I hear my old party is trying to define me, so I thought I would help them out.
Here's a few friendly tips for my fellow Democrats on what to do in your next campaign:
1) If you want me to vote for somebody that is supposed to represent me, middle class Jane average and then try to portray your opponent as a filthy rich stooge for the corporations and lobbyists, try not running somebody that's about a 1000 times more wealthy and has about 1000 times more connections to the very corporations and lobbyists you're talking about.
2) If you want me to vote for somebody that is supposed to represent me, middle class Jane average, try to make sure he or she at least appears like they pay the same kind of taxes that I do and doesn't have most of their money (and spouse's and running mate's) tied up in every tax dodge known to man. Particularly, when your candidate starts talking about raising taxes and spending money. You might be surprised to know that we can add and subtract, too, down here in the red state of Missouri and your magical mathematics didn't add up.
3) If you want me to vote for somebody that is supposed to represent me, middle class Jane average, try not to pick somebody who sounds like they are lecturing their children on their bad behavior and how much we've disappointed them. I've already got one father and mother and that is certainly enough. Mr. or Mrs. Next Democrat Nominee for President at least ought to act like I'm their equal and not their child. Because I am equal. I can equally vote them into office and equally vote them out. (PS...When your lackey's call us stupid, we don't like that too much either; PSS...I might live in the Midwest, but my name's not Mary Anne and I don't really care to be stranded on the island with two people that sound like Mr. And Mrs. Thurston Howell III. I'd rather commit suicide with the dull edge of a coconut shell)
4) I live in the "show me state". If your candidate has a plan, show me the plan. Don't tell me to run off to blankblank.com and look it up for myself. It sounds down right arrogant. I know a lot of people, older than I am, that don't have access to the internet. How do they know what the plan is if they can't read it? Not to mention that I'm in management and if you can't articulate your plan in a five point bulletin in two minutes or less, it's probably so damn convoluted it won't even get out of the gate much less have a chance to succeed. You'll be spending your entire time re-writing and revising your plan and you won't get anything done. We know you think it's cool to hypnotize your audience and send them subliminal messages, but really, they aren't hypnotized, they're just sleeping. (PS...If your candidate sounds like the candidate in item #3, suicide might be preferable)
5) We like "real" people. Don't try to show your candidate as some sports loving, tractor driving, goose shooting, gun toting he-man when he'd rather be skiing in Aspen or wind surfing off of Nantucket. And for the love of God, if he's playing catch with a football, throwing a baseball or fielding a soccer ball that he's never done before in his life, at least take the cameras away from the journalists or ask them to leave. Photos of your guy looking like he's about to be shot by the firing squad isn't very inspiring. I mean, seriously, my five year old niece can catch, throw and take a head shot better than that. And, she plays with dolls. (PS...if your candidate is a woman, don't try to pass off some cookie recipe as theirs when we know damn well they don't spend any time in the kitchen perfecting their "stay at home mom" culinary arts. We've seen that Rice Krispy commercial, too, and throwing flour and water on her face isn't going to work)
6) If your candidate has a crazy spouse, say so. We'll understand. Might even get the sympathy vote. If you're candidate is not inclined to share their family medical problems with us, at least make sure their spouse is heavily medicated before you send them out in public.
7) Message. Let me say that again. Message. Get a message and stay on message. Don't take a poll shot once a week and give us the talking points you think we want to hear because we are actually smart enough to remember what your candidate said the week before. While the elderly might not have access to the internet, people like me can fact check your ass into next week.
8) Speaking of message, if your candidate says "integrity, integrity, integrity" you best make sure they aren't the biggest, lying sack of crap on the campaign trail. Also, you might actually try to put a little "integrity, integrity, integrity" into your message. Particularly if you are going to try to scare the crap out of college students with rumors of the draft. Or, scare the crap out of old people with rumors of the demise of their social security checks. Or, snuggle up to some fat, ugly, smelly, white guy who makes a film full of lies and then tries to pass it off as the truth. Particularly when that guy reminds us of that little creep that used to pick his nose and eat his boogers in front of us, dump red tempera paint on our favorite white dress or fill our locker up with lizards, snakes and other creepy crawly things. One other thing, don't have him sit in the president's box and then deliver your talking points on TV when he reminds us of that slimy peeping Tom we caught with his hand down his pants outside the girl's locker room. It's bad Karma.
9) Star power. Your candidate should have their own star power, not hang out with stars. We really don't find it comforting that the next President might be getting his domestic and foreign policy from Sean Penn, Susan Sarandon, Tim Robbins or Bruce Springsteen. In the words infamous words of a notable pundit: Shut up and sing! I mean, really, do you think we want our President to be getting donations from a guy that had a photo op with a mass murdering, serial rapist dictator? You know, having hour long chats with Barbara Striesand might work out for Billy Bob Arkansas, he had his own little charisma thing going, but it doesn't look too good when your candidate looks like a cast member of the Adams family and talks like one, too. We stupid people might get confused about who is running for president.
10) Speaking of Billy Bob, I think we're long past the self indulgent, cigar twirling, sex addict stage. If you think your candidate has a problem, don't run them. And if it's just an ex president you're using as a prop, after he narrowly defeated impeachment for lying under oath, screwed everything that walked or crawled into the oval office while he turns down the offer to get the country's number one most wanted future killer of Americans, he isn't as popular as you might think. Think the word "distance".
11) We're over the Viet Nam war. War is war. When we're at war, it's not the right war, it's not the wrong war. It's our war and we like to win. We want the enemies crushed in a timely manner and our men and women home as quick as possible. Barring that, a quick victory, we want our enemies crushed. We don't like "nuanced" endings to our wars. We've been brought up on John Wayne, Patton, the Alamo, Independence Day. Our enemies don't stand a chance and we don't give them any. If you are going to run a candidate during war time, remember "W" stands for winner and not wussie. (PS..if our alleged allies stab us in the back, we want somebody that will at least give the impression of giving them the finger. PSS...We never defer to the UN in a time of war. This isn't the UNA, this is USA. Everything else is second. If your candidate wins, that's what that oath means. PSSS...Dictators are bad. Freedom is good)
12) Speaking of war, if your candidate is an ex hippie anti-war protestor, don't try to pass them of as GI JOE or Jane. Even if your candidate served in the military, if they can't release all of their military records, there's something wrong. Like they were dishonorably discharged and stripped of their medals. Or they consorted with the enemy in a time of war while being an officer or enlisted in the service. If your candidate is a college graduate, you should make sure they know enough geography to know that the Mekong Delta and Se Doc are not Cambodia. You're better off running somebody with no military experience than a faker. Did I mention we don't like fakes?
13) Fish stories. Hey, it's one thing for your candidate to tell a little white lie about the fish that got away, but stories about Christmas in far away places like Mars, or aliens that give them hats, secret meetings that never happened or being at the battle of Waterloo means they are either a pathological liar or delusional enough that they should be taking their spouse's medication. Better yet, don't nominate them for candidate. Remember, "integrity, integrity, integrity".
14) This is not the Peoples Socialist Republic of America. While some of us don't mind giving some of our money for the common good, you shouldn't take that as a mandate to tax us into oblivion. Try a little moderation, for Pete's sake. And if your candidate is going to espouse theories about the "Two Americas" and the "haves and the have nots", you might want to make sure that they aren't richer than the Czar or the Czar's great, great, great nephew. The last candidate that tried to sell us that rotten piece of cheese and claim it came from the moon got his ass ridden out of town on a rail.
15) Talking heads. Speaking of the "common good", if your little messenger talking heads tell us that you want more of our money when we are paying $2 gallon for gas; $3 Gallon for Milk, our house just got assessed for higher taxes the second year in a row and our local government wants to raise our sales tax by a penny to build an "arts and culture center" we've already been taxed "for the common good". So f*ck off!.
16) Ummm...I think you know about the scream thing. Don't do it. No matter what. Even if your candidate gets stung by a bee while he's dropping his pants to take a piss. Silence is golden.
17) If your "base" and "talking heads" are going to refer to us over here in fly over country as stupid, fanatical, fascist, flag waving, evangelical, neo Nazi, digital brownshirts, marching off into kristalnacht, carrying torches and burning books while making a flaming sign of the cross with our torches, we probably aren't going to vote for you anyway, so just forget what I was going to suggest. However, if your base resembles all of the above (exempting the evangelical part), you are in deep shit and should throw away your autographed copies of Mein Kampf and Karl Marx and tell the dry cleaner you won't be picking up your super, duper secret white sheet with the glow in the dark swastika over an anarchists sign and extra panel sown in for your secret plans to sell out the Jews for a piece of (or is that Peace in?)Palestine and give those mean ass mullahs some fissile material, you don't want to miss that plane to France.
18) Geography, Math and the Electoral College. Take a look at that electoral map. The one with all the red and the splotches of blue? Yeah, the blue spots are highly populated areas. Your team does pretty good there. Of course, it might be because it has the highest concentration of poor, drop outs, union members, anarchist college students and elitists that think they know more than the rest of the world because their professor made them read Noam Chomsky until they could regurgitate it like Romans at the vomittarium. Repeatedly watch films of alleged American "crimes" including the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki; marines using fire throwers on the island of Iwo Jima; fire bombing Dresden; nepalm in Viet Nam (extra credit if they read your candidate's book); the starving children of Africa; the tears of the last Soviet Premier at the end of Glasnost and the melting of the polar ice caps. Ok. Now that you understand that demographic, you might have noticed in this last election, they were less than 50% of the voting population. We know you think there were more of them than there was of us, but you sincerely misunderestimated.
That red stuff there? I know you think that's fly over country with a population of one hick..er...Person per every square mile, but it's a lot of square miles and that's a lot of people. Heck, I know those states only carry about 5 or so electoral votes a piece, but 20 of them equals about 250 electoral votes. A few others carry about 20 each. When you add them all together, it means that we elect the president. So, it's probably not a good thing to send your candidate into a campaign without really knowing who we are or what we want because he's going to need us next time. Just to show you how friendly we are, I wrote this list of 20 things you need to know the next time you run a campaign. My final contribution will be a little description of the constituency so you might understand what we want next time.
19) We love our country. We love our flag. We fly it on most days, not just holidays. I guess that makes us flag waving fanatics in your eyes. We know that some of your folks think it's ok to burn the flag. Freedom of speech and all that. We understand, but you might understand that it's our right not to like it either. You'll get over it, but I'm not sure we will. We love our soldiers. We know some of your supporters think they're just poor, dumb farm boys and girls with barely any education, but that's what you get when you let those folks think. I know this might scare the hell out of your, but.....[pppssssttt] we have bibles, too.
Before I move on to lesson #20, let me share the words of the great sage and country western singer, Hank Williams Jr.:
20) This is a direct message for the future Democrat Candidate for President.
If you think you might ever decide that you need us again, and we think you will, you will need to do something very, very important after learning the first nineteen lessons.
I want you to think Donald Trump.
Turn to the jackass that is running the Democrat National Committee and say: