DEMOCRATS EA­GER TO WOO TRUMP VOT­ERS

The Washington Times Daily - - POLITICS - BY JEN­NIFER HARPER

When Time mag­a­zine goes to name their per­son of the year eight months from now, the pub­li­ca­tion should award the ti­tle to “Trump vot­ers.”

The le­gions of loyal, en­er­gized, grass-roots stal­warts who rose up to be counted dur­ing the pres­i­den­tial elec­tion made their mark — and si­mul­ta­ne­ously con­founded the Demo­cratic Party, poll­sters, pun­dits and the lib­eral me­dia. They never saw the Trump force com­ing — and have been in fe­ro­cious panic mode ever since the White House went to Pres­i­dent Trump just over 11 weeks ago.

Yes, the Trump vot­ers are on the radar in a very big way. There is also change afoot. Caught un­aware, na­tional poll­sters are now tweak­ing their sur­veys to gauge the mind­set and be­liefs of the new Trump de­mo­graphic. Democrats are hud­dling with strate­gists, try­ing to craft ways to un­der­mine Mr. Trump and lure his fol­low­ers to the pro­gres­sive mind­set.

The me­dia pre­vi­ously of­fered dis­mis­sive cov­er­age of this heart­land force. That too is be­gin­ning to change. Con­sider a sur­pris­ing op-ed by New York Times colum­nist Ni­cholas Kristof, who is now urg­ing his Demo­cratic readers to “be nice to Trump vot­ers,” ad­vis­ing irate fol­low­ers of Hil­lary Clin­ton to study the vic­to­ri­ous group.

Mr. Kristof writes that “one prob­lem with Demo­cratic anger is that it stereo­types a vast and con­tra­dic­tory group of 63 mil­lion peo­ple. Sure, there were racists and misog­y­nists in their ranks, but that doesn’t mean that ev­ery Trump voter was a white su­prem­a­cist.” Mr. Kristof also cau­tions that “we sim­ply can’t write off 46 per­cent of the elec­torate,” and that ha­tred of Trump vot­ers “leaves the Demo­cratic Party more re­moved from work­ing-class pain.”

Mr. Kristof has penned a canny, cau­tion­ary tale here, which does have pos­i­tive points. But it’s also an in­di­ca­tor that Trump foes are be­gin­ning to eye his die-hard sup­port­ers with great ap­petite. The Democrats, es­sen­tially, are fig­ur­ing out ways to woo Trump vot­ers. And those vot­ers should be wary of the trend.

“So by all means stand up to Trump, point out that he’s a char­la­tan and re­sist his ini­tia­tives,” Mr. Kristof ad­vises Democrats. “But re­mem­ber that so­cial progress means win­ning over vot­ers in fly­over coun­try, and that it’s dif­fi­cult to re­cruit vot­ers whom you’re si­mul­ta­ne­ously cas­ti­gat­ing as de­spi­ca­ble, big­oted im­be­ciles.”

AS­SO­CI­ATED PRESS

The Democrats are brain­storm­ing ways to reach out to Pres­i­dent Trump’s vo­cal sup­port­ers ahead of the 2018 and 2020 elec­tions.

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