The title of the book I wrote and released this year is The War For The Middle – Navigating the landmines of the politics that divide us. The book is written in a conversational format and is worth checking out if you are inclined to do so (shameless plug). If you are someone who works for one of the candidates running for office in the 2020 election you should definitely pick it up. In it, you will find out who the people in the center of the political divide are and how to understand them.
Some might be asking what makes me an expert on people in the middle. Full disclosure: I have never run a campaign, held public office and have no desire to do either for the mere fact of personal sanity and I like not being attacked for things I may have said or done when I was a teenager or in college. Add to that 40 – 50% of the country is going to hate you if don’t affiliate with their political party no matter what you say or do. Good luck to anyone who goes into that profession. You’re going to need it.
So why are you reading this? How do I know who is in the middle? How do I know what the candidate for President of the United States needs to say and do to win over the registered Republican/Democratic and Independent voters who do not always vote the party line? Very simple; I am that person.
When I was much younger I was very idealistic. I grew up in a major metropolitan city. Like most people around me, I was a doe-eyed Democrat. I believed Republicans were evil and only cared about corporations and making the wealthy even richer. You know, typical class warfare stuff that is still the go-to mantra in the Democratic playbook today.
Over the course of the next 10 – 20 years I moved around the country and lived in several different states. I got to experience new environments and took a chance at working in finance and attempting to climb the corporate ladder. I also started a few businesses and learned first hand what it means to have to make payroll. Those experiences turned me into a staunch Republican for many years to come.
Fast forward to the present day. I have been on the left and I have been on the right. How did I end up writing a book about the political middle, start a blog and website on the topic and even begin podcasting just to express myself even more? The answer is simple: age and wisdom.
The more you live and open yourself up to new experiences the wiser you will become. The key is to always keep an open mind and evolve as a person. With those life experiences, I can attest my move to the middle to this one inalienable truth: commonality.
We all have more in common than not. Sure some of us are alt-right fanatics and die-hard Socialist liberals. Those are the outer fringes of the country. It may seem like they are the majority when in fact they are the minority if not for the power of social media and the coverage they receive from the media.
I always felt I was in the middle but was never really sure. For a while there I identified as an Independent. Then a friend showed me a site that confirmed it. It’s one of several political identification sites that will ask you a series of questions and compare your answers to how politicians in office stand on the same topics. What I found was that I lean somewhere very close to the middle. Popular Democrats and Republicans were all clustered together on the far left and right. As much as I thought I had in common with some of those candidates I was actually in between them all. It takes a few minutes to complete the questionnaire but it is definitely worth doing. At least you will get to confirm if you are really aligned with the candidate you are supporting.
So how can a Democrat win the next Presidential election or Trump get re-elected? If you’re a pollster first see which states you lost and by what margin. If it’s a ‘purple state’ or state that historically voted Democratically and went Republican in the last election you have to go back to 2016 and see what message Donald Trump ran on to make him win in those states. Some of those contests were very close. If your first response is Russian collusion and half of Trump supporters are a basket of deplorable, racist, sexist, misogynistic and uneducated voters you have already lost. If your message is a pro-populist one as Steve Hilton espouses frequently, if it’s a message of economic prosperity and one that unites as Barrack Obama so eloquently referenced when he said he saw red people in blue states and blue people in red states but together we are all American, if it is one of hope and change and not Socialist deranged you will be successful come November 2020. May the best person win!