convince people like yourself; those people are already going to vote for your side anyway. You need to speak to people who vaguely lean your way but aren’t enthused about it, and the people in the middle who would rather not pick a side at all unless you give them an easy excuse to. In order to convince others of something, you have to focus on what’s going to change their minds, and not just what would motivate you to vote a certain way.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report