Tolerance of gun violence is partisan; connecting the dots between big government and curing diseases
Tolerance of gun violence is partisan.
The Senate filibuster and the House sit-in -- both seeking a simple vote on controlling gun violence -- demonstrate the federal solution to gun violence is found exclusively through the Democratic Party.
There simply isn't a political path to reducing gun violence that includes the federal Republican Party in control of either the House of the Senate, because the overwhelming majority of Republican legislators oppose those laws on principle, consequences to communities be damned.
The myth of voting the person not the party is taking another hit. Now we Democrats need to close the deal and make a more explicit argument to voters and donors to embrace voting for the party, not just the candidates who happen to be Democratic. (In October, every candidate runs TV commercials that never mention their party. That's a mistake we make every cycle. If we want to win back the House and the Senate, we can't do it in 2016.)
I like it when people march or donate money to cure cancer or care for people with a disease, but I hope they don't vote for the small government Republicans who eliminate medical research and let insurance companies deny treatment to people with diseases.
Think about all the people marching for breast cancer or running in 5Ks for all the diseases that afflict people. There are tens of millions of them every year. And they are all personally much better off with the Affordable Care Act and Democratic policies than with Republicans who side with the insurance companies and reduce government investments including medical research.
Maybe some politicians get a little shy to say clearly that Democratic policies help to cure cancer while Republican policies make us wait longer for a cure and hurt families with horrible diseases (because patients can't buy health insurance with their pre-existing condition and they hit a lifetime cap of what insurance companies will spend on their health care so are on their own to deal with their cancer after that). But it's true. And someone should be focused on explaining to the families of those affected by cancer or other diseases exactly why Democratic policies like the Affordable Care Act literally save or prolong their lives over Republican continued and current opposition. People should take it personally when Republicans still want to repeal Obamacare. That means they continue to vote to make *them* uninsurable. And they are voting to cut off their health care by bringing back lifetime caps.
Isn't that a compelling, personal story that connects the dots for cancer patients and their families so they understand why they should identify as Democrats? So they can take it personally when Republicans are want to repeal Obamacare? I think so.
Think of it this way: there are hundreds of thousands of Republican voters who feel passionately about the importance of funding medical research to find a cure for cancer. These are easy targets for us. Have they ever considered that their votes and their passion are contradictory? I suspect their passion would trump their voting history and we can flip them over to our side if they understand they can generate far more medical research funding with a Democratic 'big" government budget than they can trying to raise money privately.
Here's my idea on how to reach all these millions of families (lots of whom are voting Republican because no one has made this pitch to them): build an online community of cancer patients and families who want to know about all the groups and 5Ks and marathons happening around the country to raise money for research and care. We create the national database and repository for all these events to raise money for research. We give them a chance to email Congress and ask them to fund medical research. And we explain quite clearly why Democratic policies are much better for our community of cancer patients and their loved ones than Republican policies.
Republicans largely get away with their destructive policies because lots of American voters, including well-educated ones, don't connect the dots between the faraway debate in DC and the real-world impact on their lives. Small government can sound attractive in the abstract, but not when it means the disease your husband or your daughter is battling doesn't get cured. Let's make it personal for people.