Monday, November 21, 2016

What will your candidate do for us?

We hear so much about "voter apathy" and the need for people to recognize that elections have consequences in their actual lives. But too often we only hear about this in the form of tsk-tsk lecturing after the fact of another disappointing turnout. If your campaign isn't spending its time and energy telling voters what it will do for them, though, you shouldn't be surprised if they don't bother.
MILWAUKEE — Four barbers and a firefighter were pondering their future under a Trump presidency at the Upper Cutz barbershop last week.

“We got to figure this out,” said Cedric Fleming, one of the barbers. “We got a gangster in the chair now,” he said, referring to President-elect Donald J. Trump

They admitted that they could not complain too much: Only two of them had voted. But there were no regrets.

“I don’t feel bad,” Mr. Fleming said, trimming a mustache. “Milwaukee is tired. Both of them were terrible. They never do anything for us anyway.”

As Democrats pick through the wreckage of the campaign, one lesson is clear: The election was notable as much for the people who did not show up, as for those who did. Nationally, about half of registered voters did not cast ballots.
Even when you think the choice is or should be obvious. Even when it is obvious to people who think the other guy is "a gangster" or a deplorable or whatever, they aren't necessarily going to come out and vote for you unless you tell them what you are going to do for them.  People have concerns.  Your campaign ought to address them.
Mr. Fleming, 47, who has been trimming hair, beards and mustaches for 30 years, had hoped his small business would get easier to run. But it hasn’t.

“Give us loans, or a 401(k),” he said, trimming the mustache of Steve Stricklin, a firefighter from the neighborhood. His biggest issue was health insurance. Mr. Fleming lost his coverage after his divorce three years ago and has struggled to find a policy he could afford. He finally found one, which starts Monday but costs too much at $300 a month.

“Ain’t none of this been working,” he said. He did not vote.
 None of these people expect Donald Trump to solve their problems. But the Clinton campaign's theme was "America Is Already Great."  That probably didn't speak to these voters either. 

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