It is me, Matt. I know you think of me like that cousin who dropped out of college to join a prog band, performs Doctor Who cosplay, and screams at walls. I'm flattered, but that's not me.
What I am is a needed element of a unified political front; the sledgehammer. I'm the person who makes factual arguments with the passion and determination most Democrats can't. I can be fire and judgment, the 'bad cop' to the party's 'good.' That's how the GOP uses their media voices, and it works pretty dang good for them.
The Democrats don't use their media allies. Over the years, I've felt a palatable reluctance to work with me. I seem to be more of an annoying bee buzzing around your picnic, one you're not trying to kill, but rather one you're terrified of getting near you, hoping I just fly away. Where the interaction between GOP party leaders and their media outlets is non-stop and well coordinated, my personal purgatory is the number of unreturned voice messages, emails, DM's, and texts begging for a DFL candidate to be my guest; free air time to promote their brand, something many DFL'ers don't seem to think is important.
But it's time to put that all aside.
I come to you today with a plea. You're screwing up, and screwing up badly. The Minnesota Republican party is a dumpster fire of candidates, many of them with deranged and disturbing alliances, belligerent comments, and extremist associations; a vat of lies and loon ball conspiracy theories, a party with almost zero policy points, running on a campaign of fear, desperately trying to scare people into voting for them.
And they're keeping these races close!
But how? Almost all the issues are on the DFL's side. Republicans overturned Roe v. Wade, actually taking away rights from people nationally while the Minnesota GOP vowed to make access to abortion illegal in Minnesota. Every plan of action they had during the pandemic was a train wreck, from the laughable (putting horse dewormer up their backsides) to the Machiavellian (scolding the Mayo Clinic, the best hospital on the planet, on how to hospital) to the mentally unstable (threatening to kill school board members and their families for mask mandates). They have promised to go after workers' rights and unions. They have vowed to gut the public education system. They've promised to sell off Minnesota's pristine wilderness to the highest-bidding foreign mining conglomerate. They should have no chance, but they are holding on closer than they have any right to.
The problem the DFL has is two-fold. First, you're not attacking. Too many people in the DFL have fallen in love with the argument "When they go low, we go high." I do find it funny most of the people who rely on this narrative are Democrats from incredibly safe DFL districts. It's easy to stay "high" when you have nothing to lose. For the most part, I think the sentiment is fine, but the mistake Democrats make is they think going "high" is smugly staying silent, ignoring the attacks. That's wrong. If you're going to take this path you need to be promoting what the DFL does stand for, if not directly addressing the attacks being levied on you. Going "high" is not being quiet, but rather LOUDLY counterpointing the "low."
The other problem is a harsh fact. A lot of DFL candidates don't inspire voters. Let me give you an example. I've already done at least 20 interviews with DFL candidates in competitive districts who tell me first and foremost they're going to work with Republicans. I understand their trying to establish a 'bipartisan compromise' tone, but what they really end up sounding like is "I'm a Democrat, and I'm on the Republican's side!"
Let me help. Instead of "I promise to work with the other side"...
"I'm from the DFL. I'm from the party of healthcare for all, women's rights, quality education, a fair tax system, safe streets, common sense gun regulations, supporting the farmer, clean energy, saving the environment, and helping all people. Will I work with the Republicans to pass legislation? Sure, but I will not sacrifice my principles for a quick, cheap victory!"
That's inspiring. You not only tell people what YOU stand for, but you also hint you'll work with the other side as long as they drop their "my way or the highway" mentality.
The Minnesota DFL needs to, in unison, go on the attack now! They supposedly have a massive money advantage, so use it. TV ads, radio ads, newspaper ads, billboards, mailers; they're all good. Most importantly you need to get on your social media pages and start calling out Republicans for the flawed candidates they are. Social media is FREE, and something the Republicans are almost using exclusively to keep these races close. Democrats need to get over their 'wishy-washy, milquetoast, I'd rather do a well-worded 70-page memo' arrogance and start attacking on the venues most of the voters reside in for hours each day.
Let me help:
Governor candidate Scott Jensen is a far-right extremist loon ball. His stances on abortion, and COVID are the epitome of 'low hanging fruit.' It's clear from his furry comments he and/or his inner circle is immersed in the far-right extremism of the web. Plus his running mate is the living embodiment of the word 'Duh.'
Attorney General candidate Jim Schultz has close ties to an EXTREME anti-abortion organization, hasn't ever prosecuted a crime, or even spent a lot of time in a courtroom (while Keith Ellison has not lost a case as AG). And Schultz needs to answer if he would've prosecuted the four officers who murdered George Floyd.
State Auditor candidate Ryan Wilson seriously doesn't seem to understand what exactly the State Auditor does. Most of the things he says he'll do if elected don't fall under the purview of the State Auditors' office. There's the question of whether he'd push state retirement money away from clean energy investments and put it all into polluting fossil fuels. He also has a penchant for making up outlandish exaggerated stories.
Secretary of State Candidate Kim Crockett is an absolute kook! She's an election denier, who doesn't seem to have the slightest grasp on how Minnesota elections actually work. She's repeatedly stated the 2022 election is happening on a different day than it actually is. She has given mixed signals on whether she'll accept the results of the upcoming election, even though there's no reason to question the results in advance. She's also made racist and bigoted comments, and played an anti-Semitic video at the GOP convention which was greeted with applause from the GOP audience. It's a disgrace her race with Steve Simon, probably the best Secretary of State in the nation, is not a 20-point blowout.
There is also the official GOP platform they passed in May which shows how extremist they are: https://www.mngop.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/07/2022-MNGOP-Platform-adopted-May_14_2022.pdf
And there's an amazing amount of Republican Minnesota Senate and House candidates who seem to be TERRIFIED of people finding out they're Republican candidates. Call them out for "trying to be me!"
DFL, this is an easy layup, if you don't overthink it.
You've got one month. It's time to go on the FREAKING attack! Get over your weaknesses and self-induced criticism, don't outsmart yourselves into not taking the clearest path to victory, stop arguing against your own party and platform, and stop rationalizing the future loss by implying we'll be okay if only 'Walz" wins. No, we won't! The DFL has the opportunity to win both the MN House and MN Senate. If you do, you can make REAL change happen.
But only if you go on an all-out attack, NOW!!!
DFL, I want to win in November. Do you?