The results of our last election can be attributed to three specific mistakes by Republicans.
First, truth and facts do matter to people. To dismiss “fact checking” tells voters that the truth is secondary to “spin.” The claim that Chrysler was moving Jeep jobs to China was clearly denied by the Chrysler company. Instead of admitting a mistake had been made, they continued to repeat a lie. Integrity matters.
Second, when President Obama became the ‘food stamp” president, Republicans told every person who had needed either food stamps or unemployment that they were freeloaders. Pure and simple – it demeaned every person who had, at some point, needed help.
Third, Republican governors and legislatures passed laws against mythical “voter fraud.” Huge mistake. Voter turnout in each of those states increased by more than five percent. Telling any American that their right to vote is subject to scrutiny turned out to be the equivalent of waving a red flag in front of a bull. As one pundit put it, people don’t stand in line for three to five hours to commit voter fraud! We take that right to speak via our vote as sacred. Tampering with that cost more votes than it discouraged for Republicans.
Ultimately, it boils down to showing respect for the American citizen. Treating them as too stupid to care about truth, or demeaning their hard times, sent a mean-spirited message. Add trying to stand between them and the polling place, and it was a recipe for disaster.
Respect matters. President Obama knew that.