If Democrats want to take back the White House or Congress in 2020, they have to start communicating with voters. Hillary’s campaign didn’t court working class voters in the Rust Belt, and that choice cost her the election. Her one-time rival, Senator Bernie Sanders, is working to correct the DNC’s mistake. He went to Kenosha, Wisconsin, with MSNBC anchor Chris Hayes for a town hall with Trump voters.
Throughout the meeting, Sanders didn’t hesitate to point out the paradox of Trump voters. Several participants downplayed Trump’s proposed policies on banning Muslims and building a physical wall between Mexico and the United States. These voters claimed the President-Elect was just trying to get attention.
In response, Berne Sanders asked “Why do you vote for somebody who, in a sense then, is lying?” He cut to the heart of the Democratic criticism of Trump in a way that campaign videos, speeches and Hillary Clinton had failed to do. Even in this crowd of die-hard Trump supporters, Sanders received cheers and applause for his question.
Another voter stepped up and shared that she was worried about access to entitlement programs. She asked, “Who’s paying for this? Who’s paying for the Medicaid? Who’s paying for the Social Security?” This was just the opening Senator Sanders needed.
He started off gently, asking the woman if she supported those programs. As a direct beneficiary of these government services, the woman agreed with Sanders that they shouldn’t be cut. Bernie pointed out that the Republican-dominated Senate and House of Representatives were working to dismantle those very programs.
The Senate Democrats are the only political group that can stand against the Republican agenda. They don’t have a majority, but they have enough members to filibuster and make it difficult for Republicans to pass controversial legislation. To sustain their efforts, they need grassroot support from voters. Senator Sanders is working hard to stir up Trump supporters who want new ideas in Washington but don’t want to burn everything to the group. If this town hall is any indication, he’ll do a great job building momentum with working class voters. It might even propel him to the White House in 2020.